News from around the world

New Releases for April 2024 and Later

Browse a selection of new recordings


Here is our list of future releases, based on emails received between 27 March and 24 February 2024, ordered by release date.

The list has been prepared quickly. Apologies for any omissions, or if the information is not up to our usual standards, and please let us know if you find any mistakes. To get your new releases into our next list, or to find out how our review process works, look at the information here.

Unless otherwise specified, each item is a single CD.

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


28 JUNE 2024

Héloïse Werner: close-ups
Max Baillie, violin, viola, hardanger fiddle; Julian Azkoul, violin; Ruth Gibson, viola; Colin Alexander, cello; Marianne Schofield, double bass; Kit Downes, cello
Delphian Records DCD34312
Release: 28 June 2024
Héloïse Werner's first album, Phrases, was received ecstatically. For her second, she wanted to create a programme with a cohesive narrative arc - a journey, but one that the listener can take in their own time and their own way. For it, she has assembled a group of musicians who both share in her concept but also bring to the project their own varied musical personalities to complement Héloïse's own distinctive voice. Rightly described by Héloïse as 'amazing people', her collaborators - Colin Alexander, Julian Azkoul, Max Baillie, Kit Downes, Ruth Gibson and Marianne Schofield - stitch their individual contributions into close-ups in colours just as vibrant as Héloïse's own.


31 MAY 2024

Paul Lewis plays Schubert - Piano Sonatas, Wanderer Fantasie, Moments Musicaux, Impromptus, Drei Klavierstucke
Harmonia Mundi HMX2904091.96 (6 CDs)
Release: 31 May 2024
Poet and virtuoso, Paul Lewis is one of the leading Schubertians of his generation. This boxed set assembling the Viennese composer's major mature works for solo piano - the late sonatas, Impromptus, Wanderer-Fantasie, Moments musicaux, etc - is set to become one of the milestones of the modern discography.

Vienna: Joyful Apocalypse
Aurélien Pontier
Warner Classics 5054197633546
Release: 31 May 2024
The French pianist Aurélien Pontier conceived Vienna: Joyful Apocalypse as 'a tribute to Vienna at the turn of the 20th century'. The album opens with waltzes from Johann Strauss II's operetta Die Fledermaus, virtuoso versions of the composer's Pizzicato Polka and the most famous Viennese waltz of all, The Blue Danube. More waltzes feature from Viennese native Franz Schubert and the great violinist Fritz Kreisler, as well as composers born further afield - Liszt, Tchaikovsky and Godowsky. The album concludes with the 'Adagietto' from Mahler's Symphony No 5 (arranged by Pontier himself), Schoenberg's Klavierstücke and Ravel's La Valse.


24 MAY 2024

Brahms & Contemporaries, Vol 1
Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective
Chandos CHAN 20297
Release: 24 May 2024
The Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective's new series juxtaposes piano quartets by Brahms with ones by his lesser-known contemporaries. Here the group couples Brahms's epic A major Quartet with the Piano Quartet of Luise Adolpha Le Beau, a student of Clara Schumann, Lachner, and Rheinberger. Her extensive output covers all genres: the Piano Quartet was composed around 1884 and performed in the Leipzig Gewandhaus that year to great critical acclaim.

Samuel Wesley: Sacred Choral Music
Choir of Holy Sepulchre: The National Musician's Church / Toby Ward
Delphian DCD34268
Release: 24 May 2024
Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876) was one of the foremost composers and organists of his time.  Taking advantage of new developments in instrument building, Wesley was able to push the boundaries of English church music in a new direction, encompassing a more operatic style at a time when church membership was flourishing in Victorian England. In this recording - the first to have been made using an organ similar in design to his own - Wesley's music is brought to life by the young professional singers of The Holy Sepulchre under conductor Toby Ward.

My Peace I Give You
Poor Clare Sisters Arundel
Decca Classics
Release: 24 May 2024
The highest-charting nuns ever, the Poor Clares of Arundel are answering the prayers of eagerly waiting fans, by announcing their return with a second album My Peace I Give You. They captured the hearts of millions of listeners in 2020 with their uplifting debut album 'Light for the World', which soared to No 5 in the UK Official Album Chart, infusing Latin hymns and medieval texts with a unique 21st Century production. The sisters are now gearing up to bring music from the thirteenth century back to the mainstream pop chart once again.

How are the Mighty Fallen: Choral Music by Giovanni Bononcini
Choir of the Queen's College, Oxford / Owen Rees, Academy of Ancient Music, Rowan Pierce, Esther Lay, Helen Charlston, Guy Cutting, Giles Underwood
Signum Classics SIGCD905
Release: 24 May 2024
Several high-profile artists and two ensembles team up to record music by the Italian baroque composer, Giovanni Bononcini. This album contains the first recordings of Ave maris stella, Laudate pueri and the original version of Te Deum. The eighteenth century sources of these works were specially edited for the recordings. Owen Rees directs the Choir of the Queen's College, Oxford. He appears on this album alongside celebrated soprano Rowan Pierce and mezzo Helen Charlston, together with other star soloists and the Academy of Ancient Music.

Simeon ten Holt: Canto Ostinato for Solo Harp
Gwyneth Wentink
Signum Classics SIGCD907
Release: 24 May 2024
Having first heard it in 2011 on the piano, Gwyneth Wentink presents a new solo harp arrangement of Simeon ten Holt's Canto Ostinato, arranged by Jeroen van Veen. Gwyneth Wentink is an internationally acclaimed Dutch harpist, straddling many genres and roles. She established Foundation Harp, a performance platform, in 1999.

Beauty for Ashes
The Elysian Singers of London
Signum Classics SIGCD797 (digital only)
Release: 24 May 2024

Matteo Myderwyk
Warner Classics 505419791214 (digital only)
Release: 24 May 2024
Renaissance is a re-imagining of Matteo Myderwyk's most intimate piano compositions. Many of Myderwyk's compositions have been recorded on an upright, occasionally with a synthesizer as accompaniment; this new album presents six of those compositions on a concert grand piano for the first time, alongside three new original tracks.

17 MAY 2024

Shostakovich: Symphony No 13 'Babiy Yar'; Arvo Pärt: De profundis
Albert Dohmen, bass-baritone; Estonian National Male Choir; BBC Philharmonic / John Storgårds
Chandos CHSA 5335 (SACD)
Release: 17 May 2024
John Storgårds' acclaimed series of Shostakovich symphonies continues with this recording of Symphony No 13 Babiy Yar. The BBC Philharmonic is joined by the bass-baritone Albert Dohmen and the Estonian National Male Choir, who also feature in the orchestral version of Arvo Pärt's De profundis.

Granados; Albeniz
Peter Donohoe, piano
Chandos CHAN 20293
Release: 17 May 2024
The British virtuoso Peter Donohoe performs two great monuments of Spanish piano music: Book I of Granados's Goyescas and Books I and II of Albéniz's Iberia. His extraordinary facility and innate musicianship produce dazzling and breathtaking readings of these twin peaks of the repertoire.

Gabriel Fauré: La Bonne Chanson - L'Horizon chimérique - Ballade - Mélodies
Stéphane Degout, baritone; Alain Planès, piano (Pleyel 'Grand Patron', 1892)
Harmonia Mundi HMM902382
Release: 17 May 2024
The genre of the mélodie accompanied Fauré like a kind of personal journal. This music voluptuously - and sometimes vehemently - encompasses the meanderings of the soul: dreams, nostalgia, reflections or mirages ... Stéphane Degout and Alain Planès take advantage of the iridescent tones of an 1892 Pleyel in their interpretation of some of his finest song cycles, including the testamentary L'Horizon chimérique.

Seasons Interrupted: Schubert, Piazzolla, Lintinen
Trey Lee, English Chamber Orchestra
Signum Classics SIGCD791
Release: 17 May 2024
Internationally celebrated cellist, Trey Lee, presents an album exploring the impacts of climate change on the environment and society, recorded with the English Chamber Orchestra. It includes two world premiere recordings of Schubert and Piazzolla arrangements by Trey himself, alongside a contemporary cello concerto by Kirmo Lintinen. Trey Lee was born in Hong Kong but is now based in Berlin. He appears as soloist with prestigious orchestras across the globe, and is a member of the Canadian piano quintet Ensemble Made in Canada.

Sophia Jani: Six Pieces for Solo Violin
Teresa Allgaier, violin
Release: 17 May 2024
This is an enchanting piece of work with elements of minimalism, but characterised by its calmness. The entire album is very poised and each piece focuses on a particular technical aspect of the violin. Both Sophia and Teresa wanted to figure out exactly what two women in the 21st century could offer to the history of the violin. It definitely feels like both artists are emerging as distinct voices in the contemporary classical world.

Bruckner: Symphony No 5
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra / Lahav Shani
Warner Classics 5054197792014
Release: 17 May 2024
Following on from Lahav Shani's critically acclaimed recording of Bruckner's Symphony No 7 with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in 2023, the Israeli conductor has recorded Bruckner's monumental Symphony No 5. Shani first encountered Bruckner's music as a young double bass player in Israel and has felt a deep connection to the composer's music ever since: 'His music has a sense not only of looking back and encompassing the history of music, but also very much looking forward and seeing the future [...] he wrote music that conveys such deep human emotion.'


10 MAY 2024

Haydn: The Complete Piano Trios, Vol 3
Trio Gaspard
Chandos CHAN 20279
Release: 10 May 2024
Trio Gaspard's revelatory series of Haydn's piano trios continues. Like the previous volumes, the repertoire is selected to work as a stand-alone recital, and includes a first recording - this time Revêtements by Kit Armstrong.


3 MAY 2024

Virtuoso Harpsichord Music
Melody Lin, harpsichord
CRD Records CRD 3546
Release: 3 May 2024
Harpsichordist, fortepianist and modern pianist Melody Lin enjoys an active musical career in Asia, the United States, and Europe. Lin holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Historical Performance Practices and Keyboard Studies from Claremont Graduate University, where she studied harpsichord with Robert Zappulla, and modern piano and fortepiano with Jenny Soonjin Kim. Lin has had the pleasure to work with many renowned artists, and has participated both domestically and internationally in music festivals. Lin is currently a member of the Music Teachers Association of California. 'In November 1973, the music press was ablaze with announcements about the 'first new major British classical record label to hit the market for many years' and the 'hush-hush recording sessions' that had been in progress to mark its launch. These sessions included bringing harpsichordist Trevor Pinnock to listeners worldwide with his debut album Trevor Pinnock at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Released to critical acclaim, this album cemented the direction of the eagerly awaited new label, CRD Records: to champion new artists and to celebrate the full gamut of listening experiences offered through classical repertoire. Fifty years on musical tastes have expanded and the harpsichord often gets overlooked, undeservedly so. The harpsichord is an instrument that takes no prisoners; it demands precision and craft, musical sensitivity and more. In Melody Lin's performances, the rewards are great: as listeners, we are treated to the translation of black dots to bursts of exuberant colour, from elegance to joy to thunderous expressions of foreboding. If the music were to be represented in film, we would move from calm, pastoral scenes to mountainous terrain. This is in fact riveting cinema.' - Emma and Tom Pauncefort - CRD Directors

Tippett: A Child of our Time
Soloists, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus / Andrew Davis
Chandos CHSA 5341 (SACD)
Release: 3 May 2024
Andrew Davis leads the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in this powerful new recording of Tippett's pacifist oratorio, with soloists Pumeza Matshikiza, Sarah Connolly, Joshua Stewart and Ashley Riches.

John Williams in Tokyo
Saito Kinen Orchestra / John Williams
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 3 May 2024
American composer John Williams returned to Japan for the first time in thirty years to conduct the Saito Kinen Orchestra in a performance of some of his most iconic scores - from Harry Potter to Star Wars. Invited personally by the legendary conductor and lifelong friend Seiji Ozawa, the new album John Williams in Tokyo captures the magic of this once in a lifetime event.

George Lloyd: A Litany; A Symphonic Mass
Jeremy White (bass), Janice Watson, soprano; Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Brighton Festival Chorus; Guildford Choral Society; Lazlo Heltay, choir conductor; Philharmonia Orchestra / George Lloyd
Lyrita SRCD 2419
Release: 3 May 2024
The Trustees of Lyrita Nimbus Arts (LNA) have reached an exclusive agreement with The George Lloyd Society (GLS) to take over the sale and hire of all George Lloyd's scores held by the Society as well as the commercial exploitation of the collection of recordings made by the Society in the 1990s and conducted by the composer. 'I just write what I have to write' - the artistic credo of George Lloyd conveys the directness and emotional honesty of his music, which is distinctive and written with integrity. He was fortunate enough to discover his individual and versatile musical voice at an early age. The deceptively artless quality of his scores stems from a thorough grounding in composition techniques. He wrote in a traditional idiom enriched by a close study of selected models, Verdi and Berlioz chief among them. There is a remarkable consistency to his output, most of which was created spontaneously and without the incentive of a commission. Conceived on a grand scale, Lloyd's late choral works build fruitfully upon his previous experience in other genres. They share with his operas an innate lyricism, natural affinity with the human voice and feeling for the long line, while their structural balance, intensive working out of motifs and rich orchestral palette owes a significant debt to his prolific symphonic output.

George Lloyd: Requiem; Psalm 130
Stephen Wallace, counter tenor; Jeffrey Makinson, organ; The Exon Singers / Matthew Owens
Lyrita SRCD 420
Release: 3 May 2024
Lloyd produced the final score of his Requiem a month before his death. It is inscribed 'to the memory of Diana Princess of Wales'. Compassionate, reassuring and even, at times, joyful, this is a conscious leave-taking on the part of the composer. His compact and cogent setting of Psalm 130 constitutes, arguably, his most fluently effective use of a cappella choral writing.

Chamber Music of Kenneth V Jones
Soloists from the London Mozart Players
Lyrita SRCD 434
Release: 3 May 2024
Principal cellist of the Mozart Players Sebastian Comberti writes, 'My first encounter with Kenneth V Jones was in 2016 when our family moved to the village of Bishop stone in the Sussex Downs. Over the course of several months, I was able to learn more of Kenneth's musical life. As soon as he mentioned having once written a string quartet, it was decided to programme the work during the following Season of Seaford Music Society, of which Kenneth was a long-standing member and whose programming I had recently taken on. Such was the warmth of the reception upon hearing the work that it was decided to explore more of Kenneth's chamber music output, and thus the idea for this CD was born. We have Kenneth to thank for the fact that the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music made the decision, at his suggestion, to include contemporary compositions in their graded examination syllabuses. Several of the short character pieces that Kenneth wrote for the ABRSM remain in the syllabus to this day, and a selection of these is included on this recording. It gave me huge pleasure to be able to present to Kenneth the first edit of the current CD, just a few days before his death in December 2020. He was absolutely thrilled.'

Elgar Symphony No 1 in A Flat & Symphony No 2 in E Flat
Hallé Orchestra / Mark Elder
Hallé CDHLD 7564
Release: 3 May 2024
Among the first releases on the Hallé recording label, established in 2003, were Elgar's Symphonies Nos 1 and 2. This recording revisits those works nearly twenty years later, and mark the culmination of Sir Mark Elder's tenure as Music Director. The First Symphony was premiered in the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, in 1908 by the Hallé and its Music Director, Hans Richter to whom the symphony is dedicated. It is a work of astonishing musical and structural mastery which was greeted with worldwide acclaim, receiving one hundred performances in its first year. The musical material demonstrates Elgar's skill at melody and transformation and presents a wide emotional range. By contrast the Second Symphony, with its deeply personal 'pilgrimage of a soul', initially received a more muted reception. However, it came into its own after the end of the first world war when the tone of remembrance and tribute possibly reflected the national mood, in what is now considered to be one of Elgar's finest works. The digital release of the symphonies is accompanied by a bonus track featuring Colin Matthews' arrangement of Elgar's part song The Prince of Sleep (1925). Matthews presented the arrangement to Mark Elder as a gift to mark the conductor's 70th birthday in 2017, and as a tribute to Elder's 'many splendid Elgar performances'. It also reflects what Matthews has described as 'a remarkable privilege to have been an observer of the Hallé's development over more than twenty years, watching it become, under Mark, one of the finest orchestras not just in the UK but in the world.'

D F E Auber: La Part Du Diable
CDO 1133
Release: 3 May 2024
This work began in the later part of  D. F. E. Auber's creative life. His work at this stage seems to be unusually touched by emotions of the heart, by passion and the expression of a true sensibility. He produced works remarkable enough to keep himself at the front rank of public esteem, a position he had held from the very beginning of his career. Synopsis: The aristocratic theology student Rafaël d'Estungia has fallen in love with the dressmaker Casilda. In a series of unfortunate events he is disinherited, rejected by the military, and his lover goes missing. Rafaël believes there is no other way to overcome his misfortunes and tries to summon the devil. When he does not appear, Rafaël tries to end his life. Carlos, a singer, and witness to the unfolding events of Rafael's life, decides to provide hope to Rafaël by pretending to be Asmodeus (the devil).  Carlos, sings to the King at the request of the Queen in a time of depression. For this act he is appointed Court Master of Music with his protégé Rafaël. Rafaël discovers Cassilda has been appointed lady-in-waiting by the Queen, and decides to take his chance to win her affection and kisses her. As punishment for his behaviour with Cassilda, the King has Rafaël arrested and sentenced to death.  Trying to save Rafaël, Carlos lies and tells the King that Cassilda and Rafaél are already married. Using his influence with the Queen, he asks her to lie and say she was present at the wedding. Rafaël learns that he is the sole heir to the fortune of the Duque d'Estuńiga, with an inheritance of 600,000 ducats making him one of the richest noblemen in Spain. The King learns that Rafaël and Cassilda are not married and wants to punish them both. However, Carlos distracts the King by providing evidence of the secret plans that the Grand Inquisitor had made by revealing letters, this appeases the King.  Carlos tells Rafaél he is no devil and Rafaël finally gets his happy ever after with Casilda.

Johann Sebastian Bach: The Complete Works for Keyboard, Vol 9: Köthen 1717-1723 - The Happy Years
Benjamin Alard, harpsichord
Harmonia Mundi HMM902472.73 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 May 2024
'The happy years': an expression that is particularly apt for J. S. Bach's period in Cöthen. Freed from the obligations that held him back in Weimar and not yet caught up in the Leipzig treadmill, Prince Leopold's protégé produced masterpieces of such flamboyance that Benjamin Alard could not resist the pleasure of inviting some of his dear musician friends to join him around the splendid three-manual harpsichord by Hass.

Michael John Trotta: Requiem
Tenebrae / Nigel Short
Hampton Roads / Classical Music Productions 4764980712
Release: 3 May 2024
Grounded in tradition, while incorporating a present-day harmonic language, Trotta's Requiem for choir and organ features two Gregorian Chant motives interwoven throughout with lush harmonies and soaring melodies, exquisitely sung by Tenebrae. Originally commissioned by a consortium of choirs, Trotta sought to honour the Requiem tradition whilst bringing it to new listeners, whether in the liturgical setting or concert hall. Fuelled by a passion for combining tradition and innovation, American composer Michael John Trotta (born 1978) creates music that resonates with modern audiences around the world. In addition to a significant output of music for unaccompanied choir, he has written nine choral-orchestral works on a larger scale. His most recent work, 'Requiem,' was recorded by Tenebrae Choir (Nigel Short, conductor). His select concert and sacred music is distributed by Excelcia Music. With a zeal for removing barriers to new music and artistic excellence, Trotta has created and funded a new initiative that distributes grants to choir directors and scholarships to future choral directors. Released during Death and Dying Awareness Matters Week (6 - 12 May 2024), streaming revenue from the album during this period will go to Hospice UK.

Yuja Wang - The Vienna Recital
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 3 May 2024
Grammy-nominated Yuja Wang demonstrates her incredible range of interpretation with this eclectic program from her highly acclaimed 2022 Vienna recital. The star pianist displays fiery virtuosity in little-known compositions by György Ligeti and Nikolai Kapustin, as well as mature musicality in masterpieces by Beethoven and Alexander Scriabin.

Taneyev and Schumann Piano Quintets
Peter Donohoe, Sacconi Quartet
Signum Classics SIGCD775
Release: 3 May 2024
Peter Donohoe and the Sacconi Quartet join forces on this album for two masterpieces of the piano quintet genre. They were among the last UK musicians to tour Russia before the pandemic and subsequent invasion of Ukraine. The cover art was drawn by Schumann himself during his visit to Moscow in 1844. A joint winner of the 1982 International Tchaikovsky Competition, Peter Donohoe has been one of the UK's most revered musicians for decades. The Sacconi Quartet is famed for its imaginative approach to programming and captivating performances.

Viktoria Mullova, Alasdair Beatson
Signum Classics SIGCD794
Release: 3 May 2024
For their second joint album on Signum, violinist Viktoria Mullova and pianist Alasdair Beatson perform Beethoven's sonatas nos. 6, 1 and 8. As in previous recordings, Mullova plays a gut-strung violin and Beatson plays a copy of an 1805 Walter fortepiano. The consequent sound is much closer to what Beethoven intended, lending authenticity to the recording. Viktoria Mullova is a Russian-born British violinist known for her Bach recordings and innovative interpretations of jazz compositions. Adept on modern and historical instruments, pianist Alasdair Beatson is renowned as both artist and teacher.

Four Hands
Alexandre Tharaud & guests
Erato 5054197933523
Release: 3 May 2024
 'This was something I'd had in mind for a long time ... to put together an album for the sheer pleasure of it, in collaboration with dear friends and paying tribute to the wonders of the piano duet repertoire.' - Alexandre Tharaud. Four Hands consists of 22 tracks, with French pianist Alexandre Tharaud sharing the keyboard with a different performer on each. The repertoire ranges from Bach to Glass through composers such as Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Rachmaninov, Ravel and Piazzolla. The pianists featured on the album include the late Nicholas Angelich, Martin James Bartlett, Mariam Batsashvili, Bertrand Chamayou, David Fray, Bruce Liu, Víkingur Ólafsson, Beatrice Rana and others. Three tracks feature soloists typically known for their skills on other instruments: cellist Gautier Capuçon, countertenor Philippe Jaroussky and the Paris-born singer-songwriter Juliette Noureddine.

Wonder Women
Christina Pluhar, L'Arpeggiata feat. Céline Scheen, Luciana Mancini, Benedetta Mazzucato, Vincenzo Capezzuto
Erato 5054197959165
Release: 3 May 2024
Wonder Women, the latest recording project from Christina Pluhar and her ensemble L'Arpeggiata, pays homage to Italian female composers of the seventeenth century, and female characters portrayed in the traditional music of Italy and Latin America. The programme includes works by Francesca Caccini (arguably the best-known female composer of the Baroque age), Barbara Strozzi, Antonia Bembo and Isabella Leonarda, as well as male composers Maurizio Cazzati and Andrea Falconieri. The album also features traditional songs from Italy and Mexico, arranged by Pluhar herself.

Mozart Stories
Emmanuel Pahud, Éric Le Sage
Warner Classics 5054197893520
Release: 3 May 2024
Flautist Emmanuel Pahud joins forces with pianist Éric Le Sage to perform transcriptions of several of Mozart's Violin Sonatas, now regarded as beloved additions to the flute repertoire. The programme includes Mozart's Sonata in B flat major K. 378 (1779), Sonata in G major K. 379 (1781), Sonata in E minor K. 304 (1778) and Sonata in C major K. 296 (1778). This album is of particular personal significance to Pahud, who stated: 'Mozart is the reason why I became a musician'.

Meditation 333 - RIOPY
Warner Classics 505419799241 (digital only - 3 tracks)
Release: 3 May 2024
Continuing pianist-composer RIOPY's series of piano music designed for healing and peace, this album consists of three meticulously crafted piano tracks - Meditation 3, Twilight Meditation and Meditation 33. Part music, part audio tools, each track is connected by a single repetitive structure, designed to guide listeners through a deep personal meditation.

Franck: Symphony in D minor; Debussy: Trois Nocturnes
Münchner Philharmoniker / Sergiu Celibidache
Munich Philharmonic MPHIL0027
Release: 3 May 2024
In these remastered concert recordings from 1991 and 1983, legendary conductor Sergiu Celibidache conducts the Munich Philharmonic in César Franck's Symphony in D minor and Claude Debussy's Nocturnes.

1 MAY 2024

Martucci Collection
Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma, Francesco La Vecchia, Quartetto Noferini, Luca Braga, Lucia Pittau, Roberto Trainini, Massimiliano Ferrati, Alberto Miodini, Chiarastella Onorati, Luisa Prayer
Brilliant Classics 96920 (10 CDs)
Release: 1 May 2024
The most comprehensive collection ever released of Giuseppe Martucci's music, in stylish modern recordings by native Italian musicians. An Italian Brahms is an unlikely idea, but it encapsulates a superficial acquaintance with the music of Giuseppe Martucci (1856-1909). Any listener curious to take a deeper dive into the richly Romantic melodies and impassioned large-scale structures of Martucci will find no better place to start than this survey of his major works in every instrumental genre. Martucci grew up in Naples as the son of a military bandmaster, and this background seems to have instilled in him a creative impulse to swim against the operatic tide of native composers, and focus his energies on writing instrumental music. He was an accomplished pianist, received with great enthusiasm on tours of France, Germany and England, and the tremendous sweep of his Piano Concerto loses nothing by comparison with far more familiar examples. Brought to life here by Alberto Miodini, the piano music, too, is intensely wrought, but it never loses a pre-eminence of melody which was Martucci's heritage. In 1888 he conducted the Italian premiere of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde; his song-cycle La canzone dei Ricordi, written a year earlier, is the closest he came to translating the opera's chromatic eroticism into his own music, and this box affords the opportunity to hear the piece in both its orchestral and piano versions; no less enlightening than (for example) the distinct versions of the Four Last Songs by Richard Strauss. CD10 collects Martucci's other songs for soprano, such as the remarkable Pagine sparse of 1888. Other highlights of the set include Martucci's deep investment in chamber music, resulting in piano trios, violin and cello sonatas, and a magnificently brooding Piano Quintet, again in the Brahmsian mould.

Simeon Ten Holt: Canto Ostinato [Deluxe Edition]
Aart Bergwerff, organ; Eric Vloeimans, trumpet
Brilliant Classics 97409
Release: 1 May 2024
A new and strikingly effective arrangement of a modern minimalist classic. Canto Ostinato is a familiar landmark of modern Dutch art music. Known affectionately and simply as the Canto, it receives many performances each year in a plethora of arrangements, whether with the two or four pianos which Simeon ten Holt had in mind when he wrote the work in 1976, or performed by soloists and ensembles. This flexibility is inherent in the form of the piece. Ten Holt supplies a sequence of 106 rhythmic cells which may be repeated one or many more times, thus potentially creating a duration of one or many more hours. The simple and repetitive patterns blur the listener's sense of time, which becomes space: space for the performers, space for creation, but also space for the listeners, space for imagination. At the invitation of Orgelpark Amsterdam, the organist Aart Bergwerff has been giving annual performances of Canto Ostinato, always in a new instrumentation, in company with different musicians. This groundbreaking version for trumpet and organ arose as the result of a chance meeting backstage between Bergwerff and the trumpeter Eric Vloeimans. The recording captures a concert given in October 2023 at the Orgelpark, presenting Canto Ostinato as a kind of monody for trumpet and organ, like a long-spun solo with basso continuo. Bergwerff and Vloeimans had known each other as students at the conservatoire in Rotterdam, and so this artistic partnership was a renewal of friendship as well as a synthesis of common musical values. Relying as it does on the stamina of a solo trumpeter, this version of Canto Ostinato is necessarily shorter than most of the canonic versions, but it illuminates the piece with a fresh perspective, more melodically focused than keyboard-centric instrumentations, and evolving more rapidly through Ten Holt's cycle of harmonic change.

Johann Wilhelm Hertel: Oboe Concertos
Katarzyna Pilipiuk, baroque oboe; Ensemble Il Vento
Brilliant Classics 97097
Release: 1 May 2024
Johann Wilhelm Hertel (1727-1789) is one of the lesser-known composers of the late baroque and early classical era. Born in Eisenach in 1727, as a young man he travelled to the north of Germany with his father, who was a viola da gamba virtuoso engaged as a Kapellmeister at the court of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Already as a young man Johann Wilhelm showed a remarkable talent for music. He excelled on the harpsichord and violin, but his father wanted him to additionally study law. However, a trip to Berlin and contact with Berlin court musicians Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and Franz Benda pushed the young Johann Wilhelm to devote his life primarily to music. In particular he studied the harpsichord with Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, the violin with Franz Benda and composition with Karl Heinrich Graun. He spent his life in the service of the Mecklenburg-Strelitz and -Schwerin courts, and he was also music director in Stralsund. It was during this time that he had many opportunities to meet authorities from both the musical and scientific worlds. His oboes concertos are exemplary compositions of these times. The autographs, which are preserved in the Library of the Royal Conservatoire of Brussels (Sig No B-Bc-5562 and B-Bc-5563), together contain ten oboe concertos in various keys. Nine of them are collected (and numbered by librarians) in Sig No B-Bc-5562 ,and one is separately placed as B-Bc-5563. As there is no catalogue of Hertel's works, the numbers given for the concertos are taken from the manuscript Sig No B-Bc-5562. Some of the pieces are dated 1749 (Concertos Nos 3 and 9) and others 1756 (Concerto No 2). All the concertos were prepared for this recording by Katarzyna Pilipiuk, copying with a focus on accuracy; only minor mistakes were corrected so as to give the most faithful transmission of the composer's ideas. The material is very clear, with all the pieces noted by the composer in score form. All of them have signs of stylistic inspiration from the works of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, in particular Concerto No 5, which is an excellent work in the Empfindsamer Stil.

Josef Mysliveček: Complete Keyboard Works
Marius Bartoccini, fortepiano
Brilliant Classics 95864 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 May 2024
The new focus on Bohemian classicism in the second half of the eighteenth century, manifested in recent recordings and articles in professional journals, has amply demonstrated the calibre of these composers and the quality of their music. Among them, Josef Mysliveček (1737-1781) enjoyed considerable fame during his lifetime. He was known to such important figures as the soprano Caterina Gabrielli and was a friend of Mozart's, who esteemed him. Mysliveček's like many of his contemporaries strove for musical success and economic independence through opera composition, a career that was high-profile but also challenging in the late eighteenth century. And he did not consider the fortepiano to be as important a vehicle of expression, unlike Mozart, as can be seen in his meagre solo keyboard output. The Six Divertimenti are single-movement compositions, and while probably intended as didactic, they are not sterile exercises for amateurs but exquisite pieces that satisfy the most discerning palates. The Six Sonatas are short but brilliant pieces, based on the galant style transmuted into a pre-classicism very akin to the Mannheim school, with energetic first movements with a symphonic flavour alternating with elegant and delicate minuets. Given the small number of Mysliveček's compositions for solo fortepiano, it was decided to include two additional, rare pieces worthy of this monograph: two of his Wind Octets Op 1 in a contemporary solo keyboard transcription by Václav Vincenc Mašek. Mysliveček's writing features remarkable counterpoint, compressed by Mašek into an exemplary arrangement. This recording is intended as the first on historical instruments. (There is already a box by Clare Hammond on modern piano with the Divertimenti for fortepiano, the six Sonatas and the Concertos for fortepiano and orchestra.) The arranged Octets (most likely never previously performed, let alone recorded) are offered as world premieres.

Alfredo Franco: Music for Guitar
Cristiano Porqueddu, guitar
Brilliant Classics 96481 (3 CDs)
Release: 1 May 2024
Born in Torino in 1967, Alfredo Franco was involved in non-classical music in his youth before taking up the classical guitar. He then undertook advanced studies in the historical and critical fields in the Department for Art, Music and Theatre of the University of Turin. He would later abandon concert activity as a performer and focus instead on composition. His now prolific classical guitar output has been well received by important interpreters such as Cristiano Porqueddu and increasingly programmed on the stage and in the studio. This triple-disc set constitutes a broad cross-section of Franco's solo guitar music. Porqueddu has offered brief comments on some of the many, varied compositions that will be new to many listeners. A Bleached September Sky: multiple short episodes evoking sudden premonitions. A Night's Tale features a rapid, edgy central section set between a dreamlike beginning and end. Alphabetical Portraits conceptually depicts seven composers by associating the letters in their surnames with notes of the chromatic scale. Inezie deliziose is a collection of miniature album leaves heralding the frivolity of an imaginary past. Fantasia No 7 contrapuntally pays homage to Renaissance vihuelists. Il flauto nel bosco - Omaggio a Grazia Deledda: a sonatina based on the Nobel Prize-winning Sardinian author's renowned collection of short stories. La regina delle tenebre - Su un racconto di Grazia Deledda is inspired by an eponymous short story, again by the Sardinian author. La guitarra callada - Homage to Frederic Mompou seeks to convey the Catalan composer's atmospheres. Quaderno di aprile is a minimalist diary, composed almost compulsively along a few days in April. Mirando un cuadro de Goya is one possible interpretation of the painter's Pavo muerto. Microsuite is designed to provide an introduction to contemporary musical languages. Petite Suite mécanique honours three guitarists from different eras: Robert de Visée, Miguel Llobet and Leo Brouwer. Sette aforismi: short, sparse studies on timbre and colour. Sonatina autunnale sits somewhere between Manuel Ponce and Alfredo Casella. Sonatina estiva pays tribute to Carlo Carrà and his paintings of seaside shacks. Tarreghiana: a theme and variations based on Tárrega's famous Prelude in A minor. Wintergarten is a farewell stroll in a Schumannesque winter garden, evoking chorales and with variations.

Louis Massonneau: 3 Duos Concertante Op 9
Dylan Baraldi, violin; Demian Baraldi, cello
Brilliant Classics 96758
Release: 1 May 2024
Attractive Classical-era duets for violin and cello in world-premiere recordings by a young Italian pair of brothers. Despite his French name, Louis Massonneau was a German composer, born in Kassel in 1766 and dying at the venerable age of eighty-two in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in 1848. His father was chef to the Landgrave Friedrich II of Hessen-Kassel, and Louis received his musical training at the hands of the court musicians in Kassel, soon becoming a violinist in the court orchestra. The Landgrave died when Massonneau was nineteen, and the orchestra disbanded, requiring him to seek his fortune elsewhere. This he did in a series of posts, as a concertmaster of court and theatre orchestras in Göttingen, Frankfurt, Altona, Dessau, Hamburg and finally Mecklenburg, where he settled for good and retired in 1837. Composing all the while, Massonneau left behind a fairly substantial catalogue. Almost completely unknown apart from a trio of oboe quartets, it includes three symphonies, twelve symphonies and six violin concertos, doubtless written with his own talents in mind. These three Duos Concertante probably date from Massonneau's time in Altona, when he came to know the cellist Martin Calmus. Required to perform duets for the entertainment of those attending 'Musical Academies', Massonneau doubtless found a dearth of such repertoire, and wrote it afresh. Calmus himself must have been an accomplished cellist, because both parts demonstrate a virtuosity and experimental spirit shared with the better-known music of their contemporary Boccherini. Each duo is cast in three movements, skilfully varied in form from the others, in which lyrical expression is tempered by a touch of irony. Haydnesque touches of major-minor ambiguity lend dramatic tension to the first duo, while a more balletic spirit and Mozartian melodic charm brings a quasi-operatic character to the second. No 3 is the most innovative in its rapid conversational interplay between violin and cello and unconventional range of timbre. Demian and Dylan Baraldi have made this recording with the cooperation of the Edition Massonneau, and authoritative booklet notes from the Edition illuminate the composer's life and work.

Nicolas Vallet: Lute Music
Yavor Genov, lute
Brilliant Classics 96925
Release: 1 May 2024
The lute master Nicolas Vallet (c 1583-c 1642) lived and worked in a borderland between musical categories. The first three decades of his life were spent in France, then his musical career and published compositions unfolded in Amsterdam. Widely acknowledged as a lute and dance teacher in the Netherlands, he also won fame as one of the most important and prolific authors of sacred music for his instrument, making lute settings of the Calvinist psalms from the Genevan Psalter. Vallet lived when the lute was undergoing significant changes in terms of tuning, right hand technique and predominant genres, with the impulse for some of these changes coming from his French compatriots. Yet he demonstrates that the older Renaissance approaches towards both composition and performance are still relevant. An impressive part of his repertoire comprises contrapuntal preludes and fantasias following the manner of the masters of previous generations, in which various thematic motives and complex abstract forms are woven into the polyphonic texture. At the same time his lute collections include vast variety of dances, some of which were just entering the performance practice of the time, such as the Sarabande and Bourée. The volume Regia Pietas is entirely dedicated to Protestant (Calvinist) sacred music intabulated for lute solo. Most of the psalms are arranged in two parts. Vallet's main approaches to these chants is to either develop them as a set of variations or provide them a contrapuntal treatment. This shows that Vallet's output covers the three instrumental genres of the Renaissance: free abstract pieces (preludes and fantasias), dances and settings of vocal pieces. For this recording a ten-course lute is used, strung in gut at 415 Hz. This type of gut stringing considerably affects the overall sound of the lute, its resonance and sonority, hopefully bringing the lute a bit closer to what one might imagine as an 'original' sound of the time.

Bach à la française
Olivier Penin, organ
Brilliant Classics 97279
Release: 1 May 2024
Virtuoso transcriptions for many of J S Bach's best-known instrumental pieces, performed on the superb Cavaille-Coll instrument at Sainte-Clotilde in Paris by its prodigiously gifted titular organist. Born in 1981, Olivier Penin began playing the piano at the age of five and in 1987 he joined the Schola Cantorum in Caen. In 2004, at the age of twenty-three, he was appointed to the tribune of the great organ of the basilica of Sainte-Clotilde in Paris. This was a remarkable achievement for so youthful a musician, and Penin has become one of France's most illustrious organists, filling the shoes of such distinguished titulaires as César Franck, Gabriel Pierné and Charles Tournemire and Jean Langlais. Sainte-Clotilde seems to have attracted so distinguished a lineage of composer-organists in part because of the versatility of the instrument installed there by Cavaillé-Coll in 1859. Frank remarked: 'If you only knew how I love this instrument ... it is so supple beneath my fingers and so obedient to all my thoughts!' While they bear only a tangential relationship to the North-German organs known by Bach, being much more highly coloured, the Cavaillé-Coll instruments have a clarity of articulation and power that measures up to the composer's music in its own magnificent way. This is especially well illustrated in the art of transcription which Olivier Penin both practises himself and celebrates with this recital. He includes his own versions of the Air ('on a G string') from the Third Orchestral Suite, and the Sicilienne from the E flat major Flute Sonata, alongside classics of the repertoire, beginning with Marcel Dupré's dazzling distillation of the Sinfonia from BWV 29 (itself an orchestral version by Bach of the Preludio in E from the Third Violin Sonata. Virgil Fox's Gothically gloomy elaboration of Komm, süsser Tod closes out the recital, which has as its centrepiece a similarly monumental version of the D minor Chaconne (again originally for solo violin) by Henri Messerer.

George Benjamin: Complete Piano Works
Erik Bertsch, piano
Piano Classics PCL10287
Release: 1 May 2024
The only collected survey of George Benjamin's piano music on record, from a Dutch pianist who specialises in new music and has worked closely with the composer. Benjamin (born 1960) was an accomplished pianist as well as composer from his early years, and it seems natural in retrospect that his first published work should be the Piano Sonata he composed in 1977-8, as a prodigious student of Olivier Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod. Certain harmonic touches may mark the sonata out as the work of 'a Messiaen pupil' but the unsettled, leaping gestural sense of the piece is particular to Benjamin. So much of Benjamin's later music is fascinatingly prefigured here, including a sense of timing for a gradual accumulation of tension ('stormy eruptions' and 'savage violence' in the composer's words) that marks out his first major orchestral score, Ringed by the Flat Horizon. Underlying that sense of timing is a feeling for dramatic gesture which has found its natural expression in a series of operas written during the last twenty years. Dedicated to Loriod, Sortilèges (1981) makes clear its French heritage in the notes as well as the title, while the three subsequent Studies for piano, composed over the next four years, find Benjamin working out intricate rhythmic problems and their solutions. Even the Relativity Rag takes a quirky, sideways look at its superficially familiar material. The next piano pieces had to wait until 2001, and the Shadowlines which Benjamin wrote for Pierre-Laurent Aimard. This set of six canonic preludes takes Benjamin's inclination to distill and pare back to a new level, while the piano writing itself is richer and more unselfconsciously informed by the heritage of piano literature. Finally, there are the Piano Figures of 2004, written for students of the piano and accordingly pitched at a technically lower level than the other pieces, but no less preoccupied with the rhythmic games and sudden swerves of thought that are hallmarks of his most complex music. All these pieces have been recorded, but never by the same pianist, making Erik Bertsch's new collection unique, and indispensable for any collector of new music.

Beethoven: Con alcune licenze - Hammerklavier Sonata Op 106; Piano Sonata Op 110; Grosse Fuge Op 133 (piano solo version)
Andrea Molteni, piano
Piano Classics PCL10309
Release: 1 May 2024
New recordings of late Beethoven at his most heroic and visionary. With his 'Hammerklavier' Sonata of 1818, the composer challenged pianists and listeners alike to assimilate a work unprecedented in its length and complexity. Motivically linked by a descending third through the eventful course of its four movements, the Sonata opens with a precipitous Allegro. A mordant Scherzo then introduces a long and spiritually engaged slow movement, before the mighty finale hurtles towards its epic conclusion through a densely wrought fugue. In each aspect, then, the Sonata outlines blueprints for what would become known as Beethoven's late style, whether expressed in solo, chamber, orchestral or vocal music. The most celebrated single result of that late style is the Grosse Fuge which Beethoven wrote as the finale to his String Quartet Op 131. Persuaded by his publisher to substitute it for a less arduous conclusion, Beethoven left this mighty fugue to stand on its own, and so it has stood ever since, as a ferocious yet rewarding exercise of concentration and contrapuntal art. Molteni presents it in a nineteenth century arrangement made by Louis Winkler which has attracted surprisingly few recordings. At the centre of Molteni's recital, the Sonata Op 110 offers salutary contrast. Here too are examples of heroism, rustic humour and melancholy, but distilled to an essence of vitality.


26 APRIL 2024

Kevin Puts: The Hours
Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Kelli O'Hara, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus / Yannick Nézet-Seguin
Release: 26 April 2024
'Even though it deals with death head-on, the piece is life-affirming and tells a timeless story. The characters' struggles are shared universally ... hopefully, everybody can find a part of themselves in the story.' - Joyce DiDonato. Based on both the award-winning 2002 film directed by Stephen Daldry and the original novel by Michael Cunningham, Kevin Puts' The Hours interweaves characters and events from three different periods of the twentieth century. Premiered at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 2022 with Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming and Kelli O'Hara as its stars, the production returns to The Met with the same cast in May 2024.

Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice
Jakub Józef Orliński, Elsa Dreisig, Fatma Said, Il Giardino d'Amore, Stefan Plewniak
Release: 26 April 2024
Orfeo has quickly become one of Jakub Józef Orliński's signature roles; now, he releases his own recording of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, the culmination of a long-held dream. To bring his interpretation to life, the Polish countertenor acted as producer, casting director and joint artistic director - his first involvement with an opera production on a directorial level. Recorded in Orliński's native city, Warsaw, this recording was conducted by Stefan Plewniak with Il Giardino d'Amore, featuring an all-star cast with Elsa Dreisig as Euridice and Fatma Said as Amore.

Brindley Sherratt: Fear No More
Brindley Sherratt, bass; Julius Drake, piano
Delphian Records DCD34313
Release: 26 April 2024
Brindley Sherratt's pre-eminence as an operatic bass is the result of two daring career shifts. Initially trained as a trumpeter, he gave up his first instrument as a student to become a singer. Yet even then, it was only in his mid-thirties that he left the professional security of a position in the BBC Singers to explore the world of opera. Now, the voyage of discovery continues as Sherratt turns to the intimate medium of the song recital. With the superb pianist Julius Drake as collaborator, in Fear No More Sherratt draws on all of his accumulated technical and expressive wisdom to traverse death-haunted songs by Schubert, Mussorgsky and Richard Strauss before arriving at a final group of five twentieth-century English songs in which consolation and acceptance are the keynotes.

Cantabile: Anthems for Viola
Jordan Bak, viola; Richard Uttley, piano
Delphian Records DCD34317
Release: 26 April 2024
The Jamaican-American violist Jordan Bak has already achieved international acclaim for his radiant stage presence, dynamic interpretations and fearless power. In his Delphian debut, joined by the outstanding pianist Richard Uttley, he offers powerful readings of two substantial twentieth-century works - Arnold Bax's Sonata for Viola and Piano and Benjamin Britten's Lachrymae: Reflections on a song of John Dowland, written respectively for Lionel Tertis and William Primrose - and sets them alongside more recent music for solo viola by Jonathan Harvey and Bright Sheng. The viola's capacity for deeply felt, wordless song is further explored in Augusta Read Thomas's Song without Words, receiving its premiere recording in a version specially composed for Bak and Uttley.

Jeff Beal: The New York Études
Platoon PLAT22759
Release: 26 April 2024
A celebrated multi-Emmy award composer of music for film and stage, Jeff Beal has honed an instantly recognisable musical voice. From his student years learning to improvise on the trumpet, to discovering the endless possibilities in harmonic colour and chord spacing on the piano, Beal's music is rooted in intuition and the ritual of practice. The New York Études, ten new works for solo piano, were composed in the months after Beal relocated to New York City in 2021. Meditative, rich and complex, each piece reveals a master's understanding of voice leading and harmony. Beal hopes that these works will become a part of other pianists' repertoire. The album was recorded in his home in Manhattan. It has long been recognised that regular piano playing sharpens motor skills and boosts cognitive function. There are a host of benefits reaped from time spent at the piano - and recent studies have shown that in Multiple Sclerosis sufferers, regular piano playing can improve hand function, limb co-ordination and agility. Beal was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2007 and says 'The practice of making music is of utmost importance in my daily life.  When I received my diagnosis, I researched ways that I might strengthen my brain.  Learning about music's impact on neuroplasticity, or the rewiring of the brain around areas of damage, gave me the impetus I needed to spend more time at the piano. These compositions are an organic result of this.' The majority of Beal's MS lesions were displayed on the corpus callosum - an area often hyper-developed in musicians, as it connects the right and left hemisphere. His quality of life is directly linked to cognitive function and his daily practice has become essential for sustaining brain health.  Beal adds 'An added benefit I discovered while composing and practicing the Études was the sense of calm and focus I experienced.  I've become keenly aware of the importance of wellness rituals for all of us that promote good mental, spiritual, and physical health.' These ten piano pieces give a personal reintroduction to Beal's compositional artistry, and offer a new window into the music of a composer, whose dedication to his craft shows in every creative decision.

Fenella Humphreys: Prism
Rubicon RCD1127
Release: 26 April 2024
Fenella brings a unique programme called 'Prism' which focuses on unaccompanied violin pieces of new works written by young British composers: Michael Small, Bethan Morgan-Williams & Cheryl Frances-Hoad. Among these fresher works, Fenella also brings more iconic works by influential contemporary composers from the UK and the USA: Caroline Shaw, Jessie Montgomery, George Walker and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. One of the highlights of the album is Fenella's new arrangement of J S Bach's Toccata and Fugue BWV 565. 'This album grew out of a longing to keep performing music that I was gifted, arranged or first discovered during the spring of 2020.' - Fenella Humphreys

Tchaikovsky: String Quartets Vol 1
Dudok Quartet Amsterdam
Rubicon RCD1103
Release: 26 April 2024
Rubicon Classics presents the first volume of Tchaikovsky's string quartets with the Dudok Quartet Amsterdam. The Quartet is well known for their beautiful vintage instruments and their fondness of nineteenth century music, which is why they have selected two chamber works by Tchaikovsky. String Quartet No 1 in D which has Tchaikovsky's famous Andante Cantabile & String Quartet No 2 in F. Tchaikovsky referred to this work as one of his best as it encapsulates his essence so simply and easily, the reason being - he wrote it in one sitting. Bringing the album to a close is a special arrangement of 'Lensky's Aria' from 'Eugene Onegin', written by the quartet's cellist David Faber.

A Breaking Sky
Charlie Grey and Joseph Peach
Braw Sailin'
Release: 26 April 2024
The duo's innovative approach to music-making, marked by their distinctive visual interpretations and intuitive improvisation, sets A Breaking Sky apart as a truly immersive and evocative listening experience, combining both the rich traditions of folk with elements of instrumental and contemporary classical music. Forgoing pre-arranged compositions in favour of free improvisation, the Glasgow-based duo sought to capture the essence of their creative process in its purest form with this record - resulting in an unparalleled level of originality, authenticity and raw emotion. Central to the album's sonic identity is the recording setting of Ardkinglas House on the shores of Loch Fyne in Argyll, renowned for its exquisite acoustics and vintage pianos. The decision to record entirely live, with Charlie and Joseph performing in the same room, lends an intimate and spontaneous quality to the music, further enhanced by the analogue mixing process overseen by acclaimed engineer and co-producer Mattie Foulds.

Jan Martin Smordal: My Favorite Thing
Release: 26 April 2024
Between 2015-2017, Smordal composed three works under the name 'My Favorite Thing', consisting of music for the percussion trio Pinquins (MFT 1), Ensemble neoN (MFT 2), and the Broadcasting Orchestra (MFT 3).  Based on interviews with all participating performers, Smordal has interpreted
the performers' formative encounters with music from childhood. The works consist of direct quotations, abstracted reflections and free retellings. Smordal has long been concerned with mechanisms behind herd behaviour, reflex movements, self-standing patterns and spontaneous social dynamics. Thoughts about such phenomena, and concretizing and interpreting such phenomena as sound and flow, have been the springboard for much of his work over the past ten years. On this release you can hear an early example of this, where an individual's short-term memory forms an entire swarm, 'Flock of me' played by Yumi Murakami. The disc also contains another early work 'less-sense'. The piece was written for and performed by Silje Aker Johnsen, Kristine Tjogersen and Ane Marthe Sorlien Holen. Through a text fragment by Augustine, the I-person tries to remove his former self, gradually by unraveling his own note. Jan Martin Smordal (born 1978) is a composer and performer. He is also a member and co-founder of Ensemble neoN, an award- winning new music collective that initiates and implements projects internationally. Smrdal is an established composer with works for orchestra and chamber ensembles, in addition to installations, choral works and improvisations in various forms. He is co-recipient of a number of Spellemannprize, and in 2022 received Arne Nordheim's Composer's Prize.

Aurora - Works for Cello and Piano by Jerzy Gablenz
Pawel Czarakcziew, cello; Piotr Kowal, piano
Dux Recording Producers DUX2046
Release: 26 April 2024
With this album, the Czarakcziew/Kowal Duo pay tribute to the forgotten Cracow composer Jerzy Gablenz, who, endowed with an outstanding compositional talent, also partly devoted himself to running a family business and studying law. Despite this, Gablenz still managed to write, among others, an opera, symphonic poems, a piano concerto and above all 86 songs, which were his favourite form of expression. Three of them, in the duo's original arrangement, are featured on this album, together with a monumental cello sonata. Gablenz uses a post-romantic style, full of momentum and mood changes. One can find here echoes of the oeuvre of his professors, Zelenski and Nowowiejski, but also of Rachmaninoff. The extensive form and dense texture are a challenge for performers, but also an incentive to regularly present this work on stage. The Czarakcziew/Kowal Duo is co-created by artists associated with the Cracow Academy of Music, winners of international competitions, actively performing both solo and chamber music. They specialize in searching for outstanding but unknown twentieth and 21st century music.

Monk of Salzburg: Nicodemus Passion - A medieval adaptation
Duo Enssle-Lamprecht, Susanne Ansorg
Release: 26 April 2024
The fascinating and elusive figure of the Monk of Salzburg, whose actual name we will probably never know, has been enriched by a further work - a Passion setting that can be linked to the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus and which the Enssle-Lamprecht duo sensually and poetically bring to life with their incomparable virtuosity and an astonishing arsenal of medieval instruments.

Freedom - George Frideric Handel: Oratorio Arias
La Sfera Armoniosa, Oscar Verhaar, Mike Fentross
Challenge Classics CC72973
Release: 26 April 2024
The debut album by young countertenor Oscar Verhaar showcases eight arias drawn from Handel's English oratorios.Freedom is a dominant theme in the English oratorios of Georg Friedrich Handel
These grand works are mostly based on biblical stories that deal with resistance, suppression, captivity and, finally, freedom. In his oeuvre we find impressive slave choruses and many arias about (the lack of) freedom, eight of which are presented on this album.As a versatile early music singer, countertenor Oscar Veraar has been performing major works by composers such as Bach and Handel next to lesser-known music from the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century. His interest in performance practice also leads him to do much of the required musicological research for these works. In this recording he can benefit from the invaluable support of an experienced orchestra like La Sfera Armoniosa, conducted by Mike Fentross.

Clori 1662 - Music from 400 Years ago
Ensemble Del Passato
Dux Recording Producers DUX1667
Release: 26 April 2024
Ensemble Del Passato is distinguished by its passion for early music and the subtle sound of voice, lute and guitars. The musicians search for forgotten old prints and manuscripts to creatively but faithfully recreate their probable forms and sounds. This debut album from Ensemble del Passato is the fruit of research on songs that today remain in the shadow of larger, late Baroque forms. The album features works by Italian composers - Biagio Marini, Carlo Milanuzzi and Giovanni Stefani. They share a simplified tablature notation, the so-called alfabeto, which facilitated their performance. They are influenced by, among others, sung dances of Iberian origin based on folk lyrics. There are also compositions modelled on court dances, more harmonically and poetically refined. The texts use the then popular love motifs. Despite the lack of virtuoso passages, the pieces are a charming testimony to the shape of the European musical culture from four centuries ago.

Benjamin Oliver: Too Many Sweets
Hannah Williams, Riot Ensemble, Yshani Perinpanayagam, Cliodna Shanahan, Dorothy Chan, Ensemble Saxologie
Birmingham Record Company BRC024
Release: 26 April 2024
This portrait album showcasing the work of composer Benjamin Oliver is filled to the brim with filthy crooked grooves and shameless flirtations with the nearest triad, with Oliver enlisting the help of chipmusic composer Blake Troise (aka PROTODOME) and his troupe of little beeping synths as a means to explore his love for all things human alongside his intrigue for the non-sentient. There is a strong jazz influence on the record, not only in the sound but also infused in Oliver's ideology. His desire to explore the feel and sound of individual players and voices as keenly as the instrumentation itself is at the heart of his practice. This music is precise, deeply technical, with a strong invitation for performer interpretation. Oliver's relationship with 1-bit synthesisers, contemporary AI lyric generation and everything in between continues to evolve; having begun the journey with players and synths more in opposition, he is now looking to the machine as a direct collaborator. Both approaches lead to highly inventive and unique works. Keyboard instruments feature heavily. Pianist Yshani Perinpanayagam performs Drip Feeder (recently selected for the British section of the ISCM); Cliodna Shanahan plays on the London Sinfonietta commissioned A- Listers; and New York based (toy) pianist Dorothy Chan features on the title track Too Many Sweets (when Dorothy met Blake). Oliver's strong links with the Montreal contemporary music scene are represented by Ensemble Saxologie in their recording of new saxophone quartet Avalanche. The heart of album is British soul sensation Hannah Williams performing Oliver's AI-informed song cycle Love Letters, alongside a quartet of UK new music royalty from Riot Ensemble. Benjamin Oliver is a composer, conductor and jazz pianist. His music has been performed by leading musicians including lutenist Elizabeth Kenny, Ensemble Paramirabo and London Sinfonietta, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as well as recorded and released by labels including Linn and Prima Facie. Oliver is Associate Professor in Composition at the University of Southampton.

Scott McLaughlin: we are environments for each other
Mira Benjamin, Zubin Kanga, Scott McLaughlin
Huddersfield Contemporary Records HCR33
Release: 26 April 2024
Developed over ten years of collaborative work between Scott McLaughlin, violinist Mira Benjamin and pianist Zubin Kanga, 'we are environments for each other' takes the listener on a journey of shifting textural layers, evolving harmonic structures, and slow musical contemplation. Here violin and piano eschew conventional chamber music idioms to conjure fluctuating, sustained drones. This record continues McLaughlin's long standing work with the idea of 'material indeterminacy', using the way an instrument responds in the hands of a performer to guide musical forms. In these pieces, music exists not as sequences of predetermined sounds but as sets of possibilities; areas of exploration for the performers to carefully unfold. Each recording on this record is just one possible realisation of the work, tightly bounded within an agreed soundworld, but with the possibility to take a different direction in the moment of any performance. In the opening track, we are environments for each other [trio], the instruments are no longer texturally distinct, as the electric violin becomes part of a feedback system that resonates the strings of the piano, merging together in a manner that is at once a single entangled thing, and two competing inputs to a complex system. In the endless mobility of listening, the specially devised technique of 'drone-bowing' takes the re-tuned violin into a world of harmonics and noise, surrounded by ethereal electronic textures. Finally, in the unknown there is already a script for transcendence a recognisable piano sound acts as a bell-like refrain, although the piano's strings are mostly excited by an EBow, rather than by striking the keyboard, eliciting sustained, slowly-shifting textures. 'we are environments for each other' is a record that showcases McLaughlin's use of material indeterminacy to elicit compellingly original musical relationships, an exploration of sounds on the edge, of becoming nothing or more-than-one-thing.

C P E Bach and C F Abel: Sonatas for Viola da Gamba & Fortepiano
Rebeka Ruso; Sebastian Wienand
Christophorus CHE02322
Release: 26 April 2024
The era of the viola da gamba had already largely come to an end with Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's early classical period, but the composer nevertheless dedicated three wonderful sonatas to this instrument. The fortepiano, which is used for the accompaniment (and also appears as the obbligato instrument in the Sonata in G minor), was only at the beginning of its great development. Bach's sonatas are complemented by two works by his contemporary Carl Friedrich Abel, who is regarded as the last virtuoso of the viola da gamba. The combination of viola da gamba and fortepiano offers a marvellous charm and does justice to the rich nuances of this music between the baroque and classical periods. The sensitive interpretation by Rebeka Ruso and Sebastian Wienand further enhances the appeal of this remarkable music.

La suave melodia
Michael Oman; Austrian Baroque Company
Fra Bernardo FB2401574
Release: 26 April 2024
Founded in 2003 by Austrian recorder player Michael Oman, the Austrian Baroque Company is one of the country's leading early music ensembles. In its founding year, the ensemble recorded instrumental music from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries from the Mediterranean region for the ORF label. On the occasion of the ensemble's twentieth anniversary, the highly acclaimed recording will be re-released on Fra Bernardo.

Liszt: Unrivalled, Volume 2
Michael Kaykov, piano
Odradek Records ODRCD455
Release: 26 April 2024
American pianist and academic Michael Kaykov follows his first Odradek release, Liszt: Unrivalled, with Unrivalled Volume 2, an album devoted to the composer's extraordinary late piano works. Underestimated at the time, Liszt's late piano works are increasingly recognised as masterpieces of innovation, pushing the boundaries of tonality and style with a radical daring that paved the way for modernism. Each work on this album is an illustration of these remarkable developments. Highlights include the Csardas macabre which features empty sequences of fifths, almost minimalist rhythmic repetitions and chromatic undulations of pared- back melodic lines. The Impromptu, S 191 lives up to the spontaneity of its name, while the last four of the nineteen Hungarian Rhapsodies were composed some thirty years after the first fifteen and have a completely different character, epitomising Liszt's ascetic late style. The Funeral Prelude and Funeral March are pervaded with chromaticism, dissonant harmonies, augmented intervals and tonal ambiguity, while brevity and simplicity characterise the Mephisto Polka. The Bagatelle sans tonalite, with its extreme chromaticism and dissolution of functional harmony, heralds a new musical epoch beyond the Romantic era with which Liszt is most often associated. Michael Kaykov approaches this magnificent repertoire with sensitivity, nuance and breath-taking skill.

Libertad - The Will to Freedom
Maria Cecilia Munoz, Tiffany Butt
Ars Produktion ARS38338 (SACD)
Release: 26 April 2024
When selecting the works for this recording, Tiffany Butt and Maria Cecilia Munoz looked at different eras to understand the impact that oppression and lack of freedom had on the creative process. They were not so much interested in what people were unable to do due to restrictive situations and adverse circumstances, but above all in what they achieved despite these circumstances. During their research, they came across impressive artistic personalities who have left behind music of great value.

Joel-Francois Durand: Geister
Kairos Records KAI0022200
Release: 26 April 2024
This double album with compositions from the last two decades offers an insight into the diverse musical soundscape of Joel-Francois Durand. From Mirror Land (2005) to Geister, schwebende Geister... (2020), Durand's work shows a unique development characterised by his use of microtonality. The poetic dialogues of the Fernando Pessoa-inspired Quatuor a cordes No 2: Cantar de Amigo (2020) and Durand's ongoing exploration of microtonal spaces in La descente de l'ange (2022) reveal a dynamic and transformative universe of this extraordinary composer. Performers on this recording: Szilard Benes, Mivos Quartet, Olivia De Prato, Ensemble Dal Niente, Michael Lewanski, Victor Lowrie Tafoya, Quatuor Bozzini, Constance Volk and Katherine Jimoh.

Wind Quintets - Francaix, Hindemith, Ibert, Taffanel
Syrinx Quintet
MDG MDG10223162
Release: 26 April 2024
The individual instruments merge with a rarely heard homogeneity to create an
ensemble sound that is unrivalled. When the composer Jean Francaix heard this recording he congratulated them with a handwritten letter: 'The recording of my quintet is excellent. In a way, you have captured my musical thoughts exactly in photographic form: There can be no greater compliment from an author. Not to mention your technique, which is marvellous.' A speciality of the Syrinx Quintet was their absolute fusion of sounds and extreme virtuosity. In the final movement of the Francaix quintet it is almost impossible to discern whether the clarinet or the flute is leading the virtuoso alternation of the ornaments. Similarly, the horn and bassoon sometimes form an almost indistinguishable tonal unity.

Prokofiev: Piano Sonatas, Vol II
David Jalbert, piano
ATMA Classique ACD22462
Release: 26 April 2024
Canadian pianist David Jalbert returns with the much-anticipated second volume (Nos
5 to 7) of Prokofiev's complete piano sonatas. Released in 2021, Volume I
received widespread critical acclaim. A virtuoso with a warm, elegant style and a wide-ranging repertoire, pianist David Jalbert has established himself among the elite of a new generation of classical musicians. Named by the CBC among the fifteen best Canadian pianists of all time, Jalbert performs regularly as a soloist and recitalist around the world. As a soloist, Jalbert has performed with Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Skitch Henderson, Bramwell Tovey and others. An accomplished chamber musician, he has collaborated with such artists as Nicola Benedetti, Rachel Barton Pine, Bomsori and Jean-Philippe Collard. A national and international prize-winner, David Jalbert has won six Opus Awards, was nominated five times at the Juno Awards and was the 2007 laureate of the prestigious Virginia Parker Prize awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Histoires de guitares III
David Jacques, guitar
ATMA Classique ACD22868
Release: 26 April 2024
Guitarist David Jacques returns with the third volume of 'Histoires de guitares' (Guitar Stories), featuring sixteen historical guitars from his private collection, most of them built by the best nineteenth century luthiers. Each guitar is featured in repertoire that suits the instrument's character, and each has a unique story to tell. In the early 1800s, the fruitful collaboration between composers and guitar-makers greatly enabled the instrument's evolution, thanks to a variety of models, materials, and techniques. The guitar was considered the most fashionable instrument of the time, a must-have in nineteenth century music halls and European courts. The rare guitars from Jacques' private collection hail among other cities from Strasbourg, Moscow, Paris, Mirecourt, Cadix and Quebec - the major cities where the finest guitars were crafted for outstanding musicians. Guitarist and lutenist David Jacques has a PhD in early music performance from the Universite de Montreal. His discography consists of fifty-plus recordings on the XXI-21, ATMA Classique, Oz and Analekta labels, several of which have been nominated for ADISQ, Juno, Opus and ECHO Klassik prizes.

Sibelius 2 & 5
Orchestre Metropolitain de Montreal / Yannick Nezet-Seguin
ATMA Classique ACD22453
Release: 26 April 2024
Recorded at Maison symphonique de Montreal, this new release is part of ATMA Classique's complete cycle of Sibelius symphonies launched in 2019 with Symphony No 1. The two symphonies on this recording are among the best-loved works of Jean Sibelius. Symphony No  2 marks the conclusion of his first stylistic phase. Like many other Finnish patriotic artists around the turn of the century, Sibelius identified as a national Romantic. Symphony No 5, on the other hand, established the foundations of what would become Sibelius' mature style, in which he pushed concentration and austerity to extreme limits. The popularity of these two works has never faltered since they were premiered in Helsinki more than a century ago. Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orchestre Metropolitain since 2000, Yannick Nezet-Seguin signed a 'lifelong' commitment with the Orchestre in September 2019.

In Evening Light: Vasks, Schubert
Sebastian Bohren, Sergei Bolkhovets, Munchener Kammerorchester
Avie AV2662
Release: 26 April 2024
Sebastian Bohren's first recording of 'In Evening Light', the second violin concerto by Peteris Vasks, comes twenty-five years after the celebrated Latvian composer's first, 'Distant Light', one of the most successful, oft-performed and recorded concertos by a living a composer. 'In Evening Light' - a three-movement, 38-minute work - is beautiful and contemplative, evoking a twilit world immersed in muted colours and permeated with deep shadows and dramatic contrasts. The album ends as it begins, with another atmospheric Vasks work. 'Lonely Angel' is an homage to his late mother who lived through practically the whole of the twentieth century. The composer explains: 'This piece is the vision of an angel flying alone above humankind, filled with grief at how cruel and aggressive we are to each other. Like a guardian angel he touches the earth with his wings and in that way offers us comfort and healing.' Sandwiched in between is the contrasting, classical era Rondo in B minor by Franz Schubert, arranged for violin and strings. Preceding Vasks' works by nearly two centuries, Schubert similarly revels in exploring ambience and spaciousness.

Requiem - Brahms; Mozart; Cherubini
Kammerchor Stuttgart, Hofkapelle Stuttgart, Barockorchester Stuttgart, Klassische Philharmonie Stuttgart / Frieder Bernius
CARUS CAR83054 (Box set)
Release: 26 April 2024
Three key works of the requiem literature are brought together here: Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem Opus 45, Mozart's Requiem KV 626 and the Requiem in C minor by Luigi Cherubini, which was composed in 1817 for the church funeral service for Louis XVI, who was executed during the French Revolution in 1793. The Stuttgart Chamber Choir, the Hofkapelle Stuttgart, the Klassische Philharmonie Stuttgart and the Stuttgart Baroque Orchestra will perform under the direction of Frieder Bernius. The soloists are Julia Borchert, Vasiljka Jezovsek, Claudia Schubert, Marcus Ullmann and Michael Volle.

Wide as Heaven: A Century of Song by Black American Composers
James Martin, Lynn Raley
New World NW80845
Release: 26 April 2024
This collection of songs represents one hundred years of music produced by American composers and poets of colour. 'Some identify(ied) as African- American, some Black, some men, some women, and some insisted they were beyond classification, adamant that their work speak for itself. Unfortunately, too many of these voices have been stifled from inclusion in our American story thus far. But the time is right, and the fruit is ripe for the picking. The harvest has come in, and the first fruits of the fields yield a bounty of beauty so remarkable that silence is no longer an option. In fact, it is annihilated. Where once the famed halls of old lived on solely in black and white, they are now alive and brimming in technicolor, vividly representative of truth and creative vision - Heaven. The songs collected here are a mere sampling of the finest of those neglected voices. Most are from our published archives. Some have been recorded from transcriptions of sound recordings. Are they "art" songs? Are they popular songs? Is it jazz, Bebop, or blues? Is it "classical" music? It is music, in all cases. Music to be enjoyed and reflected upon. Performed with integrity and informed enthusiasm by all who would approach it. Resist the urge to classify and segregate. Enjoy the creativity and savor the sounds of words and music dancing together as one in each singular work of art.' - James Martin


19 APRIL 2024

Aleksander Dębicz
Warner Classics
Release: 19 April 2024
Polish pianist-composer Aleksander Dębicz releases his sixth album, Magnolia, consisting of eleven original compositions featuring guest soloists such as Jakub Józef Orliński, Łukasz Kuropaczewsk, Marcin Zdunik, Michał Ża and Konrad Gołd. Using modern post-production techniques as an integral part of his compositional approach (eg using multi-layering to turn Jakub Józef Orliński's solo voice into a full vocal ensemble), Dębicz explores the full potential of his roles as pianist, composer and producer.

Christopher Cerrone: Beaufort Scales
Lorelei Ensemble
Cold Blue Music
Release: 19 April 2024
This highly anticipated album presents Cerrone's lush, alluring music for treble voices and electronics, a piece that carries with it a cautionary tale for our era of accelerating climate change. The primary text for this album is drawn from the Beaufort Wind Force Scale (a measure of wind speed, originally as it related to observed sea conditions) created by Francis Beaufort in 1805. Interspersed among the thirteen sung movements are narrated interludes featuring four texts taken from the writings of Herman Melville, F Scott Fitzgerald, Anne Carson, and the King James Bible. Each of these comments on the state of weather at a particular point in time, serving as a pause and a moment to reflect upon the surrounding movements.

Stephen Dodgson (1924-2013) Mirage. Piano Music by Stephen Dodgson
Osman Tack, piano
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 0684
Release: 19 April 2024
Featuring twenty-four first recordings, Mirage is the third volume in a series marking the tenth anniversary of Dodgson's death in 2013, and celebrates a composer of 'urbane and civilised' music, as Robert Matthew-Walker describes it in his informative booklet notes. The recital spans seven decades from 1956's Eight Fanciful Pieces - 'a judiciously varied suite ... bound by the directness of utterance that so distinguished Dodgson's music' - to the Six Bagatelles composed between 1998 and 2005 when 'his inspiration burned brightly in his eighties'. Also included are the 'vastly impressive' Piano Sonata No 7 (Dodgson's last) from 2003; the 'significant' Three Impromptus (1962, revised 1985), and the varied, impressionistic Four Moods of the Wind Suite (1968). A bonus track, the Rondo in A flat from 1953, will be available for downloading on digital platforms. Osma Tack is a former Chandos Young Musician of the Year who has performed throughout the UK and internationally as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician (having won the Pro-Corda Festival competition).

Franz Schmidt (1874-1939) The Book with Seven Seals; Symphony No 4
Julius Patzak, tenor (John); Otto Wiener, bass (Voice of the Lord); Hanny Steffek, soprano; Hertha Töpper, alto; Erich Majkut, tenor; Frederick Guthrie, bass (solo quartet); Franz Illenberger, organ; Graz Cathedral Choir; Munich Philharmonic Orchestra / Anton Lippe; Vienna Symphony Orchestra / Rudolf Moralt
SOMM Recordings ARIADNE 5026-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 19 April 2024
SOMM Recordings honours Franz Schmidt, one of the great symphonic composers of the twentieth century, on the 150th anniversary of his birth with this double-disc set featuring two of his masterworks. Revered in his day in his native Austria as the nation's leading composer and an elite teacher, cellist and pianist, his name will not be known to many. This is due, at least in part, to a perceived association with the Third Reich (against which there is ample evidence). This first release on CD of two premiere recordings, meticulously produced and restored by Lani Spahr, showcases Schmidt's unique harmonic language, exceptional contrapuntal skill and mastery of form, qualities which prompted Hans Pfitzner to call Schmidt's Symphony No 4 'nearer perfection than Bruckner, more honest than Richard Strauss and more original than Reger'. Born in Pressburg (Bratislava) in 1874, Schmidt's teachers (piano) included his mother (herself a student of Liszt), Rudolf Mader, Ludwig Burger and Theodor Leschetizky; (cello) Karl Udel and Ferdinand Hellmesberger; and (theory) Felicián Moczik and Robert Fuchs. He was, for a time, principal cellist in the Vienna Philharmonic under Mahler. While his symphonic output is clearly in the structural mould of Schubert, Brahms and Bruckner, his harmonic language, while showing influences of Strauss, Mahler and early Schoenberg, is clearly his own. A near fatal heart attack in the years following the success of his Fourth Symphony prompted the composer to put his efforts into a major religious work. His setting of eight chapters of the last book of the New Testament in Martin Luther's German became The Book with Seven Seals (From the Revelation of St John the Divine), not through-composed but constructed of clearly defined sections in the great nineteenth-century oratorio tradition. The success of this summum opus and his stature in Austria drew the attention of the Nazis, who commissioned Schmidt to write a cantata on partisan texts (which he abandoned, only for it to be completed by a student and nevertheless performed under Schmidt's name). With the fading of this unfortunate association a growing number of prominent conductors -  Järvis, Welser-Möst, Luisi, Bychkov - have begun to revive performances of his music in our time.

The Songs of Thomas Pitfield
James Gilchrist, tenor; Nathan Williamson, piano
Divine Art DDX 21119
Release: 19 April 2024
An album of songs by Thomas Pitfield, a remarkable English composer, artist, craftsman and poet whose catalogue boasts over 150 songs from a lifetime of creativity and dedication. This carefully chosen selection of songs is elegantly presented in a volume adorned with his own captivating artwork. The collection stands as a testament to Pitfield's legacy with evocative interpretations of his songs. A new book, 'Endless Fascination: The Life and Work of Thomas Pitfield, Composer, Artist, Craftsman, Poet', edited by Rosemary Firman and John Turner, will be published by Forsyths, Manchester, UK in May 2024.

The Kreutzer Effect: Edward Cowie
The Kreutzer Quartet
Métier MEX 77103
Release: 19 April 2024
Considered one of the most influential composers inspired by the natural world, Edward Cowie's collaboration with the exceptional Kreutzer String Quartet spans nearly a decade. Now, Cowie presents his seventh string quartet 'Western Australia', specially crafted for the Kreutzer Quartet, accompanied by four solo portrait pieces dedicated to each member. From the ethereal heights of Clifton Harrison's viola to the intricate melodies inspired by the habits of owls for Neil Heyde's cello, Cowie's compositions reflect a profound reverence for both the human animal and the natural world.

12 Preludes & Fugues for Solo Piano: David Johnson
Christopher Guild, piano
Divine Art  DDX 21124
Release: 19 April 2024
David Charles Johnson was a Scottish composer and a scholar of eighteenth-century Scottish music, his research focusing on the music and social life of lowland Scotland during the eighteenth century. Johnson's 12 Preludes and Fugues are among the few significant pieces he composed for the piano. Written in the early to mid 1990s these compositions are notable for their unique blend of sound, reminiscent of twentieth century composers like Hindemith or Prokofiev, while incorporating elements such as quotations from Bach and references to Hugh MacDiarmid's work. They also feature direct quotations of popular tunes like 'Johnny Cope' and 'The Animals Went Marching Two by Two', infused with a distinct Scottish flavour. The Preludes and Fugues are performed by Scottish pianist Christopher Guild.

Les ombres du Fantôme: Robert Sholl & Justin Paterson
Robert Sholl, organ; Anna McCready, soprano; Andy Visser, saxophone and bass clarinet; Justin Paterson, electronics
Métier MEX 77105
Release: 19 April 2024
'Les ombres du Fantôme' presents a captivating exploration of Gaston Leroux's timeless novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra (1910) through fourteen evocative improvisations, composed (planned and formulated) by Robert Sholl and Justin Paterson. Recorded in July 2021 using the majestic organs of Coventry and Arundel Cathedrals, accompanied by soprano voice and saxophone/bass clarinet, these improvisations delve deep into the narrative, themes, characters, and events of Leroux's masterpiece. Robert Sholl is a distinguished educator and scholar and Justin Paterson is a respected teacher of Music Production.

Wind Concertos by Roger Reynolds
Jacqueline Leclair, oboe; Kerstin Thiele, flute; Esbjerg Ensemble / Mathias Reumert
Ekkozone Records Ekkozone04
Release: 19 April 2024
With three upcoming albums, Ekkozone Records celebrates the work of the trailblazing American composer Roger Reynolds and his collaboration with Danish musician and producer Mathias Reumert. The first album in the series, Wind Concertos, features the first recording of Reynolds' oboe concerto, JOURNEY, combined with his landmark electroacoustic flute concerto, Transfigured Wind III. JOURNEY was written for the pre-eminent modern oboist Jacqueline Leclair, who is featured as soloist on the recording.

The Italian Album
Verita Baroque Ensemble
Release: 19 April 2024
The tracks on this album, including the first recording of a commissioned work by Nicola Canzano, were recorded in four different baroque castles. This baroque repertoire is played on historical instruments and recorded in the halls for which it was originally composed, creating an authentic atmosphere. The album is an innovative collaboration with scientists, engineers, filmmakers and marketers using innovative recording and mixing techniques. The album was made in 360* and mixed to create a rich immersive sound experience. Following their debut album, The German Album, the ensemble presents the second album of the series: The Italian Album. Featuring a repertoire of baroque compositions by Corelli, Vivaldi, Albinoni and Galuppi, Verita invites listeners on a captivating journey through time. The album is once again concluded by a specially commissioned neo-baroque piece from one of their composers in residence, Nicola Canzano.

Polish Sounds Vol 2 - Works for Wind Orchestra by Grzegorz Duchnowski
Warsaw Wind Orchestra / Miroslaw Kordowski
Dux Recording Producers DUX1968
Release: 19 April 2024
Grzegorz Duchnowski dedicates his compositional output largely to wind instruments, in various configurations, making an important contribution to the Polish repertoire for wind orchestras. Wind orchestras have a rich tradition in Poland, and the pieces contain many references to Polish folk music; patriotic tones can be found here too. However, there are also numerous harmonies, sounds and rhythms reminiscent of jazz big bands or even heroic motifs from film music. It is light music, colourful, full of different moods, in which wind instruments perfectly harmonize with the extensive percussion section. The musicians, also associated with the Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra and other leading Warsaw ensembles, present an incredible cooperation, a wide range of dynamics, colours and articulation, thus showing the full potential of this unusual instrumentation.

Schutz - A German in Venice
David de Winter, tenor; The Brook Street Band
First Hand Records FHR145
Release: 19 April 2024
One of the key German composers before Bach with more than five hundred surviving individual pieces, Heinrich Schutz wrote mainly church music, and is credited with bringing the Italian style to Germany and continuing its evolution from the Renaissance into the early Baroque. Although he lived most of his long life in Germany, in his twenties Schutz made two visits to Venice. The first was between 1609 and 1613 when he was taught by Giovanni Gabrieli; and the second in the late 1620s to meet and possibly study under Monteverdi. The two trips greatly influenced Schutz's music as he absorbed and began to combine the ornate and theatrical Venetian style with the more understated Lutheran tradition in which he grew up. This album explores his solo cantatas alongside examples of the brilliant and virtuosic Venetian style instrumental music.

C F Abel: The Drexel Manuscript
Krzysztof Firlus
Dux Recording Producers DUX2027
Release: 19 April 2024
The album contains a compilation of works by Carl Friedrich Abel, a composer living in the times of the Bach family, forgotten for two centuries. His manuscripts, saved by the Drexel family - English philanthropists, culture lovers and artists - include both musically excellent and complex compositions. The richness of the dynamic and articulation contrasts sometimes brings to mind Mozart's early symphonies, but sometimes it also takes the listener back to the world of sound solutions from before the Baroque era. The composer used the potential of the viola da gamba to the fullest. Krzysztof Firlus is a versatile musician, gambist and double bassist, a virtuoso working as a chamber musician with the best ensembles; he is also associated with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra. He plays a contemporary copy of the violone (provided with an additional seventh string) with an unusual virtuoso flair and a seductive musical narrative, thanks to which the compositions intended for a solo instrument seem to be played by a larger ensemble, and the music keeps the listener in suspense all the time.

John Zorn - The Hermetic Organ Volume 12 - The Bosch Requiem
Tzadik CDTZA9307
Release: 19 April 2024
Recorded at the Grote Kerk in Den Bosch as part of Zorn's seventieth birthday celebration at November Music in Den Bosch, this exciting performance pays tribute to one of Zorn's seminal influences - the fifteenth century painter Hieronymus Bosch. Performing on two different organs simultaneously, running from one to the other, this is one of the most bizarre installments in the entire Hermetic Organ series. The CD begins with a rare private performance of Zorn alone in the church exploring and stretching the organ's capabilities. For the evening performance, A Pilgrimage Through Hell, Zorn's dear friend and colleague of over thirty years, John Medeski, joins as his organ assistant, and the two of them literally pull out all the stops!

Michael Zev Gordon: The Impermanence of Things
NMC Recordings NMCD277
Release: 19 April 2024
Michael Zev Gordon is a composer whose music is deeply engaged with the subjects of memory and loss. These themes are central to the three large-scale works which comprise this new portrait album, named The Impermanence of Things. The album opens with a seven-movement orchestral work performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jukka Pekka Saraste, which explores our awareness of the passing of time. Time pushes on, time pulls back, before seeming to stand still completely as we journey towards the end of the work. The final movement shares its name with the overall title Bohortha which is a tiny village lying at the end of a remote Cornish peninsula, an evocative symbol of open-endedness. If Bohortha consists of many small, contrasting fragments, the Violin Concerto is constructed more conventionally, with both the work's structure and expressive character being influenced by early exploratory sessions with the soloist, Carolin Widmann. Gordon has commented that he was inspired by 'just how many nuances of singing she could bring to her instrument: intense and open, strained and fragile'. Lyrical melodies collide with dissonant clusters in this recording by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Catherine Larsen-Maguire. Conventions are again turned on their head in The Impermanence of Things for piano (Huw Watkins), ensemble (London Sinfonietta) and electronics. Rather than playing the traditional soloist role, the piano instead acts as a linchpin, around which thirteen short movements revolve. Throughout the work, a constant tension between forward and backward, reveals an ultimate yearning for stillness in the present.

Bach: Goldberg Variations
Walter Feybli, guitar
Ars Produktion ARS38650
Release: 19 April 2024
In his arrangement of the Goldberg Variations, guitarist Walter Feybli has endeavoured to stay as close as possible to the original and to combine the pieces harmoniously. He has deliberately chosen those variations whose character is reminiscent of suite movements and which sound as natural on the guitar as if they were originally intended to be played on the piano.

Mozart: Horn Concertos
Sibylle Mahni, horn; Brandenburger Symphoniker / Andreas Spering
Prospero Classical PROSP0083
Release: 19 April 2024
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote his horn concertos for Joseph Leitgeb (1732-1811), a good friend of the family who was often the target of Mozart's crude humour.  They were written during his time as a freelance composer in Vienna and today form an essential part of the concert repertoire for horn. Here they are interpreted by Sibylle Mahni, Professor of Horn at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin, and the Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Andreas Spering in a rousing, emotional and, above all, 'historically informed' performance.

Proyecto Clarin - 17th Century Spanish Music for Trumpet & Organ
Henry Moderlak; Joan Boronat Sanz; Clara Brunet; Ute Hartwich; Olivier Mourauld; Reto Baumann
Prospero Classical PROSP0080
Release: 19 April 2024
trumpeter Henry Moderlak has put together an extraordinary and particularly appealing album. He is accompanied on the 'Queen of Instruments' by Joan Boronat Sanz. In some of the pieces, the trumpet line-up is extended by three more baroque trumpets and magnificently complemented by timpani.

Elisabeth Harnik: someone will remember us
Bruno Strobl, PHACE, Ensemble Kontrapunkte, Ensemble Zeitfluss, Edo Micic, Judith Ramerstorfer, Trio EIS, Mathilde Hoursiangou, Ensemble NeuRaum, Jaap Blonk, Cantando Admont, Cordula Burgi, Nacho de Paz
Kairos Records KAI0022026
Release: 19 April 2024
'Since the nineties, Elisabeth Harnik's work as an artist has been characterised by two aspects: improvisation and composition. For Harnik, these two activities, which are usually treated as entirely separate entities in music, are two sides of the same coin. This already becomes evident in her improvisational playing, in which she frequently works with piano preparations and extended playing techniques. Exploring, juxtaposing, merging and fusing sounds, she marks out different paths through the soundscape. In doing so, starting from a feminist perspective, she establishes new lines of tradition, often dedicating her works to female artists who represent role models or milestones in her creative work.' - Susanne Kogler

Ija Mia - Music of the Sephardic Diaspora
East of the River, directed by Nina Stern and Daphna Mor
Avie AV2665
Release: 19 April 2024
Directed by Daphna Mor and Nina Stern, this album is inspired by love and commemoration of the musicians' collective cultural backgrounds - Nina's Venetian Jewish ancestry and Daphna's Ladino heritage. Spanning a vast range of Sephardic folk and traditional musics - stories and dances, prayers and anthems - Ija Mia is by turns haunting, soulful and exuberant. Daphna and Nina's cosmopolitan collaborators include an astonishing assortment of musicians including renowned Armenian-American oud player Ara Dinkjian, Silk Road percussionist Shane Shanahan, the phenomenal Israeli bassist Tal Mashiach and Palestinian multi-instrumentalist Zafer Tawil on qanun, violin and percussion.

Dolente Partita: Madonne e Maddalena - works by Monteverdi and his contemporaries
Pia Davila; Bernhard Reichel; Ensemble Musica getutscht
Coviello Classics COV92310
Release: 19 April 2024
Soprano Pia Davila and the ensemble Musica getutscht under the direction of Bernhard Reichel show how Claudio Monteverdi and his contemporaries transferred the modern dramatic style from secular opera to sacred music during the Counter-Reformation. For example, they told the Passion of Christ in a completely new way - namely from the personal perspective of the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene. Both lament the painful parting from Jesus, not only as their savior, but above all as their son and lover.

Sea of Stars
Lauren Scott
Avie AV2675
Release: 19 April 2024
'Scintillating ... the act of light hitting a many faceted object, sparks flying or the execution of something with panache and brilliance. The harp, with its quicksilver sound and ever-shifting resonances, easily fits these definitions.' - Lauren Scott. Sea of Stars casts Lauren's own compositions and arrangements alongside original works by Grace Evangeline Mason, Rudiger Opperman and Monika Stadler. Throughout, Sea of Stars is a brilliant showcase for Lauren's inimitable style and virtuosity, demonstrating her consummate skill as both a lever and pedal harpist.

La Belle Dame - O'Neill, Holst, Delius, Quilter, Scott, Mackenzie, Brian
Roderick Williams, Rupert Marshall-Luck, BBC Concert Orchestra / John Andrews
EM Records EMRCD085
Release: 19 April 2024
In the decades either side of the death of Queen Victoria, British composers were delighting their audiences whilst also searching for their voices in a world where Romanticism was opening out into the ever-greater harmonic and dramatic possibilities that the twentieth century would bring. This disc brings together some of the most vibrant works of those decades, incredibly all in first recordings, with Roderick Williams giving voice to a tradition of large-scale vocal scenes with orchestra that has, sadly, all but disappeared.


12 APRIL 2024

Music in Time of War - Debussy, Komitas
Kirill Gerstein, piano
Platoon PLAT22769
Music in Time of War, the new double-album from pianist Kirill Gerstein, places the music of Komitas, pioneer of ethnomusicology and founder of the Armenian national school of music, alongside that of Claude Debussy, a seminal composer in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who held a deep admiration of Komitas's music. Both composers were profoundly affected by the implosion of their worlds - Komitas by the Armenian Genocide, Debussy by the First World War - and their music reflects a close emotional alignment. Music in Time of War grew from Gerstein's fascination with music's power to reflect a narrative. The project is scheduled for release on 12 April, between the anniversary of Debussy's death (25 March) and Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day (24 April), and is presented with a book that includes a series of illustrations and in-depth essays commissioned by the pianist. Gerstein pairs Debussy's 12 Études from 1915 and Komitas's Armenian Dances for piano, composed the following year, and includes a selection of Debussy's late piano pieces composed to raise funds for the war. The artists featured on the album include Armenian soprano Ruzan Mantashyan, and pianists Thomas Adès and Katia Skanavi - they join Gerstein in a selection of works for voice and piano, piano four hands as well as for two pianos. Accompanying the recording are four in-depth essays from historians Annette Becker and Khatchig Mouradian, musicologist Artur Avanesov and composer Heinz Holliger, that explore the impact of war and genocide on society, and the reaction of artists to such events. These essays give socio-historical context to the music of Debussy and Komitas, and their response to creating in times of catastrophe. Music in Time of War epitomises both Gerstein's creative curiosity and his insightful approach to project curation. His playing is distinguished by a ferocious technique, matched with an intelligent and imaginative musical presence. The album will be released digitally on all streaming platforms on 12 April by Platoon. A physical album, including the premium 172 page book, will be released by myrios classics on 2 May.

George Enescu: Full Symphonies and Romanian Rhapsodies 1 & 2
Orchestre National de France / Cristian Măcelaru
Deutsche Grammophon (3 CDs)
Release: 12 April 2024
Recorded in Paris, where the Romanian-born Enescu moved in his early teens, this collection including Enescu's well-known pair of Romanian Rhapsodies (1901) and the composer's three, rarely-performed completed symphonies will be released digitally and as a three-CD set. Celebrated as a national hero in his native Romania but not widely recognized elsewhere since his death in 1955, George Enescu was not only a virtuoso violinist and pianist, but a prodigiously talented composer, conductor and teacher (Yehudi Menuhin was among his pupils).  As appreciation grows for Enescu's music, Măcelaru poses: 'The five compositions presented here offer perfect examples of the artistic development of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. From the youthful brilliance of the Romanian Rhapsody No 1 to the profound, ethereal, philosophical ending of the Third Symphony, one can discover and relive the journey of this great genius, and my personal hero, George Enescu.'

Paris Polonais - Palester, Kisielewski, Regamey
Meccore String Quartet
Chopin University Press UMFCCD168
Release: 12 April 2024
The Meccore String Quartet's interpretations of the Kisielewski, Palester and Regamey quartets have recieved numerous awards, including a nomination for the Corypheus of Polish Music.The three string quartets recorded here by the Meccore String Quartet share neoclassical features. In each of the quartets, however, this feature gains a different, individual face. Lightness of melodic invention, original harmony, flowing narrative, transparent texture and clear formal structure are the features that best reflect the character of Kisielewski's youthful String Quartet. The one- movement Palestra String Quartet No 2, characterized by a dense, polyphonic texture, flexible melodic lines with a nostalgic expression and emotional intensity, is one of the most outstanding works of this genre in Polish music of the twentieth century. Regamey's Quatuor a cordes is thoroughly modern music, full of seriousness, objective in expression and extremely focused. Stefan Kisielewski (1911-1991), Konstanty Regamey (1907-1982) and Roman Palester (1907-1989) belonged to one generation of artists. Apart from music, all three of them were excellent writers and all loved Paris, where they spent a lot of time before the war, deepening their education. They are one of the most important Polish musical emigrants from Paris in the twentieth century. Their attitude expressed a deep love of freedom. For each of them, the idea of freedom, equality and fraternity also meant deep disagreement with the Soviet enslavement of Poland after 1945. Their free, independent voice can also be heard in music.

A Kalergis - An Anthology of Musical Dedications to Maria Kalergis
Monika Quinn
Chopin University Press UMFCCD171
Release: 12 April 2024
This new album, an original idea of pianist Monika Quinn, presents piano works by nineteenth century composers dedicated to Countess Maria Kalergis - a talented student of Chopin, one of the most important figures of nineteenth century European art salons, and a generous patroness of the arts. Her Paris salon brought together well-known artists and influential men from the world of politics. When she lived in Warsaw, she would promote Polish composers and domestic institutions of musical life. Most of the works recorded on the album are first recordings, and this CD champions the rediscovery of forgotten music of the Romantic era.

Rachmaninoff: Piano Sonatas Nos 1 and 2; Etudes-Tableaux, Op 39
Ayham Hammour, piano
Dux Recording Producers DUX2017-18 (2 CDs)
Release: 12 April 2024
Rachmaninoff's Sonata No 2 is one of the most frequently performed piano works, while both sonatas are characterized by an abundance of varied motifs and themes, with a pre-dominance of tragic and melancholic moods. The Etudes-Tableaux are of a programmatic nature, although the composer allowed a personal interpretation of their contents. 'Music is born in the heart and speaks to the heart' - these are the words of Rachmaninoff himself, who thus emphasized the importance of personal reflection and emotional communication in music. This message is perfectly conveyed by a pianist born in Damascus, associated with the Polish musical community; he has outstanding technical skills, but puts them in second place. His interpretations are characterized by an exuberant expression, nostalgia, excellent time management (from restraint to bravado) and, above all, a precise shape of the multi-faceted structure of a given composition.

Musica, Cur Siles? - Of Music and Silence
Iris Lichtinger, Stefan Steinemann, Michael Eberth, Tabea Schwartz and Vincent Kibildis
Perfect Noise PN2402
Release: 12 April 2024
This is the first recording of this special collection of very early chamber music. 'Musica, cur siles?' (Music, why are you silent?) This question is heard in the first part of the motet Quid dabit oculis and at first the situation seems paradoxical, as the words are sung and played. However, the realisation of what has been sung follows immediately, as the question is immediately followed by a pause in all four voices - the first general pause since the beginning of the piece. What is the reason for this silence? The motet, which waswritten by the Italian composer Costanzo Festa (around 1485/1490-1545), is a composition of mourning for Anne de Bretagne, who died as Queen of France in January 1514. The mourning is expressed in its text by the mentioning of the mourning robe as well as the weeping and lamentation, but the emotional low point is the cessation of the music emp-hasised by the question. In addition to the silencing of the voices, this certainly also alludes to the music that functioned as an important means of representation in the Middle Age and the early modern period: the sound of trumpets and timpani, which loudly proclaimed the presence of the ruler. Conversely, the silence of the funeral procession symbolises the absence of the ruler, which can also be perceived acoustically.

Daryl Runswick: Four Nocturnes; Viola Sonata
London Voices, National Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble, Ben Parry, Caleb Sibley, Aleksander Szram
Prima Facie PFCD226
Release: 12 April 2024

Moniuszko: Widma (Apparitions)
Europa Galante, Fabio Biondi, Natalia Rubis, Pawel Konik, Krzysztof Baczyk, Podlasie Opera and
Philharmonic Choir
Release: 12 April 2024
Widma ('Phantoms') is a masterful musical theatre based on Mickiewicz's Dziady. This group of leading Polish singers, the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Choir, the Europa Galante orchestra, and a number of Polish theatre stars, complete the group of masterpieces that were enthusiastically received by international critics with this recording: Halka, Flis, Hrabina, and finally Verbum nobile. This recording of Widma is the first to be presented on period instruments. This is another release in the concert and phonographic plan of The Fryderyk Chopin Institute, which has been in progress since 2018 and includes the performance and release of all Moniuszko's surviving operas as well as his other most valuable works (cantatas, songs, piano miniatures). It is also another title whose interpretation was presented by Fabio Biondi, an excellent Italian conductor, enchanted with the works of the father of Polish national opera. Biondi presents unusual knowledge, taste, and great musical imagination, showing the value of Moniuszko's works in full splendour, emphasised by the sound of historical instruments, and deservedly placing them among the works of the Italian bel canto's masters. One of Stanislaw Moniuszko's most magnificent works, not often performed but delighting in its wealth of musical and theatrical textures and colours, has been recorded for the first time on period instruments by the Europa Galante orchestra.

The poor, sad angel: Frederic Chopin
Nikolai Lugansky, piano
Fineline FL72417
Release: 12 April 2024
This is a reissue of the Chopin recital by the extraordinarily gifted young Nikolai Lugansky. To the exclusion of the Nocturne opus 27/2, the works on this recording were written in the years between 1841 and 1847, the 'George Sand chapter' in the Chopin biography. Chopin met the writer in the fall of 1836 at the Countess Marie d'Agoult's. Smoking cigars and often dressed as a man, Sand immediately roused Chopin's aversion: 'What an antipathetic person this Sand is! I doubt if she is a woman at all'. She, on the contrary, was fascinated by 'that poor, sad angel' and slowly succeeded in winning him over. The famous journey to Mallorca, where Chopin composed his Preludes, was the final step. From then on Sand and Chopin were inseparable.

Suprasl Canticles
Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Choir / Violteta Bielecka
Dux Recording Producers DUX1953-55 (3 CDs)
Release: 12 April 2024
This new release from DUX presents a first recording of the Suprasl Canticles; a recently reconstructed score from the collections that are being kept in Vilnius but come from the famous monastery in Suprasl. The Suprasl Canticles is a collection of 49 Orthodox Church concert compositions for male and treble choir, by various authors. 38 of them have been recorded on this three-disc album. Discovered only just in the 1990s, the compositions come from the seventeenth century and are an example of the peak achievements of Baroque choral polyphony and of the implementation of the influences of Western music, including Italian, into the areas under the influence of the Orthodox Church. The implementation occurred thanks to the activity of the so-called Vilnius School of Baroque Orthodox Church composition. A mixed choir, including female voices, took part in the recording of the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Choir. Under the baton of an outstanding conductor, Violetta Bielecka, the artists once again prove their undeniable performance class and virtuosity.

Vladimir Cosma: Les Indispensables
Larghetto Music LARGH040 (34 CD set)
Release: 12 April 2024
Discs include 91 original soundtracks, bringing together music from films, cartoons and the most famous series by Vladimir Cosma.

Amour fou - Love Arias & Songs
Myriam Leblanc, soprano; Ensemble Mirabilia
ATMA Classique ACD22893
Release: 12 April 2024
With the album Amour fou, soprano Myriam Leblanc and Ensemble Mirabilia take us on a journey of love via arias and songs spanning more than 800 years. From Fauré's poetic Au bord de l'eau to Jacques Brel's heartrending Ne me quitte pas and Barbara's Dis quand reviendras- tu? , Leblanc has gathered a bouquet of music depicting the most human of all sentiments. Amour fou also includes an aria from Vivaldi's cantata Amor hai vento, several old English songs by Thomas Campion, along with other vocal and instrumental treasures. Leblanc conveys a range of emotions that often accompany love, including turmoil, despair, and sweet sorrow. She evokes sensual love in songs whose eroticism is barely veiled by metaphors, as well as serene, contemplative love. She is joined on this recording by Ensemble Mirabilia (Gregoire Jeay, flutes; Antoine Malette- Chenier; harp; Melisande Corriveau, viola da gamba, pardessus de viole), an ensemble she founded and which promotes baroque music performed on period instruments, and also occasionally explores music from earlier or more recent times.

Philip Chiu, piano
ATMA Classique ACD22844
Release: 12 April 2024
Philip Chiu presents Voyages, 'a deeply personal album that represents a humble attempt to capture something elusive to me: a sense of belonging. Where do we belong? To whom do we belong? What belongs to us, what is ours simply because it was handed to us, and what is ours because we chose it?' Chiu offers no answers, only exploration consisting of 'my reflections and musings channelled through the vivid music of Claude Debussy (Petite suite, Images, livre I, and Estampes) and Alice Ping Yee Ho (Hong Kong Nostalgia), along with beautiful artwork by Marie H Sirois, as inspired by my own recollections, my family's story, and a teeny-tiny bit of whimsy', says Chiu. Philip Chiu is acclaimed for his brilliant pianism, sensitive listening, and a stage presence that eschews the hermit-pianist image and favours openness, authenticity and dialogue with audiences. Winner of the 2023 Juno for Best Classical Solo Album from his album Fables, and inaugural winner of the Mecenat Musica Prix Goyer, Chiu has become one of Canada's leading musicians through his infectious love of music and his passion for creation and communication.

David Bontemps: La Flambeau
Soloists; Orchestre classique de Montreal / Alain Trudel
ATMA Classique ACD22880
Release: 12 April 2024
ATMA Classique is delighted to release the first recording of David Bontemps' 2020 chamber opera La Flambeau, based on the eponymous drama by Haitian playwright Faubert Bolivar. La Flambeau was first performed on 7 February 2023 at Montreal's Salle Pierre-Mercure with Suzanne Taffot, Catherine Daniel, Paul Williamson and Brandon Coleman and the Orchestre classique de Montreal, conducted by Alain Trudel. Set in Haiti, the libretto for La Flambeau was adapted by Bontemps himself. La Flambeau tells the story of a dysfunctional couple, Monsieur (a narcissistic, ambitious intellectual obsessed with the ideals of the Republic) and Mademoiselle (who talks to her dead parents), who hire a working-class housewife. Through imposed dogma and deceptive behaviour, Monsieur abuses Mademoiselle. After a trial and a surreal confession, Monsieur is condemned through a kind of popular justice to become a zombie at the service of all. The music, woven from accessible melodies and imbued with Afro-Haitian elements, uses thematic cycles that intensify with the plot. Born in Port-au-Prince, David Bontemps is now based in Montreal.

Alexander Asteriades: String Quartet; Vertonte Gedichte
Giocoso String Quartet; Ursula Thurmair; Jorg Gottschick; Paul Rivinius
Audiomax AUD70723142
Release: 12 April 2024
Alexander Asteriades effortlessly manages the balancing act between ambitious artistic demands and refreshingly accessible sonority. He often finds inspiration in literary sources, which provide a fascinating glimpse into the composer's imagination. With his preference for traditional forms and a modern approach to tonal composition, Asteriades escapes the cul-de-sac of atonality. Asteriades is a self-taught composer, as well as a violinist, musicologist and doctor of philosophy. His music is inspired by the great masters spanning six centuries, who have set him on his very own compositional path. Even though there are no triadic references, the music is definitely tonal. The Giocoso String Quartet masterfully present harmonies with parallel fifths and fourths which have an archaic reminiscence of medieval organum. Ave Maris Stella (hail, star of the sea) is at the heart of the string quartet. Asteriades takes this eleventh century medieval hymn in praise of the Virgin Mary and puts it in the form a ricercar, an instrumental piece laid out in strictly contrapuntal manner, such that each voice is absolutely independent of the other, yet contributes to a unified whole (coincidentia oppositorum - a correspondence of opposites). Ursula Thurmair and Jorg Gottschick sing poems by Goethe, Georg Trakl and Friedrich Holderlin, amongst others, accompanied by Paul Rivinius's fine piano playing. In the tradition of nineteenth century classical piano song, the music adds a new layer of meaning to these enchanting poems, composed in song and yet in a contemporary musical language rarely heard today.

Georges Barboteu: Centenary - Jeux
Tatiana Chernichka; Herve Joulain; Leopold Mozart String Quartet
Tyzart TXA23180
Release: 12 April 2024
In 2024, horn players and lovers of the instrument will be celebrating the 100th birthday of the extraordinary horn player and composer Georges Barboteu (1924-2006). Here, Herve Joulain and his musical collaborators realize a long-standing wish by presenting the listener with several works for one to four horns that have long represented a kind of 'grail' in the career of every horn player. He is joined by Tatiana Chernichka and the Leopold Mozart String Quartet.

Left Hand Legacy, Vol 2: Chamber Music Written for Paul Wittgenstein
Folke Nauta, piano left hand; Lars Wouters van den Oudenweijer, clarinet; Prisma String Trio
Cobra COBRA0093
Release: 12 April 2024
The album Left Hand Legacy Volume 2 is the latest part of the Wittgenstein Project, which aims to bring the treasures of Wittgenstein's library to the concert stage. For far too long Paul Wittgenstein's library was inaccessible to the world. Not before 2001 a pile of chamber music surfaced, specially composed for the pianist who commissioned Maurice Ravel's Concerto for the Left Hand. These chamber music works have hardly ever been played since Wittgenstein premiered them in the 1920s and 30s. The Dutch pianist Folke Nauta had to continue his career as a one-handed pianist after focal dystonia affected his right hand. Paul Wittgenstein was his model and this trove of chamber music was his salvation. There was just one complicating factor: Wittgenstein's library had become dispersed throughout the world. Nauta tracked down the original manuscripts in Austrian and English archives, still containing Wittgenstein's furiously scribbled annotations. The quintet formation of piano, clarinet and string trio is a consistent feature of Wittgenstein's chamber music legacy. So Nauta approached the clarinetist Lars Wouters van den Oudenweijer and Prisma String Trio. Together these five top-of-the-bill chamber musicians from the Netherlands joined forces and launched the Wittgenstein Project, with the aim of bringing the music back to life and telling Wittgenstein's extraordinary tale of misery, struggle and artistic triumph. The album Left Hand Legacy Vol 1 (COBRA Records, February 2023) showcases the diverse vocabulary of Wittgenstein's circle of composer friends Franz Schmidt, Josef Labor, Hans Gal and Ernest Walker. This album Left Hand Legacy Vol 2 plumbs the emotional depths, with Franz Schmidt's brooding Quintet in B flat major and the sublime combination of clarinet, viola and piano left hand in Josef Labor's Trio in G minor. Tragically and unexpectedly, the second album is destined to be the last one to feature Folke Nauta, who passed away suddenly in de summer of 2023. This personal tragedy signifies a great loss for the music world. This album features the very last recordings Folke Nauta ever made.

Kjell Habbestad: Songs of Love
Marianne Beate Kielland, Halvor Festervoll Melien, Nils Anders Mortensen
LAWO Classics LWC1268
Release: 12 April 2024
'Looking through my songs I discovered that most of them deal with love, often lost or unrequited love; yes, even with the same aspects that one finds in Edvard Munch's central themes: love, angst and death. With one exception, the songs in the album are arranged more or less chronologically according to the date of the source, from the Bible to poems by contemporary Norwegian poet Paal-Helge Haugen. Surprisingly, this sequence results in a dramaturgical movement from the love described in the Song of Songs, through the angst-filled life, to death. In order that the album not end on a negative note, however, I have placed the poem by Olav H Hauge (1908-1994) after the Haugen (1945) poems. And there is one more coincidence: Almost without exception the chronological sequence coincides with the order in which the songs were composed from "3 Canticles" in 1984 to "It is that Dream" in 2015.' - Kjell Habbestad. Kjell Habbestad (born 1955, Bmlo, Norway) is Professor Emeritus of Theory and Composition at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, Norway. Habbestad has been a prolific composer throughout his career. His catalogue of works includes: orchestral works; concertos for the following solo instruments: organ, Hardanger fiddle, flute, saxophone, oboe, and clarinet; chamber works for various combinations of instruments including two string quartets, a clarinet quintet, and a string duet; choral works; works for organ; works for piano. He has also written several dramatic works including The Moster Pageant, which from 1984 to 2015 was performed annually at an outdoor theatre in Moster, Norway; the oratorio One Night on Earth, 1993; the operas Hans Egede's Night, 1995, The Maid of Norway, 2000, Nenia Fartein Valen in memoriam, 2014; all librettos by Paal- Helge Haugen; Adam and Eve, 2008 (Henrik Wergeland); Karlstad 1905A Page in the History of Civilization, 2016; and the musical The Count of Monte Cristo, 2011 (own librettos).

Agris Engelmanis: Musica Alba
Liepaja Symphony Orchestra / Atvars Lakstigala
Release: 12 April 2024
This album contains both studio and live first recordings of orchestral works by Latvian composer Agris Engelmanis (1936-2011) performed by Liepaja Symphony Orchestra, pianist Elina Bertina and conductor Atvars Lakstigala. Engelmanis mainly composed symphonic music and choral songs, plus several vocal-instrumental works, a few pieces of instrumental chamber music, and a couple of compositions for organ. He was one of the most modernist-oriented Latvian composers, yet he remains utterly underrated. Olafs Gutmanis, who was a close friend and colleague of Engelmanis, once wrote: 'There are people who feel better in the shadows. In the twilight of the evening, at sunset, when an intimate hour has arrived, extinguishing the vivid impressions of the day, when loneliness hits the hardest and longing takes on a tragic hue. Not by dispelling thoughts and feelings, but by concentrating them in a sharp and vital experience. The clouds thicken in the sky, the trees thicken in the forest, and the shadows merge into a deep and cosy darkness. And man casts off his own longest shadow until it merges with the shadows of nature, until the human becomes unnoticeable as a being. He has melted into nature, he has hidden himself from the curious light, he has entered the night. And that is where he feels best. There his wings, the wings of the nocturnal bird, unfold. There his flight begins.'


8 APRIL 2024

Bill Vine: Turbulent Flow
Release: 8 April 2024
Following the first live performance of Bill's new mixed media clarinet quintet 'Turbulent Flow' at Norwich Puppet Theatre at the beginning of March, we are proud to be releasing the studio recording of this fifty minute work celebrating wind energy. Comprising four site specific movements - Repps with Bastwick, Fitou (J'entends les moulins), Scroby Sands and Thurne Mill - Turbulent Flow is part of a larger body of work conceived of by Vine, bringing together the work of experimental video artist Liam Roberts, poet Helen Vine, and writer Wendy Constance. Each artist has created complimentary work in the form of a set of experimental films, a collection of poetry, and a collection of prose, respectively, which are all available at the Turbulent Flow Bandcamp page. Turbulent Flow is dedicated to the memory of Bob Morse (1924-2007), who put together the incredible collection of wind engines that can be found at the Wind Energy Museum in Repps with Bastwick, Norfolk. Bob also bought the then-dilapidated Thurne Mill in 1949 and over a period of eighteen months, with the help of Robert England, a direct descendent of the millwrights who had originally built the mill in 1820, restored it to its former glory. Bob had a lifelong love affair with wind engines of all varieties, and this work aims to celebrate these same things, while tipping its hat to a man whose passion is even more relevant in today's world.


5 APRIL 2024

Mozart: The Sonata Project - Salzburg
Yundi Li, piano
Warner Classics
Release: 5 April 2024
Yundi Li, the first Chinese and youngest pianist in history to win the International Chopin Piano Competition, has been at the forefront of classical piano in China for over twenty-five years. Recorded at the Great Hall of the Salzburg Mozarteum in November 2023, his latest album for Warner Classics takes listeners on a journey through Mozart's most cherished piano sonatas, including K 310, K 331 ('Alla Turca'), K 457 and the Fantasia K 475.

Esbe: La Serenissima
New Cat Music
Release: 5 April 2024
Taking its title and inspiration from the seventeenth century moniker for the city of Venice, the album presents an imagining of the city, its history and mystique, using orchestral and soundscape production. Each track is a different vignette, highlighting Esbe's talents as an arranger, vocalist and guitarist (the latter of which won her the Julian Bream Prize at the Royal Academy of Music), as well as her many influences, from ancient music to jazz, folk, her North African and Eastern European roots.

Project Earth: Blue Chapter
Iris Trio
Centrediscs CMCCD 33924
Release: 5 April 2024
Florian Hoefner is a JUNO Award-winning German-Canadian pianist and composer. On 5 April, the US-Canadian chamber ensemble Iris Trio (clarinet/viola/piano) is going to release its second album entitled 'Project Earth: Blue Chapter' on the Canadian Centrediscs label. The Blue Chapter features Hoefner's original compositions with original poetry written and recited by Griffin Prize-winning Canadian poet Don McKay. The works celebrate our natural world and illuminate the triple planetary crisis.  The result is the collision of the Iris Trio's virtuosity with a remarkable new body of spellbinding chamber music, uniting inspiration from classic, jazz and folk genres.

Tansman: String Quartets Nos 3 & 4, Triptyque
Alexandre Tansman String Quartet
Chopin University Press UMFCCD154
Release: 5 April 2024
Alexandre Tansman's extremely rich compositional legacy covers a wide range of forms and genres of instrumental, vocal and instrumental, and stage music, with the exception of sacred music. 'As far as the style and aesthetics are concerned, his output is fully representative of the French variety of Neoclassicism in 20th century music. [...] As far as Tansman's chamber compositions are concerned, which include less than thirty pieces for various ensembles, a prominent place is occupied by string quartets, considered by the composer himself the purest musical form: "One cannot cheat in a quartet", he used to say. Tansman composed nine works representing the genre, and they were created over the span of forty years of his creative journey. The three compositions recorded on the album come from the early period, namely from 1925, 1930, and 1935. They are related both in style and expression and constitute the composer's bow to the almost two-centuries-old tradition of the genre.' - Tomasz Baranowski

Polish Piano Music of the 20th Century
Elzbieta Karas-Krasztel
Chopin University Press UMFCCD177
Release: 5 April 2024
Sonatinas and mazurkas for piano, written in the twentieth century by Polish composers, are the two pillars of the presented album. An original combination of ten charming compositions was proposed by Ezzbieta Karas-Krasztel. 'Listening to the compositions recorded on the album, it is hard to resist the impression that forms and genres already deeply rooted in the history of music come to life in fascinating shots, and the richness of their world encourages careful listening to the nuances of Elzbieta Karas- Krasztel's interpretation.' - Karolina Kolinek-Siechowicz. A creative approach to the sonata form, on the example of works by Aleksander Tansman (Transatlantic Sonatina), Tadeusz Szeligowski (Sonatina), Kazimierz Serocki (Sonatina), Artur Malawski (Highlander Triptych) or Romuald Twardowski (Sonata breve), allows us to observe the metamorphoses that this the canonical genre of music succumbed. On the other hand, selected mazurkas by Ignacy Friedmann from 1912 and post-war mazurkas by Witold Friemann, Andrzej Dutkiewicz, Marian Borkowski and Marian Sawa constitute a representative sample of twentieth century arrangements of this dance - not only as a form with a characteristic rhythm, but also as a certain idea related to with all the associations.

Michael Edgerton: Works for Piano
Moritz Ernst, piano
Perfect Noise PN2307
Release: 5 April 2024
The first recording of Michael Edgerton's piano works, performed by Moritz Ernst, a well respected pianist in the field of contemporary music.

Paderewski: Piano Works
Ying Han, piano
Dux Recording Producers DUX1992
Release: 5 April 2024
Piano works by Ignacy Jan Paderewski are an exceptionally original phenomenon in the context of the music created at the turn of the twentieth century. Embedded in a typically Romantic tradition, in the major-minor system, they are also full of surprises and references to the output of other composers - from Scarlatti and Bach to Schubert and Liszt. The cycles of miniatures presented on this album have been a staple in the repertoire of pianists around the world. The complementary toccata 'On the Desert' is played less frequently, although its piano and musical qualities are not inferior to the other compositions. We can find here virtuoso techniques, catchy motifs, inspirations drawn from Polish folk dances, mazurka and krakowiak, and typically Polish nostalgic melodies. Chinese pianist Ying Han, who has been associated with Poland for several years, is renowned for her interpretations of this repertoire. Her playing, full of lightness and freedom, brings out the charm of these stylistically diverse miniatures.

Life & Beyond
Malgorzata Wasiucionek-Potera, violin; Andrzej Karalow, piano
Dux Recording Producers DUX2019
Release: 5 April 2024
With this new album, Life & Beyond, Malgorzata Wasiucionek-Potera and Andrzej Karalow explore the idea that music is not to be considered formally. On the contrary, it is supposed to make the listeners reflect on the essence of the existence of music and other forms of life. The repertoire was conceived as a sensitive story, while the chosen works by Lutoslawski, Crumb, Bartok and Messiaen form a musically and emotionally coherent whole. Wasiucionek- Potera and Karalow combine their full potential of experience, virtuosity and knowledge into the interpretations. However, above all, they share their sensitivity and paint the world with a pre-dominance of colours of nostalgia and silence, leaving space for individual feelings of the recipient.

Max Richter: Recomposed Vivaldi's Four Seasons
Daniel Rowland, violin; Stift Festival Orchestra
Challenge Classics CC72978
Release: 5 April 2024
Daniel Rowland is a charismatic and adventurous violinist, director and chamber musician. With irrepressible energy, he musically intoxicates the musicians he plays with and those who listen to his performances and recordings. The members of his Stift Festival Orchestra mirror that energy and make this brilliant piece of Max Richter sound as cool, passionate, rough and intimate as it can be. In a statement about 'Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi - The Four Seasons', Daniel declares that 'it has been a huge pleasure to record these brilliantly imaginative, totally captivating and addictively energising seasons by Max Richter. I love the way the music morphs in and out of Vivaldi, using Vivaldi's brilliantly colourful and endlessly evocative music as a springboard and inspiration for a new masterwork, brimming with electric energy and shimmering soundscapes very much of our time.' Vivaldi's Le Quattro Stagioni (The Four Seasons) could easily be the most famous piece of classical music ever composed, one of the first examples of 'program music'. It is in many ways a groundbreaking, radical piece - one that by its fame has, as Max Richter says, 'become part of the musical landscape and a part of my daily life'. Max Richter (born 1966) is London-based composer who deftly blurs the lines between the classical and electronic worlds. His 'post-classical idiom' draws inspiration from diverse influences. Despite discarding 75 percent of Vivaldi's original material in his 'Recomposed, The Four Seasons', Max Richter considers the Italian composer's musical DNA omnipresent in his reworking of the material. Richter's remodelled version retains the basic shape, and much of the spirit, of the master's original four violin concertos, each season about ten minutes long in total and in three movements, sequenced fast-slow-fast. Artfully, but faithfully, Richter rearranges the notes on the page, revealing anew the radiant melodies and lush timbres of the music, and transforming a piece dulled by over-familiarity into something luminously relevant to the present day.

'Good bye, great artist. Truly yours, Beethoven' - Romberg: 3 Grand Sonatas, Op 5 for Harp and Cello
Simona Marchesi, harp; Bartolomeo Dandolo Marchesi, cello
Challenge Classics CC72990
Release: 5 April 2024
The title of this album is the quote that concludes a letter Beethoven wrote to his friend Romberg on 12 February 1822. The two were indeed friends, and Beethoven greatly admired and respected Romberg as a musician and composer. The three Sonatas Op 5 for harp and cello (or violin) were published in Paris in 1803. In essence, these compositions are three large concertante sonatas, each of which is articulated in three movements. The musical material is distributed evenly between the two instruments, in order to create a continuous dialogue between them. The writing, for its time, is to be considered at the limit of virtuosity.Romberg occupies his indelible place in history, not only for his musical importance but for all the innovations he brought to cello technique, didactics and even of the construction of the instrument itself.

Haydn: String Quartets Vol 17
Leipzig String Quartet
MDG MDG30723122
Release: 5 April 2024
Joseph Haydn's Op 1 heralded the birth of a new genre. These six early works by the young composer, famed for his mischievous humour, delight and fascinate with their freshness and exuberance, quirky, irregular phrase- lengths and unexpected pauses. Thanks to the gripping performance by the highly acclaimed Leipzig String Quartet, this recording makes for highly pleasurable listening. Baron Furnberg had invited the 20-something Haydn to write music for occasional 'little performances' at his residence. The three other string players included the composer Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, who would go on to teach a certain Ludwig van. Haydn drew on various traditions, combining the serenade, divertimenti and string trios to create a new form that was to become an unprecedented success story. The first violin, Stefan Arzberger, is able to demonstrate his outstanding qualities particularly in the slow movements with their sweeping melodic arcs. The other three instruments are by no means limited to mere accompaniment. With their differentiated playing, they form the framework of the movement or comment on it with surprising interjections - real chamber music at the highest level. The Leipzig Quartet has become one of the most sought- after and versatile ensembles of this genre in the 35 years of its existence. To date, the ensemble has released around 100 recordings which are celebrated by international critics and they have received numerous international honors and awards. They are regularly invited to perform at renowned festivals world-wide.

Ravel - Complete Works for Solo Piano
Keigo Mukawa, piano
Etcetera KTC1816
Release: 5 April 2024
Who is your favourite composer? 'In answer to one of the questions I am most frequently asked, I have "decided" to always mention the name of Maurice Ravel. However, when asked "Which aspect attracts you most to Ravel's music?", there is so much that comes to my mind that I am easily at a loss. One of the most popular images associated with Ravel is probably that of an orchestral magician. His writing is highly original, creative and brilliant, throughout his orchestral oeuvre. He was also, however, a pioneer of the Impressionist technique for piano, as illustrated by his Jeux d'eau, composed in 1901. (Although Debussy is often considered the leader of the movement in this respect, Ravel was actually ahead of him with regard to piano compositions: in 1901, Debussy was still writing Pour le piano when Ravel completed his Jeux d'eau. In fact, Ravel himself explicitly wrote to a French music journal that he was ahead of Debussy in establishing this new technique for the piano.) A connoisseur of Spanish music, Ravel's fascination for Spanish folkloric music is reflected in several of his works. A unique sensitivity to early music and a keen ability to understand its intricacies resulted in homages to several Baroque composers. Their aesthetics are beautifully reflected in works such as Le
Tombeau de Couperin, Pavane pour une infante defunte and several minuets. Other works that showcase his immense diversity include Gaspard de la nuit, which positions itself brilliantly as one of the most virtuoso works in piano repertoire even today.' - Keigo Mukawa.  Keigo Mukawa won third prize at the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in 2021 and second prize at the Long-Thibaud-Crespin International Competition in 2019. Thanks to the attention he received in the wake of these highly prestigious international competitions, both carrying a long history and tradition, he is currently engaged in a wide range of activities including solo recitals and performances with orchestras and chamber music ensembles, primarily in France and Japan.

Mit Myrten und Rosen - Songs to Poems by Heinrich Heine - Robert and Clara Schumann; Franz Schubert; Felix Mendelssohn
Werner Van Mechelen, bass-baritone; Sylvie Decramer, piano
Etcetera KTC1818
Release: 5 April 2024
Heinrich Heine, the unromantic Romantic - The greatest success of the century
'A young man loved a girl who loved another man; this other man loved yet another girl and married her. The first girl, out of spite, then married the next good man who came along.' So runs the beginning of a sorrowful love poem written by the German poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) in 1822. It is his own story. 'Ein Jungling liebt ein Madchen' is one of many poems that was inspired by his unrequited love for his cousin Amalie. As we begin to read his poetry, we are struck by the way he describes events: he tells the story as a matter-of-fact account without using Romantic metaphors. Heine reveals with much irony how he dealt with the situation, as he never indulged in excessive pathos in his poetry. His style was very different: he wished to puncture the Romantic illusion, so at times he exaggerated and at others he wrote down the opposite of what he meant. Heine was very much aware that it was precisely this that made his poems so attractive for composers searching for song texts; it was for this reason that he described his Buch der Lieder, his most important collection of poems written between 1817 to 1827, as 'Humorous songs in folk style'. The contents of the Buch der Lieder, however, are anything but humorous. Indeed, the collection's Prologue describes love as a dream, whilst reality itself is much bleaker. Although the majority of the poems in the Buch der Lieder are about Heine's love for Amalie, the emphasis on love itself gradually shifts to feelings of fear and pain as can be seen in 'Die Lotosblume angstigt sich vor der Sonne Pracht' (The Lotus Flower Fears The Sun's Splendour). Werner Van Mechelen studied at the Lemmens Institute in Leuven with Roland Bufkens and attended master classes with Dietrich Fischer- Dieskau, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Robert Holl, Mitsuko Shirai, Hartmut Holl and Malcolm King. He won several international prizes in major competitions including the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, the IVC in 's-Hertogenbosch and the Concours international du chant in Toulouse, the Concurso Internacional de Canto Francisco Vinas in Barcelona and the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.

PAU! A Tribute to Casals
Philipp Schupelius, cello; Marie Sophie Hauzel, piano
Es-Dur ES2090
Release: 5 April 2024
'Pau! An exclamation mark has been placed here, and rightly so. Pau Casals, widely regarded as one of the greatest cellists of the 20th century, made history not only through his impressive playing and interpretations of Bach's cello suites but also through his political involvement and his humanistic spirit. His commitment to peace and human rights remains exemplary to this day. That is why Pau Casals is also a role model for the young cellist Philipp Schupelius. However, Schupelius did not want to leave it at that: He set out to find out what Casals still has to say to us today. What contribution can music make in times of war? What does music have to offer in the face of armed conflicts and catastrophes? Philipp Schupelius found timeless answers in Casals - and in the composers who were Casals' inspiration or who took up his ideas. Join Philipp Schupelius on a quest that has revealed surprising, profound, and beautiful things. His enthusiasm for his instrument, and his virtuosity and intensity, are a credit to the great role model.' - Daniel Hope

Nuits Blanches
Michael Rieber, double bass; Norbert Goerlich, piano
Es-Dur ES2092
Release: 5 April 2024
With Nuits Blanches, Michael Rieber, first solo contrabassist of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, and his piano partner Norbert Goerlich are releasing an appealing compilation of French chamber music literature including the rarely heard Aria et Rondo for Double Bass and Piano from Alfred Desenclos and César Franck's Sonata in A major transcribed for Double Bass and Piano.

Die Scherer-Bunting-Orgel zu Mölln
Dagmar Lubking, organ
Es-Dur ES2093
Release: 5 April 2024
Musial Richness and the Art of the Keyboard When the new organ was built in Mölln's St Nicolai Church in 1558, Jacob Scherer took over pipes from the previous building dating from 1436 - probably the oldest known Gothic organ pipes in northern Germany. Organist Dagmar Lubking has selected works for her recording on the Scherer-Bunting organ, which was completed in May 2022 after a sensational restoration by the Flentrop company, that document the richness of its sound and the extraordinary, almost six-hundred-year history of this unique instrument.

Russian Variations - John Field, Alexander Glazunov, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninov
Piers Lane, piano
Hyperion Records CDA68428
Release: 5 April 2024
Three substantial sets of variations - by Glazunov, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov - plus a delightful amuse-bouche from John Field, who settled in St Petersburg in the early years of the nineteenth century, make up Piers Lane's attractive and virtuosic programme.

George de La Hèle: Missa Praeter rerum seriem & works by Manchicourt, Payen & Rogier
El León de Oro / Peter Phillips
Hyperion Records CDA68439
Release: 5 April 2024
A collection of works representative of a school of Flemish composers living in Madrid towards the end of the Renaissance and all employed by Philip II of Spain, who held composers from the Low Countries in particularly high regard. La Hèle's Mass, here receiving its first complete recording, is a major discovery.

Fauré: Requiem in D minor; Brahms: Begräbnisgesang
Dorothee Mields, Krešimir Stražanac, Collegium Vocale Gent, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, Philippe Herreweghe
Release: 5 April 2024
Later in his life Fauré wrote about his renowned Requiem in D minor: 'Everything I managed to entertain by way of religious illusion I put into my Requiem, which moreover is dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest'. The latest redaction of the score dates from 1900 (with corrections made in 1901). The new approach to the Requiem tradition is evidenced by the opening Introit from the Kyrie - scored for chamber forces, with a calm, contemplative chorus, without a shadow of drama. The ensuing Offertory, originally conceived for solo voices and only using the choir in later versions (from the choral 'Domine Jesu Christe' to the baritone 'Hostias'), with its opening canon consolidates the mood of reflection, which is retained in the polyphonic choral Sanctus, based on a simple three-note melody. A climax of sorts is provided by what is perhaps the most famous episode in the work: the soprano 'Pie Jesu'. Close analysis of the form of this work betrays startling similarities to Johannes Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem. Johannes Brahms' Begräbnisgesang (Burial song), Op 13 is the first work in which the composer combined a choir with instruments: twelve winds and timpani. It is highly likely that the idea for this composition is linked to the development of his 'Ein deutsches Requiem', already maturing at this time, although not fully realised until ten years later. Such is suggested by the forces, the subject matter and also the concept for a grand oratorio making use of what Brahms considered to be the most valuable ideas from his earlier works. The direct impulse for the composing of this youthful masterwork was no doubt the recent death (in 1856) of Brahms's master and friend Robert Schumann.

She Composes Like A Man
Tine Thing Helseth, tenThing Brass Ensemble
Release: 5 April 2024
Good music is good music no matter what, but a little extra girl power never hurts. In observance of the story of Ethel Smyth and the critic who praised Smyth for 'composing like a man', tenThing knew that this had to be the title of their new album, released on the LAWO Classics label. It's both wonderfully provocative and something to bring a wry smile to the face. From Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn to Florence Price and Ethel Smyth, this programme celebrates the work of female composers from around the world in world premiere transcriptions for the brass ensemble. Tine says 'When I was growing up, it was entirely normal for girls to play both trombone and tuba, and for me playing trumpet felt like the most natural thing in the world. However, in the professional music world this was not necessarily the case. In many countries, there is still a long way to go in terms of gender equality in the brass world. It feels incredibly good to play with the other musicians in tenThing. We trust each other. Without a doubt, trust and security are some of the things I value most when making music with others, and this applies to life in general. She composes like a man is a project that means a lot to me. It means a lot to us.' Formed in 2007 by critically acclaimed Norwegian trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth as a fun and exciting collaboration between musical friends, the ten- piece, all-female brass ensemble tenThing have firmly established themselves on the international scene to great acclaim. tenThing are celebrated for their commitment to outreach and access to music through diverse repertoire. The group work closely with Norwegian guitarist and arranger Jarle Storlokken in the arrangement of scores for the ensemble.

Maya Beiser x Terry Riley: In C
Maya Beiser, cello
Islandia Music Records
Release: 5 April 2024
Maya recreates Terry Riley's In C as a series of ever-evolving cello loops. Enveloped by live drumming by Shane Shanahan and Matt Kilmer, Maya constructs a hypnotic, rapturous soundscape that re-envisions this classic 1964 Minimalist masterpiece, marking its 60th anniversary.

29 MARCH 2024

Stainer: The Crucifixion
Choir of St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh / Duncan Ferguson
Delphian Records DCD34275
Release: 29 March 2024
John Stainer made it his life's work to reform and renew the standards of music in schools, parish churches, colleges and cathedrals up and down the land. His two most lasting legacies are our thriving cathedral choral tradition and this piece - The Crucifixion. Intended to be accessible, and full of the zeal and emotion of the reforming High Church, Stainer's meditation on the Passion was immediately taken up in both Britain and America, and is as popular today as ever. Here, Duncan Ferguson and the Choir of St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh are joined by two rising-star Scottish soloists and, in the hymns, by a nave-full of local young musicians and the cathedral's own worshippers to create a true sense of the musical community spirit that the composer had in mind.

Bartók: Orchestral Works Vol 3 - The Wooden Prince (Final Version), Divertimento, Romanian Folk Dances
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Thomas Dausgaard
Onyx ONYX4233
Release: 29 March 2024
Onyx Classics is excited to present to you the latest in the acclaimed series of releases of Bartók's music from Thomas Dausgaard and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. This third album presents a recording of a major work seldom heard. The rare and final version of The Wooden Prince is coupled with the masterful Divertimento SZ 113 and the Romanian Folk Dances SZ 56.

Rachmaninoff for Two
Daniil Trifonov, Sergei Babayan
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 29 March 2024
Daniil Trifonov and Sergei Babayan celebrate Rachmaninoff's 150th anniversary with a double-disc album of the composer's major works for two pianos. Rachmaninoff for Two features the Suites Nos 1 & 2, Symphonic Dances and Trifonov's transcription of the Second Symphony's Adagio.

22 MARCH 2024

I long and seek after
Jessica Meyer
New Focus Recordings
Release: 22 March 2024
composer and violist Jessica Meyer releases her second composer/performer portrait album, I long and seek after, on New Focus Recordings. Meyer constructs this new release around performances by the Lorelei Ensemble and a virtuosic collective of instrumentalists and vocalists. In this sophomore album, Meyer focuses solely on vocal music featuring poetry by female and under-represented writers, tackling such universal themes as loneliness, desire, love, heartbreak, justice and the courage to embark on a journey of discovering oneself.


20 MARCH 2024

Beethoven: Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano in B-flat major, Op 11
Rosalind Trio
Available: 20 March 2024
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven in his early career, the 'Gassenhauer' Trio signifies his innovative approach to chamber music. As Beethoven transitioned from classical elegance to bold innovation, this trio stood as a testament. The Trio in B-flat Major, Op 11, blends classical forms and folk elements, particularly in its third movement. This piece demonstrates Beethoven's genius through a masterful interplay of piano, violin, and cello.

Astor Piazzolla - The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires - Autumn and Summer
Rosalind Trio
Available: 20 March 2024
Astor Piazzolla transformed traditional tango into 'nuevo tango', blending jazz and classical elements. His 'Four Seasons of Buenos Aires' vividly represents the city's seasons. José Bragato's piano trio arrangements of 'Summer' and 'Autumn' offer a unique rendition of this piece.


19 MARCH 2024

Thomas Jensen Legacy Volume 22
Danacord Records DACOCD 932 (2 CDs)
Release: 19 March 2024
Previously unreleased broadcast recordings capture Thomas Jensen in Baroque and Classical-era repertoire new to his discography. Jensen makes a stylish Mozartian in these rhythmically sprung and cultivated concert performances, given by the DRSO in Copenhagen and on tour. They are joined by the Danish violinist Tutter Givskov for one of Mozart's earliest masterpieces, the Violin Concerto No 3, K 216.


17 MARCH 2024

Stabat Mater Dolorosa - a journey through seven centuries of music
Hannie van Osnabrugge
Published: 17 March 2024
Originally published in Dutch in 2022, this captivating book is now available in English, thanks to the dedicated efforts of volunteers from the Ultimate Stabat Mater Website community. At the heart of this groundbreaking publication lies the poignant thirteenth-century poem, the Stabat Mater, which vividly portrays a mother's heart-wrenching anguish as she witnesses her Son's crucifixion. The depiction of Mary, shattered and in tears beneath the Cross, has grown overtime to symbolize universal solace for anyone suffering the loss of a loved one. Throughout the centuries, this timeless verse has inspired composers, evoking soul-stirring melodies, while painters, sculptors,
choreographers, writers, poets, and translators have responded to its emotive themes with profound
creativity. The musical odyssey of Hannie van Osnabrugge began thirty years ago when she joined a choir and discovered Haydn's Stabat Mater. Her spouse, Hans van der Velden, deeply moved by the music, initiated a quest to collect all available Stabat Maters on CD. Van Osnabrugge later created the Ultimate Stabat Mater Website, which now attracts visitors from around the world. Stabat Mater Dolorosa takes the reader to the picturesque town of Todi in Umbria, widely believed to be the birthplace of the Stabat Mater's poet. The book intricately explores the profound relationship between the Stabat Mater and the Requiem of Russian poet Anna Akhmatova. And there is the story of a seventeen-year-old English student who translated the Stabat Mater from Latin to German out of sheer passion for its text and themes. Through captivating storytelling, Stabat Mater Dolorosa navigates through historical locales, sacred rituals, breathtaking artworks, and mesmerizing performances, offering readers a compelling tapestry of cultural exploration spanning across the ages. Join us as we embark on this enchanting voyage through the realms of music, art, and human emotion with Stabat Mater Dolorosa - A Journey Through Seven Centuries of Music.


16 MARCH 2024

Thomas Jensen Legacy Volume 21 - Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Hindemith, Landré, Bentzon, Karkoff, Tveitt, Chabrier, Adam, arr Grainger, Coates and Schubert
Danacord Records DACOCD 931 (2 CDs)
Release: 16 March 2024
Thomas Jensen's connection with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra deepened during the early 1950s. The orchestra had come to international attention in concerts led by Fritz Busch at the 1950 Edinburgh Festival, and given a critically acclaimed account of Nielsen's Fourth in London under Launy Grøndahl the following year. In 1952 they embarked on an ambitious tour of the US, giving 39 concerts in 38 cities over 47 days. The punishing schedule did not suit the ageing Grøndahl, and the orchestra's members petitioned for Jensen to replace him. Sharing duties with Erik Tuxen, Jensen conducted 20 performances of Nielsen's Fourth Symphony, as well as works by Dvořák, Grieg and Richard Strauss. This led to a part-time post with the orchestra in 1953, and when Grøndahl retired in 1956 and Tuxen died the following year, Jensen was finally offered the coveted chair of permanent conductor in the autumn of 1957. However, Jensen, now close to sixty, was not the conductor he had been a quarter of a century earlier at an unsuccessful audition. He had begun to suffer from progressive deafness, and he quietly remarked to the musicians that his appointment with them might have come a little too late. The orchestra itself was beginning to feel the pressure of success, which demanded both more concerts and a more challenging repertoire, leaving its musicians less time to rehearse and perform the international repertoire that had made them renowned both in Denmark and beyond. Until Jensen's sudden and early death on 13 November 1963, he and the orchestra made a heroic effort to preserve and pass on a fast-vanishing heritage. They were the guardians of a performing culture derived from Nielsen, and from the orchestra's distinguished early conductors. After 1963, years passed without the DRSO engaging a permanent conductor, and both its playing and esprit de corps suffered accordingly. Thus the recordings in this series represent something of a last gasp of a lost tradition.


15 MARCH 2024

Nicolas Hurt: Serenade, I Miss You
Release: 15 March 2024
Texan guitarist, composer, broadcaster and pedagogue Nicolas Hurt has released a wonderfully intimate and personal solo recording. The mini-album is an extension of his performance-documentary film of the same name, and features his sensitive interpretations of works by himself and three other composers—Zeke Jarmon, Justice Philips and Claire Puckett—all on classical guitar. The pieces traverse a range of different aesthetic approaches from the tuneful and folk-tinged to elusive and atmospheric, even venturing into more dextrous territory.  Hurt's diverse cast of collaborators are united in his personal connection to their respective output, a fact that is underlined by the tender quality of the film. It's also a reflection of Hurt's own varied trajectory which includes everything formal studies at the University of Austin (where he received both a BMus and MMus, and mentorship from renowned teacher Adam Holzman) to co-founding beloved Austin synth pop group SPEAK, teaching at Sul Ross State University and hosting beloved contemporary music radio program 'In Tune' on Marfa Public Radio, the area's NPR station.

Nicholas Canellakis, cello; Michael Stephen Brown, piano
First Hand Records FHR134
Release: 15 March 2024
'15 March, the Ides of March, brings with it the ominous associations of misfortune and doom. But fear not, I'm excited to share some uplifting news to counter that. It is the release day of my latest album,(b)romance, with cellist Nicholas Canellakis! Anchored by five Romances, the album features rarely heard gems alongside our own compositions and arrangements.' - Michael Stephen Brown

Quadrants Vol 5 - Christopher J Hoh, Ferdinando DeSena, Christopher Brakel, Michael Murray, Paul Halley
Benda Quartet - Jakub Černohorský, violin; Ondřej Pustějovský, violin; Petr Benda, viola; Tomáš Svozil, cello
Navona Records NV6602
Release: 15 March 2024
The award-winning Benda Quartet assembles on Quadrants Vol 5 to deliver a stunning, razor-sharp collection of contemporary string works. Composers Christopher J Hoh, Ferdinando DeSena, Christopher Brakel, Michael Murray and Paul Halley offer a wide range of sounds and emotions in this body of work, ranging from warm, elegant expressions to high-octane passages and more.

Jan Järvlepp: Sonix and other Tonix
Trio Casals; Benda Quartet; Nishikawa Ensemble; Chelsea Meynig, flute; Antonello DiMatteo, clarinet; Lumír Kavík, double bass
Navona Records NV6603
Release: 15 March 2024
A collection of innovative chamber works from composer Jan Järvlepp. The title refers to his piece Sonix for Ónix, composed for the Ónix Ensamble of Mexico. It combines elements from his most popular chamber and orchestral works, Pierrot Solaire and Garbage Concerto, respectively. The album also features Trio No 3, a three-movement work for violin, cello and piano which protests the rise of the surveillance state. Sonix and other Tonix also includes Shinkansen, which takes listeners for a ride on a Japanese bullet train, and In Memoriam, written for the composer's late brother. Spanning a diverse range of topics and influences, Sonix and other Tonix exemplifies the iconoclastic creativity for which Järvlepp is known.

Andrew Lewinter: Music for Brass and Piano
Elizabeth Dorman, piano; Jeffrey Work, trumpet; Jeff Garza, horn; Casey Jones, trombone; JáTtik Clark, tuba
Navona Records NV6605
Release: 15 March 2024
Sonatas for brass and piano are a tricky thing to pull off; in consequence, they are few and far between. Andrew Lewinter, himself a long-time orchestral horn player and soloist, has decided to add to the repertoire on Music for Brass and Piano: crafting four different sonatas for piano and each instrument of the brass family, and concluding with a dazzling piano quartet. The tonal language of these sonatas — for piano and trumpet, horn, trombone and tuba, respectively — draws heavily upon the Romantic tradition, but it never copies; rather, it is a reinvention of what Romanticism might have been, had it unfurled in the 21st century. A vibrant arc of suspense gives life to each individual work and, culminating in a grand finale, to the album itself.

Monica Houghton: A Breath of Air - American Art Song
Andrew White, baritone; Andrea Chenoweth Wells, soprano; Albert Rudolph Lee, tenor; John Etsell, piano; Eric Charnofsky, piano; John Benjamin, piano
Navona Records NV6607
Release: 15 March 2024
A love of poetry lies at the core of Monica Houghton's A Breath of Air. She has set to music not only lyrical giants such as Whitman, Dickinson and Hughes, but also some contemporary poets with their own magnificent lyrical gifts. These soul-touching works are performed to the highest possible standard by select world-class singers and accompanists. A perfect symbiosis on all fronts.

Henley Heyn Vol 1
Henley Heyn, voice; Slovak National Opera Orchestra / Peter Valentovič
Navona Records NV6606
Release: 15 March 2024
Henley Heyn's self-titled Henley Heyn Vol 1 was born from two important aspirations of her early career: to be seen and to be heard. Raw authenticity and artistic freedom drive this operatic multimedia release, performed by Heyn herself and the Slovak National Opera Orchestra. Heyn has roared onto the operatic stage in recent seasons, making her Straussian and Wagnerian debuts as Salome & Brünnhilde, followed closely by a harrowing portrayal of Magda Sorel in Gian Carlo Menotti's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, The Consul. Now, she has collaborated with an 85-member orchestra to bring the impassioned vision of Henley Heyn Vol 1 to life.


8 MARCH 2024

Trio Revolution: Unconventional Journey - Liebermann, Haydn, Kapustin
Ketevan Sepashvili, piano; Temo Kharshiladze, flute; Sandro Sidamonidze, cello
Ars Produktion
Release: 8 March 2024
Three times three in this case doesn't make nine, but instead, makes for a fascinating CD. Trio Revolution has recorded works by Lowell Liebermann, Joseph Haydn, and Nikolai Kapustin, three composers who could not be more different from one another. What the three musicians have created here offers many surprises concerning the hitherto woefully neglected trios by Haydn as well as Kapustin as a jazzy and Liebermann as a modern classic.

Ich sehe still vorüberziehen - lieder by Richard Strauss, Josephine Lang, Nadia Boulanger & Ethel Smyth
Yvonne Prentki, soprano; Benedikt ter Braak, piano
Ars Produktion
Release: 8 March 2024
Singer Yvonne Prentki and pianist Benedikt ter Braak offer thrilling discoveries: songs by composers which have been underestimated for way too long. How much they have been neglected becomes especially clear in combination with Richard Strauss' cycle 'Mädchenblumen': this kitschy, glorified model of femininity receives opposition through the songs of Nadia Boulanger and Ethel Smyth as well as first recordings of songs by Josephine Lang.

NYFOS Records: The Singles, Vol 1
NYFOS Records
Release: 8 March 2024
New York Festival of Song (NYFOS) releases an album drawn from its archives, NYFOS Records: The Singles, Vol 1, featuring guest artists performing together with pianist and NYFOS Artistic Director Steven Blier on NYFOS Records. Purchase a physical or digital album here. Stream the album here.  Previously released on February 9 was a single, Chabrier's Lied, performed by baritone Kurt Ollmann and Steven Blier from NYFOS's 1999 program Romance in the Belle Epoque. NYFOS has gathered together this collection of treasured performances for the first time ever on this wide-ranging album. Spanning over 20 years of memorable moments and voices, it features performances by stars of the opera and concert world - Michael Spyres, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Kate Lindsey, Sasha Cooke, Bernarda Fink, Justin Austin, Kurt Ollmann, Brett Polegato, and Lucia Bradford - alongside singing actors like Darius de Haas, Jennifer Aylmer, Dana Hanchard, James Martin, Hal Cazalet, David Costabile, and James Martin. 'In typical NYFOS fashion this album embraces not just a wide range of music sung by a galaxy of star vocalists, but also a span of venues', NYFOS Artistic Director Steven Blier said. 'Some are from live concerts; some were done at the old WQXR studios on lower Fifth Avenue, where we briefly had carte blanche to record songs for a broadcast radio show. We even made a few gorgeous recordings in my living room, where Sasha Cooke sang Brad Mehldau's haunting Love Sublime; it's also where I recorded the piano parts for Kate Lindsey's two tunes during the COVID quarantine.' Repertoire includes classics like Come Sunday by Duke Ellington Auf der Bruck by Schubert, and En sourdine by Fauré, as well as rarities—the premiere recording of a stunning German art song, Abendlied, written by a now-forgotten Holocaust survivor, Georg Jokl; a super-charming eighteenth century Spanish song called El dulce de América; and a hidden gem from the Harlem Renaissance, What Harlem Is to Me, with lyrics by the great Andy Razaf.

Show Me The Way
Will Liverman, baritone; Jonathan King, piano
Cedille Records (2 CDs)
Release: 8 March 2024
A two disc celebration of American song with guest performances by mezzo-soprano J'Nai Bridges, soprano Nicole Cabell, soprano Renée Fleming, violinist Lady Jess, cellist Tahirah Whittington and vocalist Terry Liverman.

Chamber Music of William Horne, Volume 3
Blue Griffin Recording BGR669
Release: 8 March 2024
New Orleans-based composer William Horne, an award-winning educator who studied with avant-garde icon Krzysztof Penderecki and Pulitzer Prize recipient Yehudi Wyner, has released first recordings of three intimate new chamber works, written in his latter-day lyrical style. The album comprises Horne's Sonata for French Horn and Piano (2021), with hornist Mollie Pate and pianist Xiting Yang; Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano (2022), with saxophonist Walter Puyear and pianist Joonghun Cho; and Trio for Flute, Alto Saxophone, and Piano (2023), with flutist Brandon LePage, saxophonist Puyear, and pianist Cho. In the album's program notes, Horne writes that the music is 'couched in traditional forms and embraces forthright lyricism. The clear textures and tonal organization ... recall the Classical style, while their broadly expressive harmonic language and generous melodic gestures embrace, with restraint, more modern idioms'. The Sonata for French Horn and Piano was originally written for horn player Mary Garza. Horne revised it in collaboration with Pate, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra's principal horn, who performs it on this recording. 'I think of the horn as a lyrical instrument', he says, and points to the proclamation-like opening of the first movement. The serene second movement contrasts with the turbulence of the first. The final movement presents 'the clash of dark and turbulent music with heroic and high-spirited elements'. Horne wrote his George Gershwin-influenced Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano out of a longstanding desire to feature the alto sax, with 'its beautiful singing tone'. He caught 'Gershwin fever', he says, from his friend, the noted pianist and composer Logan Skelton, professor of music at the University of Michigan. The saxophone sonata, Horne says, 'has the flavor of Gershwin's language, the scent of his music about it, in the context of a classical sonata'. The Trio for Flute, Alto Saxophone, and Piano heard on this album is follow-up to a piece for the same instrumentation Horne had written for a flutist from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and her chamber group. 'The expressive heart of this new trio', Horne says, is the second movement. It opens with a lyrical solo for the alto saxophone, which is quietly joined by the piano, which then assumes the lead role. The flute enters with 'a new, warmer theme', with gentle piano accompaniment. The theme is traded between wind instruments, leading to an increasingly complicated duet. The movement concludes with 'an extended coda of glowing warmth.' Horne credits the impetus for the new album and its predecessors in the series to Skelton, who was eager to have Horne's music heard by a wider audience and to give his prize piano students, including the pianists on this album, a chance to appear on professionally produced, commercially distributed recordings.

Colour War
Ayanna Witter-Johnson, cello, voice
Hill and Gully Records
Release: 8 March 2024
Colour War' captures a moment in time in Ayanna's musical journey, a moment of change and motion, with each of the four tracks expressing a message relating to Ayanna's musical and cultural identity, as she weaves her spellbinding storytelling and virtuosic instrumentation. Ayanna's critically acclaimed debut album 'Road Runner' came out in 2019, and EP 'Rise Up' in 2021. A celebrated performer, Ayanna has collaborated with many stellar artists, including Anoushka Shankar, Nitin Sawhney, Andrea Bocelli and Jools Holland. She has also toured extensively across the UK, Europe and the US and has recently completed a World Tour with Peter Gabriel.  In 2023 Ayanna was the winner of the Nordoff & Robbins O2 Silver Clef Classical Award.


1 MARCH 2024

Sonatas, Songs and Chant
Auerbach-Pierce Duo
MSR Classics MS1748
Release: 1 March 2024
Violinist Dan Auerbach has appeared as concerto soloist with festival orchestras in the United States, Canada and Israel. As a chamber musician, Auerbach has collaborated with members of the Vermeer Quartet and Juilliard Quartet, the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, and other leading ensembles. A strong proponent of new music, he has performed and toured extensively with such ensembles as Continuum and the New Juilliard Ensemble, and has collaborated with leading composers, including Fred Lerdahl, Sebastian Currier, Bright Sheng and La Monte Young. A long-time specialist in microtonal music, Auerbach has toured Europe with the American Festival of Microtonal Music. His recordings on the Pitch Label include The American Festival of Microtonal Music: Classic, Chamber, Ideas & Early. Also a specialist in klezmer and World Music, he released a CD with the David Glukh Klezmer Ensemble, Live! from New York, that was described as 'phenomenal'. Auerbach has taught at the Juilliard Pre-College division, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and has worked with Roberta Guaspari and the Op 118 Harlem School of Music. During the summer he taught at Blue Lake Arts Festival. Auerbach has served as an Associate Professor of Music at CUNY College of Staten Island where he taught violin, viola, chamber music and conducted the CSI Orchestra. A fellowship recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, Auerbach holds BM and MM degrees in violin performance from The Juilliard School as a student of Dorothy DeLay and Lewis Kaplan, and a DMA from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts as a student of Arnold Steinhardt. His mentors include Dorothy DeLay, Felix Galimir, Lewis Kaplan, Harvey Shapiro and Arnold Steinhardt. Dan Auerbach performs on a violin made by renowned luthier Vanna So. Auerbach holds an MBA degree from SUNY College of Oswego. Considered one of the finest pianists of today, Joshua Pierce has been heard throughout the world in numerous prestigious music venues, including Alice Tully Hall, Symphony Space, 92nd St Y, Carnegie-Weill Hall and Merkin Hall. Internationally, he has appeared in the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland. He has also performed with orchestras throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and South America. A prolific recording artist, Pierce has recorded over 250 works for more than a dozen labels, including numerous premieres as a soloist and with orchestra. A recent collaboration is a duo with violinist Andrew Smith, which yielded an acclaimed 6-CD set featuring live recordings of the complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano by Mozart [MSR MS1800]. As a member of Pierce & Jonas piano duo, he and Dorothy Jonas performed worldwide and premiered and recorded concertos by highly regarded American and European composers, including Creston, Gould, Harris, Malipiero, McKinley, Piston, Rózsa, Starer and Tansman. A champion of contemporary music, Pierce maintained a 30-year association with John Cage, giving many premiere performances and releasing landmark recordings of his work. He studied with Persichetti at Dartmouth College on a scholarship, and later at Juilliard, where he collaborated with the composer on two major works: the Sonata for Two Pianos, Op 13 and his Piano Sonata, Op 101. Highly regarded as a chamber musician and collaborative pianist, Pierce studied with cellists Bernard Greenhouse of the Beaux Arts Trio and Jascha Silberstein, as well as with pianists Arthur Loesser and Artur Balsam. He has performed with numerous chamber musicians and ensembles, and at the Music Mountain Festival and Phillips Collection. Pierce has several Grammy nominations to his credit, as well as a Diapason Award, Fono Forum Award, German Music Critic's Prize. He was a nominee for the 23rd International Franz Liszt Grand Prix du Disque for his recordings of music by the composer. Pierce was awarded the Grand Prize of the IBLA International Competition for Contemporary Music and an Aaron Copland Fund for Music grant. An experienced adjudicator of piano competitions, Pierce has also worked with the American Chamber Orchestra Violin Competition, New York International Center for Contemporary Opera, was a Jury Member of the 2018 7th International Respighi Prize Music Competition and served for years on the International Fulbright Commission.

Soli Deo Gloria - C B Fisk Organ Recital
Barbara Bruns
MSR Classics MS1834
Release: 1 March 2024
Barbara Bruns is Minister of Music at The Parish of Christ Church, Andover, Massachusetts, a position she has held since 2005. An accomplished recitalist, accompanist and conductor, Bruns has concertized extensively in the United States, Europe and Japan. She has performed as soloist for national conventions of the Organ Historical Society, the American Guild of Organists and the Association of Anglican Musicians. Currently she serves as an Executive Coach for Cultural Architects, a leadership development and change management firm in New York City. Bruns has been organ instructor at the New England Conservatory Preparatory and Continuing Education Schools, Associate Conductor of The Boston Cecilia, National Chair of the Leadership Program for Musicians (serving Episcopal and Evangelical Lutheran churches throughout the country) and Director of Training for Leadership Technologies in New York City. She was elected to Pi Kappa Lambda honorary at NEC and received the 'Outstanding Alumni Award' from Augustana College in Illinois. In Massachusetts, Bruns served on the board of directors of the Old West Organ Society in Boston and as Music Director at St John's Episcopal Church in Gloucester, St Michael's Church in Marblehead and St Stephen's Church in  Westborough. She has held similar posts at St Thomas' Church in Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania, and St Michael's Church in Manhattan. Born in Japan, Bruns received her early musical training in piano and pipe organ while living in Sapporo, Tomakomai and Tokyo. She holds a Bachelor of Music in organ performance, magna cum laude, from Augustana College and a Master of Music, with honors, in organ performance from the New England Conservatory. Her principal teachers have been Yuko Hayashi, Tom R Harris, Arthur Poister, Harald Vogel, Kazuko Sacon, Yoko Kimura and Donald Teeters.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky & Erich Wolfgang Korngold String Sextets
T‎he Nash Ensemble
Hyperion CDA68406
Release: 1 March 2024
The Nash Ensemble responds thrillingly to the lush, heady Romanticism which courses through Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence and Korngold's string sextet, two of the greatest contributions to the genre. Both works can seldom have sounded so persuasive as in these exceptional performances.

Maurice Duruflé: Requiem; Francis Poulenc: Lenten Motets
The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge; Harrison Cole, organ / Stephen Layton
Hyperion CDA68436
Release: 1 March 2024
A superlative new account of Duruflé's evergreen Requiem from the Trinity College Cambridge forces and their illustrious out-going Director of Music. With the addition of Poulenc's austerely beautiful motets 'pour un temps de pénitence', this release captures two twentieth-century French voices at their most poignant.

Erinnerung - Bruckner in St Florian
St Florianer Sängerknaben
Solo Musica
Release: 1 March 2024
The St Florianer Sängerknaben is among the oldest of boys' choirs and has a rich tradition. Their founding goes all the way back to the year 1071. Numerous exceptional musicians have emerged from the ranks of this choir, among them the famous composer Anton Bruckner. 2024 marks Bruckner's 200th anniversary - reason enough for the St Florianer Sängerknaben to engage with one of the most renowned members of their choir.

Sanctuary - Melodies for voice and piano by Albena Petrovic
Anna Bineta Diouf, mezzo-soprano; Eugenia Radoslava, piano
Solo Musica
Release: 1 March 2024
This CD featuring songs (Lieder) by Luxembourgian composer Albena Petrovic Vratchanska engages with highly sensual, fundamentally human and also very universal topics. Vratchanska has found a unique musical expression for the things that move people, be they religious or not. The song lyrics traverse centuries, the music stems from our time and the message goes under the skin.

Celestial Voices - music by Richard E Brown, Denice Rippentrop, John Partridge, Christopher J Hoh, William Copper and Ferdinando DeSena
The Kühn Choir of Prague
Navona Records NV6600
Release: 1 March 2024
Ethereal, uplifting, and deeply impactful throughout. The works on Celestial Voices check these boxes and more. Featuring sacred choral works from several contemporary composers, this offering from Navona Records is a musical exploration into the divine that's ready to be experienced in both stereo and Dolby Atmos immersive audio formats. Modern harmonies and rhythmic freedom, new settings of famous hymns, fragments of plainchant that highlight contemporary topics, and more are expressed with clarity and spirit by The Kühn Choir of Prague in this release, who are joined by supportive instrumentalists at various points in the program.

Debra Kaye: Time is the Sea we Swim in
Navona Records NV6604
Release: 1 March 2024
Following her first Navona Records release, Ikarus Among the Stars, New York-based composer Debra Kaye has here curated an ever-varying mix of chamber and solo pieces. Kaye's inspirations are seemingly endless, from the improvisatory piano solo At Liberty (1988) where Kaye returns to her roots as a performer, to the jazzy Colossus 1067 (2021) written to accompany Gus Foster's time-distorting panoramic photograph taken on a roller coaster with a rotary camera; from current events to the poetry of Zen monks, European Romanticism to a philosophical, even metaphysical meditation on time and the creative process. Kaye's eclectic collection showcases and reconciles heterogeneous influences by way of a sonic language that is wholly, uncompromisingly her own. Her confident embrace of diverse sounds and styles invite and challenge listeners to join her on this voyage of discovery and dip a toe into this sea that we all swim in.

Jonathan Sheffer: Four 10-Minute Operas
Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Jonathan Sheffer
Navona Records NV6610
Release: 1 March 2024
A collection of works spanning a variety of themes from American history and culture, performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and emerging UK artists, this release offers operatic explorations into perspectives from the American Civil War, pitfalls of dating in the digital age, religious commentary in the face of tragedy, and a dramatic retelling of a fatal baseball pitch. Conducted by Sheffer himself, each of these ten-minute operas tells an engaging tale that's sure to strike a chord.

Convergence - music by Jenni Watson, Andy Scott, Ruby Fulton, Rahsaan Barber, Peter Meechan, Barry Cockcroft, Frank Felice and Sang Mi Ahn
Heidi Radtke, saxophone
Navona Records NV
Release: 1 March 2024
What is music but a convergence of story, people, and place? It's a question that Heidi Radtke's debut album for soprano, alto, and tenor sax asks earnestly, an elegant meshing of the heartbeats behind the sounds of eight living composers, strung together by the laughter and conversation woven into each exploration, and the saxophone's ability to tell its tale. The full breadth of Radtke's capability is on display as she navigates the variety of narratives, messages, and sonic uniquities in the landscape of Convergence, sometimes bolstered forward with a bubbly charm — in the 'chicken clucks' of Barry Cockcroft's Ku Ku — and sometimes with a powerful, reminding grace, — Rahsaan Barber's Breonna Taylor (How Many More?) - but always with a special musicality. Convergence explores the intersection of instruments, musical tradition, and the saxophone's ability to explore these soundscapes, especially in the format of saxophone with fixed media. From a re-imagination of Debussy to field recordings of natural spaces and sounds taken completely from a cell phone, the fixed media selections boast a wide range of musical styles, but all are connected through storytelling. Ending with the title track, Convergence, Radtke invites the listener to take part in the conversation — the best stories are the ones told together.

J S Bach: Brandenburg Concertos
Danacord DACOCD975 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 March 2024
The first ever attempt to present the Brandenburg Concertos in accordance with Baroque tradition. The pioneering early Berlin recordings conducted with élan and elegance by Alois Melichar, a now nearly forgotten Austrian master. The set includes bonus tracks of the Third Brandenburg Concerto conducted by three legendary masters: Eugene Goosens, Wilhelm Furtwängler and the Dane Georg Høeberg. All recordings from the collection of Claus Byrith and transferred using the best possible digital technology.


18 FEBRUARY 2024

Uriel Pascucci: Unlocking the Virtuoso Piano Technique - Pianistic Principles
Sforzato Scores (paperback book)
Available: 18 February 2024
Dive into a symphony of knowledge with this comprehensive guide, tailored for pianists at every level. This book is a harmonious blend of exercises and techniques, perfect for beginners, intermediates and advanced players. Whether you are a student at a music school or conservatory, or an inspiring teacher, unlock the secrets to mastering an interaction with the piano through relaxation, arm weight and gestures and elevate your musical journey. Discover an insightful methodology for learning the essentials of virtuoso piano technique. Available as a hard copy or as an eBook. Available in English, Spanish and German. The author, Uriel Pascucci, is an Argentinian concert pianist, composer, music producer and pedagogue. He is laureate of international piano competitions. He frequently releases recordings of his own compositions and has performed several concerts and tours.

Posted 28 March 2024 by Keith Bramich



 << Home              More news >>