Bach The Art of Fugue Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin HARMONIA MUNDI | HMC902064 | CD | 794881982820
Since Bach was more than cryptic in indicating the instrumentation of what is often regarded as his musical testament, The Art of Fugue has been subjected to an infinite variety of arrangements for all sorts of instruments. This recording follows a series of performances in which the musicians of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin tested a highly unusual concept: rather than play uniformly one after the other the contrapuncti and canons Bach left us, they have made great efforts to diversify both the instrumentarium and the macrostructure - an exciting musical game for several players!
American Music for Clarinet and Piano Jon Manasse (clarinet), Jon Nakamatsu (piano) HARMONIA MUNDI | HMU907508 | CD | 93046750824
Acclaimed duo partners Jon Manasse and Jon Nakamatsu turn their focus on American composers in this jazz-inflected program of clarinet and piano music by Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin, and, in premiere recordings, John Novacek and Paquito D'Rivera. 'A brilliant, if unusual, clarinet-and-piano team'. 'Jon Manasse's beautiful legato and Jon Nakamatsu's incisive pianism are a delight' -The Sunday Times.
Schubert Piano Duets Paul Lewis, Steven Osborne (piano) HYPERION | CDA67665 | CD | 34571176659
Schubert is unusual and indeed unique among composers in that some of his greatest works are written for piano duet. He wrote as much music for duet as for solo piano, and reaches emotional depths which take this repertoire far away from its domestic origins. The most celebrated of these pieces, the Fantasie in F minor, with its austere yet heartbreaking opening melody and dramatic double fugue, is one of the great piano achievements of the early 19th century. Who better to commit these works to disc than two of the brightest stars in the British piano scene, Paul Lewis and Steven Osborne? As well as their individual achievements, they also have a long-standing friendship and performing relationship which you will hear reflected in their magisterial performances on this marvellous disc.
Ralph Fiennes Reads Kipling Ralph Fiennes (reader), Ruggiero Ricci (violin), Ernest Lush (piano), London Philharmonic Orchestra, Adrian Boult (conductor) ORCHID | ORC100014 | CD | 5060189560141 |
Acclaimed British Hollywood actor Ralph Fiennes reads Rudyard Kipling’s poems and excerpts from The Jungle Book, Kim, and the Just So Stories. The classic short stories and children’s favourites (including ‘Rikki-Tikki-Tavi’) were recorded in the study at Bateman’s, Kipling’s Jacobean house where he wrote many of his books. These imaginative readings are interspersed with traditional Indian music and works by Elgar, reflecting Kipling’s deep association with the country of his birth.
Australian Guitar Music Aleksandr Tsiboulski (guitar) NAXOS | 8570949 | CD | 747313094974
‘Add another name to Australia’s thriving classical guitar scene…Tsiboulski is the complete guitarist. His playing possesses a highly controlled, honed refinement, but he rises above the technical demands to reach a new level of concentrated, inner thought…The standout is Koehne’s rhapsodic A Closed World of Fine Feelings and Grand Design, which Tsiboulski plays with exquisite, perfectly judged phrases and aching tenderness. He is excellent, too, with Edwards’ Guitar Dances and Blackwattle Caprices…Sculthorpe’s ruminative From Kakadu and Djilile acquire an almost spiritual power.’ (The Australian, 5-star review)
Mozart Violin Concertos Richard Tognetti, Christopher Moore, ACO BIS | BISSACD1754 | SACD | 7318599917542
Undoubtedly one of the most popular and accessible classical albums by any Australian artist this year, this is the Australian Chamber Orchestra's much-anticipated first release dedicated solely to Mozart following a national tour featuring one of his violin concertos. It's set to rival Tognetti’s recordings of Bach which won three consecutive ARIA awards. Watch footage from the recording sessions, interviews with Tognetti and more on the dedicated mini-site: www.savd.com.au/aco
November 22, 2010 Love Songs Anne Sofie von Otter (vocals), Brad Mehldau (jazz piano) NAÏVE | V5241 | CD2 | 822186052419
In the most exciting classical crossover project of the year, Anne Sofie von Otter has chosen to make her first recording for Naïve with the jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, who has previously recorded with Renée Fleming.
Their meeting at Carnegie Hall in 2009 gave rise to a cycle of 7 Love Songs, settings by Brad Mehldau of poems by Sara Teasdale (1884-1933). Together Anne Sofie and Brad have assembled some of the greatest songwriters, including Jacques Brel, Léo Ferré, Michel Legrand, Leonard Bernstein, Paul McCartney, Joni Michell and others.
See a personal message from Anne Sofie announcing her signing to Naive
This bravura display brings together ‘what stern custom had divided’. Here is the ultimate glittering banquet of late Baroque in all its rich diversity. Often compared to Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, Musique de Table is presented here by one of the world's foremost Baroque period-instrument ensembles, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.
October 18, 2010 Virtuoso Clarinet Michael Collins (clarinet), Piers Lane (piano) CHANDOS | CHAN10615 | CD | 95115161524
Michael Collins is one of the world's most versatile clarinettists, possessing a dazzling virtuosity and sensitive musicianship that have made him the favourite of conductors, composers, and audiences throughout the world.
Accompanied here by Australian pianist Piers Lane, Collins is embarking on a series of recordings designed to display the extraordinarily wide range of music written for his instrument. The present programme comprises a varied repertoire, concentrating on its more extrovert virtuoso aspects and offering some breathtaking show-stoppers. Well-known works such as Rachmaninoff’s haunting Vocalise contrast with a bubbly fantasia on the famous aria from La Traviata and Gershwin's three exuberant jazz Preludes.
September 13, 2010 Satie in the Orient Sarband Ensemble DOUMTAK | NTCD808 | CD | 826596028088
On this unique and mesmerisingly beautiful concept album, the music of eccentric French composer Erik Satie travels to the Middle East. Satie is played here on oriental instruments including the oud and qanoun, and joined by the chalumeau, cornett and medieval harp! Satie undoubtedly would have approved of these exotic touches gracing his gnossiennes and gymnopédies.
Puccini’s fascination with exotic locations, doomed heroines, high drama and tragic romance are brought to centre stage in this immensely moving selection from his greatest operas, including Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, Tosca, and Turandot. Also available: The Ultimate Mozart, Verdi, and Wagner collections.
Composed to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press and taking Beethoven’s mighty Ninth Symphony as his model, Felix Mendelssohn’s immense Symphony No. 2, sub-titled ‘Hymn of Praise’, enjoyed great success following its 1840 première in Leipzig. Using texts from the Lutheran Bible, he created a stirring symphonic cantata in which the whole world unites in a triumphant song to the Heavenly Father. Jun Märkl, whose Naxos recordings have gained high praise, leads an outstanding line-up of artists in this thrilling performance.
Hallelujah! Tony Palmer’s long-lost original portrait of Leonard Cohen on his 1972 European tour has been unearthed and painstakingly restored by Palmer himself, the celebrated British filmmaker who has worked with The Beatles, Cream, Frank Zappa, and Jimi Hendrix.
Palmer lived and travelled with Leonard Cohen throughout the tour. The result is some of the most insightful, intimate footage of the man and the artist that fans will ever see. Bird on a Wire includes 15 classic live performances and four rare poetry readings.
Fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout continues his multi-disc survey of Mozart’s music for solo keyboard. Volume 2 features an instrument by Paul McNulty, modeled on a Viennese original by Anton Walter & Sohn (c.1802). He appears with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra in 2011. ‘Bezuidenhout is a prince of the fortepiano, making it sing in melodic phrases as no other practitioner of this intractable instrument has done in my experience.’ –The Times