Complete Tranquility I Musici De Montreal, Yuli Turovsky (cello, conductor) CHANDOS | CHAN10565 | CD3 | 095115156520
Vivaldi, Pergolesi, Bach, Shostakovich, Dvorak
Founded by cellist and conductor Yuli Turovsky, I Musici de Montréal is a chamber orchestra of 15 musicians that performs a vast repertoire extending from the Baroque to the Contemporary, and is among the most important touring orchestras in Canada. 2009 marked the 25th anniversary of the orchestra, also the 70th birthday of Yuli Turovsky. To mark these double celebrations, Chandos presents a 3-CD set packed full with relaxing music taken from a selection of I Musici’s Chandos catalogue (spanning over 40 CDs). From the dreamy melodies of Vivaldi, Pergolesi and J.S Bach to Shostakovich and Dvorak, the music on these CDs is a wonderful salve for our busy lives. This set is sold at 3CDs for the price of 1.
Sheppard Media vita, Te Deum, Choral Works Stile Antico HARMONIA MUNDI | HMU807509 | CD | 093046750961
For its fourth recording, Stile Antico spotlights the work of a neglected Tudor master: John Sheppard. The programme displays his genius across the range of genres in which he composed, including Catholic liturgical responds and hymns alongside simple English anthems written in the reign of Edward VI. As its centerpiece, the great antiphon 'Media Vita' is a reflection on the frailty of human life and the hope for salvation. Stile Antico is an ensemble of young British singers, now established as one of the most original and exciting new voices in its field. The group's most recent release, Song of Songs(HMU807489), won the 2009 Gramophone Award for Early Music and reached the top of the US Classical Chart. Stile Antico met with acclaim as the vocal group touring Australia for Sting's Dowland concerts.
Debussy, Ravel String Quartets Dante Quartet - Krysia Osostowicz (violin), Giles Francis (violin), Judith Busbridge (viola), Bernard Gregor-Smith (cello) Simon Crawford-Phillips (piano) HYPERION | CDA67759 | CD | 034571177595
Debussy String Quartet in G minor, Ravel Violin Sonata No 2 in G major, String Quartet in F major
The Dante Quartet continues its award-winning exploration of the French string quartet with this disc which includes two of the greatest works of this genre. Both quartets dazzled and disturbed at their first performances. Debussy’s fantastic, spiraling variations, resisting orthodox ‘development’ of ideas, is described as reminiscent of Monet’s in recording the variations of light on the façade of Rouen Cathedral. Traditionalist commentators were shocked, but the exotic beauty of the writing excited many, including the young Ravel. Ravel’s Quartet is to some extent a homage to Debussy, but, typically, also a work of startling originality. Also included is Ravel’s Violin Sonata No 2 in G major, an intriguing, jazz-influenced work, energetic but with a dark undertow of pain; written, as Ravel said, with the aim of ‘exploring the basic incompatibility of violin and piano’.
Handel Nine German Arias Emma Kirkby (soprano) London Baroque BIS | BISCD1615 | CD | 7318590016152
Among Handel’s vocal works – from the early, operatic solo cantatas to the full-blown operas and the oratorios of his London years – the Nine German Arias hold a special place. Possibly composed around the time that the composer made a final journey to Germany to take leave of his ailing mother, they were Handel’s last settings of texts in his native language. It seems likely that these circumstances contributed to the intimate character of these highly personal works. Emma Kirkby has chosen to combine these arias with the much earlier Gloria, discovered in 2001 and given its première recording – by Emma Kirkby herself – in the same year. Kirkby and London Baroque share a musical relationship of long standing, and appear together on two previous Handel recordings on BIS.
Chopin The Complete Works Garrick Ohlssohn (piano), Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra HYPERION | CDS4435166 |CD16 | 034571143514
16 CDs at a very special price for a limited time only. Under $10 per disc!
‘This is an outstanding achievement, which any genuine Chopin lover and student of Romantic music should own’ – International Record Review
Since his triumph as winner of the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition, pianist Garrick Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. This monumental recording project shows him at his virtuosic best.
Chopin Piano Works Grigory Sokolov (piano), Janus Olejniczak (piano) NAÏVE | OP30494 | CD4 | 709861304943
Piano Sonata No 2 Op 35, Etudes Op 25, Marche Funebre in B Flat Minor, 24 Preludes Op 28, 23 Mazurkas, 9 Polonaises
This beautifully presented boxed set of Chopin’s best-loved piano works is available at 4 CDs for the price of 1! It includes brilliant, deeply moving performances by renowned Chopin greats Grigory Sokolov and Janus Olejniczak.
Chopin Waltzes Nos 1-19 Alexandre Tharaud HARMONIA MUNDI | HMX2901927 | CD | 794881941322
This budget-priced reissue of one of the finest recordings of Chopin’s complete Waltzes, performed by French virtuoso Alexandre Tharaud, includes the 2010 Harmonia Mundi printed catalogue.
'All these performances suggest a fastidious musical intelligence with an immaculate technique…’
‘…Harmonia Mundi's sound is as crystalline as the playing, and these scrupulously modern and sensitive performances are among the finest available.' –Gramophone
Chopin The Essentials Olga Kern, Cedric Tiberghien, Alain Planès, Alexandre Tharaud, Frederic Chiu, Jon Nakamatsu, Nobuyuki Tsujii, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Antoni Wit HARMONIA MUNDI | HMX2908375 | CD | 794881941421
Valses, Polonaises, Mazurkas, Ballades, Sonatas and Concertos from the world’s finest Chopin interpreters, all at a special price!
Bach Brandenburg Concerto Nos 1-3, Beethoven “Pathetique” Piano Sonata, Beethoven “Moonlight” Piano Sonata, Brahms Symphony No 2, Chopin Nocturnes, Debussy La Mer, Dvorak Symphony No 9, Faure Requiem, Grieg Peer Gynt Suite Nos 1 & 2, Grieg From Holberg’s Time, Handel Messiah, Haydn String Quartets Op 76, Liszt Piano Concerto Nos 1 & 2, Mozart Requiem, Rimsky-Korsakov Sheherazade, Schumann Scenes of Childhood, Schumann Masquerade Suite, Tchaikovsky Nutcracker Suite, Tchaikovsky Swan Lake, Vivaldi The Four Seasons, Wagner Ride of the Valkyries, plus more!
24 Hours of Classical Music – The Perfect Start to Your Collection is made up of nearly 24 complete Naxos albums featuring some of the most important classical music ever written. This is for both the novice and the seasoned collector.
December 2009 Dreams - Works Transcribed for Cello and Orchestra Ophelie Gaillard (cello), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Craig Leon (transcriptions) APARTE | AP001 | CD | 0794881939428
Debussy Girl with the Flaxen Hair, Dvorak Song to the Moon, Grieg Solveig Song, Chopin Mazurka Op 67 No 4, Nocturne Op 9 No 2, Tchaikovsky Valse Sentimentale Op 51 No 6, Rachmaninov Vocalise, Satie Gymnopedie, Gnossienne No 1, Faure Pavane, After A Dream
Craig Leon's arrangements for Joshua Bell's best-selling album Romance of the Violin paved the way for this new CD of glorious, singing cello lines. With the cello often being described as the instrument whose sound is closest to the human voice, Swiss cellist Ophelie Gaillard here takes the lead in opera aria transcriptions (including the famous Song to the Moon and Puccini's 'O mio babbino caro') for cello and orchestra. Also featuring well known works by Satie, Faure, Debussy and Grieg, Leon and Gaillard's Dreams hears oft-heard melodies anew in serene yet sumptuous new arrangements.
November 2009 To Saint Cecilia Anders Dahlin (tenor), Lucy Crowe (soprano), Nathalie Stutzmann (contralto), Richard Croft (tenor), Lucas Tittoto (bass), Choir and Orchestra of Les Musiciens du Louvre, Marc Minkowski (conductor) NAIVE | V5183 | CD2 | 822186051832
Purcell Hail Bright Cecilia, Handel A Song For Saint Cecilia's Day, Haydn Cecilia Mass
Three great works by three great composers (each of whom has an important anniversary in 2009) linked by associations with the patron saint of music, St Cecilia.
Minkowski, the Choir and Musiciens du Louvre are in fine form here, as are the excellent soloists Lucy Crowe (soprano), Nathalie Stutzmann (contralto), and Anders J. Dahlin (tenor). Purcell’s Hail! Bright Cecilia, Handel’s A Song for St Cecilia’s Day and Haydn’s St Cecilia Mass are justifiably regarded as masterpieces, each inspiring its composer to ravishing evocations of the power of music. As Minkowski writes in the extensive booklet of this beautifully packaged edition, ‘Richness of timbres, sonic invention and intensity of expression are the outstanding features of these three sumptuous works, Baroque in character but timeless in their content’. Let St Cecilia brighten your day.
November 2009 The Baroque Trombone Members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra - Richard Tognetti (violin), Helena Rathbone (violin), Maxime Bibeau (double bass), Neal Peres Da Costa (harpsichord, organ), Christian Lindberg (trombone) BIS RECORDS | BISCD1688 | CD | 7318590016886
Frescobaldi Four Canzonas, Biber Trio Sonata, Castello Three Sonatas
Christian Lindberg, who has done more than anyone to establish the modern trombone as a solo instrument, bought his first sackbut 30 years ago with the hope of one day recording a baroque programme. Now the opportunity to do so has arrived – largely due to Lindberg’s encounter with Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. On this recording Lindberg and a handful of the ACO players in ‘sweet harmony’ (including Helena Rathbone, Maxime Bibeauand Neal Peres Da Costa)present a programme of sonatas and canzonas by Biber, Frescobaldi and Dario Castello.
In the wake of his First Symphony’s catastrophic première, Rachmaninov took a decade before commencing his Second, painstakingly revising it before conducting the triumphant première in 1908. Although haunted, like his First, by the Dies irae chant melody, the Second Symphony brims with Rachmaninov’s revitalised assurance as a composer, from its brooding opening to the vigorous grandeur of its conclusion. Eric Carmen borrowed the third movement’s poignant theme for his popular song Never Gonna Fall In Love Again, a tribute to the enduring power of Rachmaninov’s Romantic genius.
Shortly after completing his breathtaking Fifth Symphony, Beethoven composed incidental music for Goethe’s drama, Egmont. While the Overture is well known, the remaining movements deserve no less attention as they chart the tragic course of Count Egmont’s rebellion against the Spanish occupation of the Netherlands and his ill-fated love for Clara, whose suicide Beethoven movingly portrays. Two Marches, composed at around the same time, and his concert aria Ah! perfido, written a decade earlier, complement one of Beethoven’s most effective theatrical scores.
A Yiddish Winterreise is a sequence of songs from the Yiddish repertoire devised by opera singer and cantor Mark Glanville, recreating the original, Schubertian journey in a Holocaust context. The singer reflects on the life and world he has just seen destroyed as he flees the Vilna ghetto. Minor-key or modal melodies may evoke a sense of sadness, yet a deep-hearted joy, even triumph, are often equally evident.
This sumptuous 2008 production was staged by Chen Kaige, the director of the classic Chinese film Farewell My Concubine and winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, and conducted by the great Zubin Mehta with a celebrated Italian cast. Traditional oriental costuming and lavish sets - captured in full High Definition - brings the world of Turandot vividly to life in a definitive new vision. Extensive behind-the-scenes footage shown in a 36-minute documentary delves into this magnificent production and completes the DVD presentation. View excerpts on
Coco & Igor – The Soundtrack Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Simon Rattle (conductor), Christophe Bukudjian (piano) NAÏVE | V5223 | CD | 822186052235
Stravinsky The Rite of Spring, Five Easy Pieces, Film Score by Gabriel Yared
The breathtaking soundtrack to Coco & Igor (opening in cinemas in April 2010) features Stravinsky’s complete Rite of Spring performed by Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, alongside Stravinsky-inspired music by Gabriel Yared, composer of The English Patient’s unforgettable score.
One of the most exciting new films about music to emerge in recent years, Coco & Igor explores the intense relationship between Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky, who met at the explosive 1913 premiere of The Rite of Spring in Paris and inspired in one another a surge of creativity and passion.
In addition to the sumptuous Chanel costuming that has been praised at the Cannes Film Festival, Coco & Igor features a daring feat of filmmaking: a reconstruction of the Rite of Spring’s infamous premiere and the ensuing audience riot, the stuff of legend in the history of 20th-century music!