Philips Cantiones Sacrae 1612 Choir of Trinity College Cambridge, Richard Marlow (conductor) CHANDOS | CHAN0770 | CD | 095115077023
Peter Philips was, after William Byrd, the most published English composer of the Elizabethan-Jacobean Age. He trained as a choirboy at St Paul’s Cathedral in London and may have studied keyboard playing with Byrd. In 1582 he fled England to avoid persecution as a Roman Catholic and made his way to Rome, a crucial point in the formation of Philips’s musical style. The early 1580s were years of rapid development in that city’s music, particularly in writing for multiple choirs. Philips wrote some double-choir music and the antiphonal principle underlies much of the music on this recording, even if written for a single choir of five voices. Experience the luminous sound of the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge on tour with Musica Viva August – September 2010.
Bach Well-Tempered Clavier Book 2 Richard Egarr (harpsichord) HARMONIA MUNDI | HMU90743334 | CD2 | 093046743321
Using the tuning that research suggests Bach himself advocated, Richard Egarr completes his acclaimed project with this inspired reading of The Well-Tempered Clavier Book II. Praise for Egarr’s Book 1 (HMU90743132): ‘to hear these miraculous preludes and fugues played with absolute clarity and rhythmic flexibility by Egarr is a special treat…one of the finest recordings of this work now available’—Classic FM Magazine. ‘Uninhibited virtuosity… This is playing of real stature. Richard Egarr is the doyen of English harpsichordists’ –Gramophone
Britten Songs and Proverbs of William Blake Gerald Finley (baritone), Julius Drake (piano) HYPERION | CDA67778 | CD | 034571177786
The unbeatable, multi-award-winning partnership of Gerald Finley and Julius Drake turn to the composer Benjamin Britten for their latest Hyperion release. Although Britten is particularly celebrated for the substantial body of music he composed for the tenor voice, the composer also left an important legacy of music for baritone. This disc contains Britten’s two important song cycles for baritone: Tit for Tat, setting the poems of Walter de la Mare, and the more substantial and challenging Songs and Proverbs of William Blake. The latter was written for Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau; designed to showcase his unique blend of intense lyricism and dramatic characterization, qualities which are undoubtedly also exhibited by Gerald Finley. Also featured are some of Britten’s popular folksong settings (including 'Greensleves' and 'I Wonder as I Wander').
Chopin Piano Concerto No 2, Ballades Lise De La Salle (piano), Staatskapelle Dresden, Fabio Luisi (conductor) NAÏVE | V5215 | CD | 822186052150
Brilliant young prodigy Lise de la Salle's new project is one of the major event releases of the Chopin bicentenary. The recording couples the famous four Ballades for solo piano with the second Piano Concerto, performed with the Staatskapelle Dresden and conductor Fabio Luisi. In December 2008, the Staatskapelle was selected by Gramophone as one of the world's top ten orchestras, a long-held reputation.
value pick of the month - cheaper than a download!
Pavarotti The Opera Collection Pavarotti, with Mirella Freni, Renata Scotto, Montserrat Caballe, Claudio Abbado, Carlo Maria Giulini, Riccardo Muti RED NOTE | RNCDBOX002 | CD14 | 5060214200530
Bellini I Puritani, I Capuleti E I Montecchi, Verdi Rigoletto, Luisa Miller, Massenet Manon, Puccini La Boheme
These live performances of six complete bel canto operas (originally on the Opera d’Oro label) were recorded in Italy early in Pavarotti’s meteoric rise to fame, with stellar casts including Montserrat Caballe, Mirella Freni and Renata Scotto and conductors Abbado, Giulini and Muti. The boxed set follows the success of the Pavarotti ‘Signature Collection’ (RNCDBOX001) at the same great price. Hear the young Pavarotti in fine voice singing the Italian repertoire with which he captivated generations of music lovers.
Averaging roughly 40 cents per track, this lavish boxed set is cheaper than a download and looks spectacular on any collector’s shelf.
June 21, 2010 Gershwin by Grofé - Symphonic Jazz Lincoln Mayorga (piano), Al Gallodoro (clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone), Harmonie Ensemble, Steven Richman HARMONIA MUNDI | HMU907492 | CD | 093046749224
In this swinging collection of ‘symphonic jazz’, Steve Richman and the Harmonie Ensemble New York recreate the original Gershwin orchestrations made by Ferde Grofé for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra.
The programme features Gershwin’s immortal Rhapsody in Blue (with legendary clarinettist Al Gallodoro, an original member of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra in the 1930s!), the I Got Rhythm Variations, and a selection of George’s Broadway tunes, including 'Summertime'.
May 31, 2010 The Complete London Symphonies Les Musiciens du Louvre, Marc Minkowski (conductor) NAÏVE | V5176 | CD4 | 822186051764
4 CDs for the price of 2
2009 was an annus mirabilis of astonishing productivity and brilliance for celebrated conductor Marc Minkowski, who has conducted critically acclaimed recordings of major works including the Bach Mass in B Minor (V5145) and a unique concept album devoted to Cecilia, patron saint of music (V5183).
Following these successes, he now releases on CD his superb contribution to last year’s Haydn bicentenary: the complete London Symphonies. These twelve symphonies represent the pinnacle of the Classical genre from the most prolific symphonist of the era. Minkowski has already garnered a reputation as one of the most innovative and progressive Mozart conductors recording today; this renown can now be extended to Mozart's friend and contemporary, Joseph Haydn.
May 10, 2010 Mr Corelli in London Maurice Steger (recorder), The English Concert, Laurence Cummings (conductor) HARMONIA MUNDI | HMU907523 | CD | 093046752323
Perhaps the brightest, most vibrant and virtuosic disc of recorder music ever released! This disc features charming baroque gems arranged by English contemporaries of Corelli from the Italian master’s visionary Violin Sonatas Op. 5.
Lauded as ‘the world’s leading recorder virtuoso’ (The Independent), Maurice Steger is an esteemed regular guest of Antiqua Köln, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and Europa Galante. Mr Corelli in London offers a fantastical view of where England meets Venice in a sumptuous program played by acclaimed British Baroque ensemble The English Concert.
April 19, 2010 Handel Duets Sarah Connolly (mezzo), Rosemary Joshua (soprano), English Concert, Harry Bicket (conductor) CHANDOS | CHAN0767 | CD | 095115076729 Duets from Agrippina, Belshazzar, Sosarme, Ottone, Tamerlano, Ariodante, Radimisto, Theodora, Giulio Cesare
This sumptuous new Handel collection features two great singers - Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano) and Rosemary Joshua (soprano) - alongside the English Concert, one of the world’s finest baroque orchestras.
Duets play a key role in Handel’s stage works. A master of the Baroque opera seria medium, with its extended sequence of solo arias and recitative dialogue, he understood the dramatic effectiveness of occasional numbers blending two voices, generally those of a soprano heroine and a castrato hero. Sarah Connolly's Handelian roles have including the title-role in Giulio Cesare for the Glyndebourne Festival and in Agrippina, Xerxes, Ariodante and Ruggiero (Alcina) for the English National Opera. Rosemary Joshua, too, is well known for her Handel, having sung the title-role in Semele for which she was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award and recorded for Chandos. A must-have for all Handel enthusiasts.
This recording is dedicated to the memory of internationally acclaimed Australian soprano Deborah Riedel who was to have played the part of Ghiva but who sadly passed in January 2009. The superb Australian cast includes Fiona Janes and Bernadette Cullen, conducted by Richard Bonynge.
The Lorelei Rock in the Rhine River on which the siren Lurline played her enchanting harp to lure fishermen to a watery grave is the setting for Lurline, a Grand Legendary Opera in three acts, heard here in a new performing edition by Richard Bonynge. Victorian theatre critics declared it an outright success and the opera played for a substantial number of performances, making it a landmark production.
Eric Whitacre’s dedication to the beauty of sound, paired with exquisite texts, results in a poetic combination that creates a unique sonic experience.
These works are existential choral moments, beautifully crafted, and harmonised to express a compressed moment in time. Such sublime sonorities transcend descriptions such as ‘warm’, ‘glistening’ or ‘shimmering’, although these features of his choral works do suggest affinities with the sound worlds of Arvo Pärt or John Tavener, for instance. However, Whitacre’s fluid lines and blossoming harmonies give his music its own highly personal and irresistible magic.
A beautiful selection on 2 CDs of the best-known arias, duets and orchestral music from Vienna’s golden age of operetta, featuring Die Fledermaus, The Merry Widow, The Land of Smiles, The Gypsy Princess, The Gypsy Baron and Countess Mariza.
Stellar singers (including Yvonne Kenny) and conductors (Richard Bonynge) truly make this the ultimate operetta collection.
Destined to be one of the most popular and accessible classical albums by any Australian artist this year (and an ARIA Award shoe-in), this is the Australian Chamber Orchestra's much-anticipated first album dedicated solely to Mozart. The violin concertante works are amongst Mozart's most beautiful, and Richard Tognetti as soloist plays them on one of the world's finest violins (the extraordinary 10-million-dollar Carrodus crafted by Guarneri in 1743) with rare insight, passion and poetry. This is surely the must-have classical album of 2010. Watch footage from the recording sessions, interviews with Tognetti and more.