From Agrippina, Belshazzar, Sosarme, Ottone, Tamerlano, Ariodante, Radimisto, Theodora,
Sarah Connolly (mezzo), Rosemary Joshua (soprano), English Concert, Harry Bicket (conductor)
CHANDOS | CHAN0767 | CD | 095115076729
This new Handel collection features two great singers in an ideal partnership - Sarah Connolly and Rosemary Joshua - alongside the English Concert, one of the finest baroque orchestras in the UK. Sarah Connolly's acclaimed Handelian performances have included 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.
Wolkenstein Songs of Myself
Andreas Scholl (countertenor) Schield of Harmonies, Crawford Young (conductor)
HARMONIA MUNDI | HMC902051 | CD | 794881941025
Few composers can have boasted quite such a colourful life as the medieval poet Oswald von Wolkenstein. Raised in a Tyrolean castle, in a world ripped apart by the Black Death epidemic and by religious turmoil, Wolkenstein became something of a wandering knight with a complicated private life. If his travels enriched his writings, they also enriched the musical form, as he incorporated French songs into the German style. Andreas Scholl's creamy and communicative countertenor voice has greatly endeared him to critics and public alike.
Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet
London Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev (conductor)
LSO LIVE | LSO0682 | SACD2 | 822231168225
‘Rarely does a new recording supersede all before it, but that is the case with the London Symphony Orchestra's new performance of Prokofiev's ballet score, Romeo and Juliet…an indispensable release.’ (The Australian 5-star review). 'Most concert conductors only take bites out of Prokofiev's virile but lengthy ballet. Not Valery Gergiev. He knows that the complete score is a treasure chest of musical characterisation, orchestral colour, soaring melody and blasting drama: manna from heaven for himself and the London Symphony Orchestra' (The Times).
Impressions on Chopin
Lesdek Mozdzer (piano)
NAÏVE | V5229 | CD | 822186052297
To celebrate the bicentennial of Frederic Chopin's birth, Naive has re-issued Impressions on Chopin - a fascinating, charming and refreshing album that sees the internationally acclaimed Polish jazz pianist Leszek Mozdzer perform his own arrangements of well known works by Chopin. In Mozdzer’s world of music without nationality, the Polish mazurka works alongside ragtime, flamenco and Cuban calypso and the typically Chopin rubato is occasionally replaced by a swing pulse. For fans of Chopin, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock!