Ravel, Debussy, Massenet Piano Works Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano), BBC Symphony Orchestra, Yan Pascal Tortelier (conductor) CHANDOS | CHSA5084 | SACD | 95115508428
French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is a master of this repertoire. Bavouzet’s complete recording of the piano music by Debussy has scooped awards from BBC Music and Gramophone: ‘This could well be the finest and most challenging of all Debussy piano cycles.’ On this new release, Bavouzet is accompanied by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Yan Pascal Tortelier, a conductor steeped in the French tradition. The result is a totally idiomatic performance of these French masterpieces for piano and orchestra. Jean-Efflam performs with Sydney Symphony early 2011.
Schumann Dichterliebe, Liederkreis Mark Padmore (tenor), Kristian Bezuidenhout (fortepiano) HARMONIA MUNDI | HMU907521 | CD | 93046752125
Tenor Mark Padmore is deftly supported by fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout in this lieder recital of Heine settings by Robert Schumann (Dichterliebe Op.48, Liederkreis Op.24) and Franz Lachner (5 songs from Sängerfahrt, Op.33). Padmore recently won the Gramophone Award for Best Solo Vocal album (Schubert Winterreise HMU907484). Lauded as 'Mozart reincarnated', fortepiano specialist Kristian Bezuidenhout tours with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra in 2011.
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
December 2010 (exact date tbc) 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.
August 23, 2010 reVisions
Ravel arr Richard Tognetti Two Hebrew Melodies, Debussy Suite for Cello and Orchestra, Prokofiev Concertino for Cello and Orchestra Op 132, Bloch From Jewish Life Steven Isserlis, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Gábor Takács-Nagy (conductor) BIS | BISSACD11782 | SACD | 7318599917825
Steven Isserlis has earned a reputation as one of the foremost cellists of our day.
At the same time he has become known for his ingenuity and innovation in programming, of which this disc is the perfect example. It combines four works for cello and orchestra that wouldn’t even exist without Isserlis – all arrangements made at his personal request, and each of them by the arranger of his personal choice. reVisions includes two Ravel songs arranged by Isserlis’ friend, Australian violinist Richard Tognetti, in order to supplement the concert programme of Isserlis’ 2008 ‘Intense’ tour with Tognetti’s own Australian Chamber Orchestra.
In the wake of his Naxos recording of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 8 (8572392), hailed as ‘yet another Petrenko performance to join the greats’ (BBC Music magazine), comes this much-anticipated interpretation of Shostakovich’s massive Symphony No.10, which ranks among his most important and consistently popular works. Branded with his musical monogram DSCH, it embarks on a profoundly personal journey from fearful brooding to thunderous triumph. In 2010 Vasily Petrenko was named Male Artist of the Year at the Classical Brit Awards, a testament to his galvanizing achievements with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Petrenko has been called one of the great young conductors of this new century. Shostakovich’s symphonies have long been a part of his life and his extraordinary interpretations for Naxos have garnered outstanding critical acclaim.
Widely acclaimed for their Naxos recordings of Dvořák’s Symphonies Nos. 7-8 (8572112) and No. 9 ‘From the New World’ with the Symphonic Variations (8570714), Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony here present his Symphony No. 6, which at once pays tribute to Dvořák’s mentor Brahms and to the rich folk music of his Bohemian homeland, together with one of his most successful works, the waltz-like Scherzo Capriccioso, and the Nocturne, an arrangement for string orchestra of the beautiful slow movement from his Fourth String Quartet.
Songs and Carols for Christmas Monica Whicher (soprano), Judy Loman (harp) 8572510 | CD | 747313251070 Coventry Carol, Adeste Fideles, Il est ne le divin enfant, In Dulci Jubilo, Away in a Manger, Wexford Carol
The richly fascinating history of the Christmas carol spans some nine centuries, from the 12th Century until today, bringing together courtly and popular words and music to contemplate and praise the Christ child. Acclaimed by The Guardian as ‘poignantly expressive’, soprano Monica Whicher joins one of the world’s foremost harp virtuosos and former Principal Harpist with the Toronto Symphony, Judy Loman, to interpret carols both old and new, beloved and unfamiliar, many in Ms. Loman’s expert arrangements.
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.
Now she reprises the role, this time with John Eliot Gardiner – perhaps the most Francophile of English conductors – and his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique at the Opéra Comique in Paris, where Carmen received its première in 1875.