A Choral Year with J S Bach Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki BIS | BISCD1951 | CD | 7318590019511
BUDGET PRICE. From Advent to Reformation Day – the church calendar set to music in selected movements from the cantatas by J.S. Bach, including the moving Christmas choruses 'Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott' and the joyous 'Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied'. Hand-picked by Masaaki Suzuki, the collection also features the searing introduction to St Matthew Passion, the universally loved ‘Jesus bleibet meine Freude’, and Dona Nobis Pacem from the Mass in B Minor. Also available as part of the new boxed set Bach and Beyond (BISCD903639). Suzuki and BCJ stalwart Carolyn Sampson are will perform in Australia in 2011.
Ikon Vol 2 - Russian Choral Music Holst Singers, Stephen Layton HYPERION | CDA67756 | CD | 34571177564
In 1997, the Holst Singers and Stephen Layton produced a disc that immediately became a cult classic and a best-seller. Ikon, a selection of great Russian choral music from the 19th century, dazzled with its grand, opulent beauty. Now the same forces return with Ikon II. Many of the works recorded here are by composers whose names will not be familiar—but the extraordinary quality of the music is unmistakable and immediately enthralling. Stephen Layton toured Australia in August and September 2010 with the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge, and is renowned for what choral music lovers and critics are describing as 'the Layton sound'.
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.
Beethoven Violin Sonatas Vol 2 Alina Ibragimova (violin), Cédric Tiberghien WIGMORE HALL | WHLIVE0041 | CD | 5065000924423
Violin Sonata in F Major 'Spring' Op 24, Violin Sonata in A Major Op 12 No 2, Violin Sonata in G Major Op 96
'Ferociously gifted young musicians' (The Times) Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien return with the second in their series of the complete Beethoven violin sonatas, recorded live at Wigmore Hall and released in Australia one month ahead of the rest of the world to coincide with their Musica Viva tour. The riveting performances in Volume 1 (WHLIVE0036) were deemed 'fresh and spontaneous ' (Financial Times) and 'brimful of life,' (Gramophone, Editor’s Choice). It has been five years since the duo met on the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme, where they immediately forged a dynamic rapport and the signs of an exciting new creative partnership began to emerge.
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
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 en orient
Gnossiennes Nos 1, 3, 5 Gymnopedies Nos 1, 3, Chanson, Prelude d'Eginhard, Air de l'Ordre, Air du Grand Prieur, Air du Grand Maitre, Elegie, Les Anges, Danse Gothique No 3, Chanson Medievale, Prose extract from the Prince of Byzantium
Sarband Ensemble DOUMTAK | NTCD808 | CD | 826596028088
On this unique and mesmerisingly beautiful concept album, the music of eccentric French composer Satie travels to the Middle East, played on oriental instruments including the oud and qanoun, joined by the chalumeau, cornett and medieval harp. Satie undoubtedly would have approved of these exotic touches gracing his gnossiennes and gymnopedies. Perfect for fans of L’Arpeggiata and Jordi Savall.
Born in Sarajevo at a time when the folk music of Yugoslavia enjoyed widespread popularity, Amira learned traditional sevdalinke (songs of yearning) from her mother. Her big break came performing with the gypsy ensemble Mostar Sevdah Reunion, her 2005 debut solo album finding its way onto several Album of the Year lists. Accompanied by Merima Ključo, one of the world's finest classical accordionists, Amira looks at these traditional songs in a new light, rediscovering them and presenting them as the true gems they are. These are hauntingly beautiful examples of the highly complex musical cultures of Bosnia, Serbia and Macedonia. 'Where Amira goes, follow...Zumra is in the ballpark for one of this year's best.' –Froots
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.
Following the release of the first volume of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s splendid Shakespeare Overtures (8572500), Naxos here presents the remaining five, which were composed for large orchestra between 1933 and 1953 and create evocative symphonic impressions of the plays. As You like It paints vividly atmospheric images of the forest of Arden, while The Merchant of Venice has a compelling cinematic quality. The piping, songs and dances of Much Ado About Nothing contrast with the fervent mood of King John. The Winter’s Tale captures both the psychological drama and pastoral mood of Shakespeare’s tragicomic romance. WASO perform these works with panache.
This is the first volume in a splendid new Naxos series. Following the success of their recording of Sibelius’ Night Ride and Sunrise, Belshazzar’s Feast Suite and Kuolema (8570763) – ‘top-notch performances…Recommended’ (Fanfare) – talented young Finnish-born Pietari Inkinen conducts the internationally acclaimed New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in poetic and sweeping performances of his compatriot’s Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3.
Based on Louisa May Alcott’s enduringly popular novel about the adventures of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy in civil-war era New England, Mark Adamo’s opera Little Women has since its 1998 première by Houston Grand Opera received more than 55 productions internationally and achieved the status of an American classic. This recording, with a superb cast expertly directed for television, vividly brings to life what New York magazine hailed as ‘a serious, ambitious, and creatively generous piece of work’ and The New York Times dubbed a ‘masterpiece’. Joyce DiDonato has been chosen as Gramophone’s 2010 Artist of the Year.
An Evening with Renée Fleming Renée Fleming (soprano), Berlin Philharmonic, Ion Marin (conductor) EUROARTS | 2058078 | DVD | 880242580788
The Berlin Philharmonic’s spectacular open-air Waldbühne concerts have been regaled by some of the greatest opera singers of our age, including such operatic legends as Plácido Domingo, the Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón and the wonderful Russian soprano Anna Netrebko.
A further high point in the history of the Waldbühne is undoubtedly the appearance of enthralling American soprano Renée Fleming, who brought to this 'Night of Love' her soft-toned but richly coloured voice. 'It’s such a beautiful place,' she told the Berlin Times. 'When you’re standing there on the stage, you have the feeling that you can sing into the sky.'
Watch an excerpt here.
Yet while Bream advanced the cause by commissioning and playing classical works by new composers, Williams preferred to approach and absorb other strains of music – notably pop and jazz. John took his first eclectic steps into the popular realm in the 1970s, and it’s from that historic decade that Salvo draws the recordings for this anthology. For the first time, Salvo presents every track from his three Fly/Cube albums on one compilation. Changes (1971) includes the first recording of Cavatina, an immensely popular composition that has since become John’s signature piece; The Height Below (1973) saw John work with Beatles producer George Martin for the first time; while Travelling (1978) culminated in the formation of the tremendously successful instrumental group Sky.