COMING SOON! OPERA AUSTRALIA'S HIT PRODUCTION OF GILBERT AND SULLIVAN'S THE MIKADO
The Mikado Blu-Ray
Gilbert and Sullivan The Mikado Blu-Ray Mitchell Butel, Kaneen Breen, Taryn Fiebig, Warwick Fyfe, Jacqueline Dark, Richard Alexander, Opera Australia Chorus, Orchestra Victoria, Brian Castles-Onion OPERA AUSTRALIA | OPOZ56015 | 5060266600241 | BLU-RAY
‘Opera Australia’s lavish production of The Mikado succeeds in doing justice to the colourful whimsy and pointed fakery of Gilbert & Sullivan’s classic…Mitchell Butel’s Ko-Ko is nerdy, brash…but ultimately loveable and manages to carry the show with the help of Kanen Breen’s old-boy charm as Nanky-Poo. Butel’s physical performance and vocal style recall his leading role as Princeton in Avenue Q…Taryn Febig’s Yum-Yum is sweet but never steals the scene…Warwick Fyfe gives a plump, brooding and understated performance as befits the Lord High Everything Else, while Jacqueline Dark’s jilted lover Katisha switches disconcertingly from demonic to diva in a way that is most entertaining. Richard Alexander’s brief but memorable turn as the Mikado captures all the ersatz empathy and ruthless disinterest of the ruling class that Gilbert no doubt hoped to insinuate.’ (Australian Stage). ALSO ON DVD OPOZ56014 AND CD OPOZ56016
The Mikado DVD
Gilbert and Sullivan The Mikado DVD Mitchell Butel, Kaneen Breen, Taryn Fiebig, Warwick Fyfe, Jacqueline Dark, Richard Alexander, Opera Australia Chorus, Orchestra Victoria, Brian Castles-Onion OPERA AUSTRALIA | OPOZ56014 | 5060266600234 | DVD
‘Opera Australia’s lavish production of The Mikado succeeds in doing justice to the colourful whimsy and pointed fakery of Gilbert & Sullivan’s classic…Mitchell Butel’s Ko-Ko is nerdy, brash…but ultimately loveable and manages to carry the show with the help of Kanen Breen’s old-boy charm as Nanky-Poo. Butel’s physical performance and vocal style recall his leading role as Princeton in Avenue Q…Taryn Febig’s Yum-Yum is sweet but never steals the scene…Warwick Fyfe gives a plump, brooding and understated performance as befits the Lord High Everything Else, while Jacqueline Dark’s jilted lover Katisha switches disconcertingly from demonic to diva in a way that is most entertaining. Richard Alexander’s brief but memorable turn as the Mikado captures all the ersatz empathy and ruthless disinterest of the ruling class that Gilbert no doubt hoped to insinuate.’ (Australian Stage). ALSO ON BLU-RAY OPOZ56015 AND CD OPOZ56016
The Mikado CD
Gilbert and Sullivan The Mikado CD Mitchell Butel, Kaneen Breen, Taryn Fiebig, Warwick Fyfe, Jacqueline Dark, Richard Alexander, Opera Australia Chorus, Orchestra Victoria, Brian Castles-Onion OPERA AUSTRALIA | OPOZ56016 | 5060266600258 | CD2
‘Opera Australia’s lavish production of The Mikado succeeds in doing justice to the colourful whimsy and pointed fakery of Gilbert & Sullivan’s classic…Mitchell Butel’s Ko-Ko is nerdy, brash…but ultimately loveable and manages to carry the show with the help of Kanen Breen’s old-boy charm as Nanky-Poo. Butel’s physical performance and vocal style recall his leading role as Princeton in Avenue Q…Taryn Febig’s Yum-Yum is sweet but never steals the scene…Warwick Fyfe gives a plump, brooding and understated performance as befits the Lord High Everything Else, while Jacqueline Dark’s jilted lover Katisha switches disconcertingly from demonic to diva in a way that is most entertaining. Richard Alexander’s brief but memorable turn as the Mikado captures all the ersatz empathy and ruthless disinterest of the ruling class that Gilbert no doubt hoped to insinuate.’ (Australian Stage). ALSO ON BLU-RAY OPOZ56015 AND DVD OPOZ56014
Huppertz Metropolis Original Motion Picture Score Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Frank Strobel (conductor) CAPRICCIO | C5066 | 84522105066 | CD
WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING This new recording of the original soundtrack for Fritz Lang's cult classic film Metropolis soundtrack reveals a film score that revolutionised movie music. At the end of October, in association with The Mad Square: Modernity in German Art 1910-1937 exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Frank Strobel will present the film Metropolis with the complete score by Gottfried Huppertz. It’s a perfect tie-in between the visual and musical arts. An enormous amount of work went into the restoration of the complete score and the result is stunning. The CD notes tell the whole story.
PLAY TRACK 1
The Best is Yet to Come
The best is yet to come, Smile, Too darn hot, I've got a crush on you, This can't be love, Cheek to cheek, Fever, That old black magic, It's so easy to remember, You and the night and the music, old devil moon, The good life Laura Fygi (vocals), big band featuring Jan Menu and Johan Plomp OUT OF THE BLUE | PRCD2011001 | 8713545212013 | CD
Edison Award winner Laura Fygi has gained gold and platinum sales for her prvious albums. On her latest album, The Best is Yet to Come, she sings classic jazz standards with all the style and excitement you would expect of a world-class artist backed by a high-powered big band. She regards The Best is Yet to Come as 'extra special' because it celebrates her 20th Anniversary as a solo artist. You'll find it hard not to sing along yourself! PLAY TRACK 2
Songs by Carsten Morch (music) and Lisa Freeman (words) Antonio Banderas, Anne Sofie von Otter, Rebecca Caine, Barbara Hendricks, Bo Skovhus, Camila Nylund, Song Zuying, Inger Dam-Jensen, other soloists, Sylvia Young Theater School Children's Choir UNICEF | UNI201001 | 730099600620 | CD
First album from the UNICEF label. When you buy this CD you support the work of UNICEF to improve children's lives around the globe. The songs on this delightful album, composed by Carsten Morch to lyrics by Lisa Freeman and Richard Rudolph celebrate the stages of human life. A wonderful album for children and adults alike.
PLAY TRACK 3
Antonio Banderas (baritone), Anne Sofie von Otter (soprano)
All Of These Things You Are To Me
Camilla Nylund (soprano)
I Love You By Heart
Bo Skovhus (baritone), Gisela Stille (soprano), Johnny van Hal (tenor)
Move By Love
Inger Dam-Jensen (soprano), Johnny van Hal (tenor)
Song Zuying (soprano), Bo Skovhus (baritone)
Sylvia Young Theater School Children Choir
You Are Not Alone
Rebecca Cain (soprano), Jamie Bryce (baritone)
Camilla Nylund (soprano), Anton Saris (baritone)
Barbara Hendricks (soprano)
collectors corner october 2011
Contact your preferred music store for these great new releases.
Click on the album cover for more information about each recording.
Play excerpts from the CDs on the player below.
Vivaldi Concertos for Strings Arte dei Suonatori BIS | BISCD1845 | 7318590018453 | CD
In addition to his many concertos for solo instruments, Vivaldi also penned some fifty concertos for string orchestra without soloist. The acclaimed Polish period-instrument ensemble Arte dei Suonatori have chosen ten of the most beautiful for this engaging album. Probably composed during the 1720s and -30s, these concertos for strings are characterful and entertaining.
Also on Homepage Media Player Track 4
Im Herbst (In Autumn)
Choral Works by Brahms and Schubert Det Morske Solister, Grete Pedersen (conductor), Ingrid Andsnes (piano), Kare Nordstoga (organ), Catherine Bullock, Madelene Berg (violin), Oystein Birkeland, Ole Erik Ree (cello), Dan Styffe (double bass) BIS | BISSACD1869 | 7318599918693 | SACD
Autumn ('Herbst' in German) was a season that seemed to inspire many Romantic composers. The sacred and secular choral music by Schubert and Brahms on this album receives moving performances by the acclaimed Norwegian Soloists Choir, whose previous BIS album, White Night (BISSACD1871) was highly praised by Gramophone magazine.
Also on Homepage Media Player Track 5
Music of the Russian Avant-Garde 1905-26
Music by Roslavets, Mosolov, Pasternak, Stanchinsky,
J Skryabin, Obukhov, A Skryabin Roger Woodwood (piano) CELESTIAL HARMONIES | 132552 | 132552 | CD
Internationally acclaimed and multi-awarding-winning Australian pianist Roger Woodwood presents a fascinating glimpse of the music of Russian composers who were active during the heyday of the avant garde, 1905-27. From the surreal music of Alexandre Skryabin and the ambitious works of his son Julian to music composed by the author of Dr Zhivago, Boris Pasternak, this album is a rewarding voyage of discovery. Select Audio-Visual Distribution now distributes the entire Celestial Harmonies range in Australia.
Also on Homepage Media Player Track 6
My True Love Hath My Heart
English songs by Britten, Gurney, Warlock, Ireland, Howells, Head, Rodney Bennett Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano),
Malcolm Martineau (piano) CHANDOS | CHAN10691 | 095115169124 | CD
Renowned mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly's voice, praised as 'strong and steady...velvety, but with a soft, subtle graininess' (The New York Times), is an ideal vehicle for these English songs. In partnership with equally accomplished pianist Malcolm Martineau she gives a delightful recital on this appealing album. Also available: CHAN10671 Britten Phaedra, A Charm of Lullabies - Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano), Maxim Rysanov (viola), BBC Symphony Orchestra, Edward Gardner (conductor). Full-page article in Gramophone October 2011 issue.
Also on Homepage Media Player Track 7
Fantasies for Bassoon
Music by Schubert, Schumann, Schreck, Spohr, Rachmaninov, Elgar Karen Geoghegan (bassoon),
Philip Edward Fisher (piano) CHANDOS | CHAN10703 | 095115170328 | CD
Exclusive Chandos artist and BBC TV Classical Star Karen Geoghegan joins pianist Philip Edward Fisher (whose Chandos album Piano Works by The Mighty Handful CHAN10676 was a Collectors Corner album in May 2011). Hailed for her 'phenomenal brilliance and precision' (BBC Music) and tipped as one of today's leading bassoonists by Gramophone, Karen Geoghegan ranges from deep melancholy to excited ebullience on this new album.
Also on Homepage Media Player Track 8
Delius Violin Concerto, Double Concerto, Cello Concerto Tasmin Little (violin), Paul Watkins (cello),
BBC Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Davis (conductor) CHANDOS | CHSA5094 | 095115509425 | SACD
Released together for the first time on one CD, these three concertos by Frederick Delius are in the best hands: the BBC Symphony under Sir Andrew Davis - acclaimed for 'the greatest performance and recording of Delius' Appalachia' by International Record Review (Chandos CHSA5088) - violinist Tasmin Little - Critics' Choice Award-winner at the 2011 Classic BRIT Awards - and cellist Paul Watkins, former principal cellist of the BBC Symphony.
Also on Homepage Media Player Track 9
Hermann Moby Dick, Sinfonietta Richard Edgar-Wilson (tenor), David Wilson-Johnson (baritone), Danish National Symphony Choir and Orchestra, Michael Schonwandt (conductor) CHANDOS | CHSA5095 | 095115509524 | SACD
Best known as a film-music composer, Bernard Hermann was also an accomplished conductor (The Four Faces of Jazz CDLF8148 was a Collectors Corner album in August 2011) a talented classical composer. This album presents in superb sound his thrilling cantata Moby Dick - an unjustly forgotten masterpiece that ranks beside Britten's equally fateful maritime opera Billy Budd - and his Sinfonietta, which never received a public performance though parts of it found their way into his famous score for Hitchcock's Psycho.
Also on Homepage Media Player Track 10
Nielsen The Masterworks Vol 1 - Orchestral Music
Complete Symphonies, Orchestral Music. Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Michael Schonwandt, Thomas Dausgaard (conductors) DACAPO | 8206002 | 636943600214 | CD6
6 DISCS FOR THE PRICE OF 3! The 3 CDs, 1 SACD and 1 DVD in this beautifully presented box set present prize-winning and highly praised recordings: 'the best modern recordings of these symphonies' (10/10 Classics Today) 'as close to ideal as I ever hope to hear…top-drawer' (Gramophone Editor's Choice), unqualified top recommendation' (Fanfare Critics' Choice). The DVD features live recordings of Nielsen's six symphonies.
Vivaldi Cello Concertos Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello), Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, Georg Kallweit (conductor) HARMONIA MUNDI | HMC902095 | 31490209523 | CD
Vivaldi championed the cello as a solo instrument in no fewer than 27 concertos, revelling in its expressive potential, pushing it to its virtuosic limits and exploiting its extraordinary lyrical character. Jean-Guihen Queyras's 'sensibility, style, agility and poise' (The Daily Telegraph) and 'comprehensive and multi-faceted mastery of his art' (Herald Scotland) are well to the fore on this exquisite album, which also features Caldara's rarely-heard sinfonias San Elena al Calvario and La Passione.
Also on Homepage Media Player Track 11
JC Bach Requiem, Miserere Lenneke Ruiten (soprano), Ruth Sandhoff (alto), Colin Balzer (tenor), Thomas Bauer (bass), RIAS Chamber Choir, Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, Hans-Christoph Rademann (conductor) HARMONIA MUNDI | HMC902098 | 3149020209820 | CD
Johann Christian Bach, Johann Sebastien's youngest son and the young Mozart's friend, composed this Requiem the the Miserere in his own youth at the age of 22 while in Milan. The foundations of his later Classical style are already evident in these remarkable works. The RIAS Chamber Choir, Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, Hans-Christoph Rademann have also recorded JL Bach's Funeral Music for Harmonia Mundi (HMC902080).
Also on Homepage Media Player Track 12
Mozart Piano Concertos Nos 6, 8, 9 Angela Hewitt (piano), Orchestra da Camera di Mantova HYPERION | CDA67840 | 034571178400 | CD
The phenomenal Angela Hewitt embarks on another 'Hyperion journey', this time through Mozart's piano concertos. Here Hewitt displays her characteristic elegance and innate musicality, supported by the impeccably refined playing of the Mantova Chamber Orchestra. Her feeling for Mozart's music is equal to, though distinct from, her feeling for the music of JS Bach which she has also recorded for Hyperion on countless highly acclaimed albums.
Also on Homepage Media Player Track 13
The Romantic Cello Concerto Vol 3
Stanford Cello Concerto in D minor, Rondo in F,
Ballata and Ballabile, Irish Rhapsody Gemma Rosefield (cello), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Manze (conductor) HYPERION | CDA67859 | 034571178592 | CD
Brilliant young cellist and Pierre Fournier Award-winner Gemma Rosefield here makes her Hyperion debut. She gives thoughtful accounts of these Romantic rarities, her beautifully consistent and richly hued tone supported by the orchestra. Given the quality and craftmanship of this music, it is hard to understand why it has remain such a secret for so long. Gratifyingly well worth discovering!
Also on Homepage Media Player Track 14
Parsons Sacred Music The Cardinall's Musick, Andrew Carwood (conductor) HYPERION | CDA67874 | 034571178745 | CD
Gramophone Award winners, The Cardinall's Musick, reveal the glories of a somewhat neglected contemporary of William Byrd, his successor as a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal. Parson's opulent vocal music is that of a polyphonic master, so his accidental death aged around 40 (he drowned in the storm-swollen Thames) was an immense tragedy. This album revives his sumptuous and sophisticated output, composed during the reigns of Mary I and Elizabeth I.
Also on Homepage Media Player Track 15
Porpora Cantatas Iestyn Davies (countertenor), Arcangelo,
Jonathan Cohen (director) HYPERION | CDA67894 | 034571178943 | CD
Young countertenor Iestyn Davies is the soloist on this enchanting disc of cantatas by Italian Baroque composer Nicola Porpora. The intricate vocal writing, elaborate ornamentations and virtuosity of Porpora's cantatas pose no problems for Davies, whose luminous tone and technical assurance are strikingly demonstrated. This imaginative album is certainly greater than the sum of its parts.
Also on Homepage Media Player Track 16
Rimsky-Korsakov Scherherazade, Capriccio Espagnole, Neapolitan Song Russian National Orchestra, Carlo Ponti (conductor) PENTATONE | PTC5186378 | 827949037863 | SACD
These ever-popular Russian orchestral classics are played by Russia's leading orchestra conducted by Carlo Ponti Jnr (son of the late film director Carlo Ponti and Sofia Loren). 'Scheherazade [sounds] properly sensuous...luxuriant, voluptuous, even sensual. [Ponti's version] is more lyrical than most...[Capriccio espagnol] contains moments of great beauty....The Neapolitan Song is full of verve and high spirits' (Classical Candor)
Also on Homepage Media Player Track 17
Mahler Symphony No 8 DVD Erika Sunnegardh, Ricarda Merbeth, Christiane Oelze (soprano), Lioba Braun, Gerhild Romberger (alto), Stephen Gould (tenor), Dietrich Henschel (baritone), Georg Zeppenfeld (bass), Leipzig Opera Chorus, Gewandhaus Choir, Thomanerchor Leipzig, Gewandhaus Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly (conductor) ACCENTUS | ACC20222 | 4260234830194 | DVD
This stunning new version for the 21st Century of Mahler's magnificent and mystical Symphony No 8 was recorded live at Leipzig's International Mahler Festival in May 2011, where Riccardo Chailly commanded almost 500 musicians, and the result is simply splendid. The special cover image by internationally renowned artist Neo Rauch, who was inpired by hearing this outstanding interpretation. See DVD trailer on YouTube Also on Blu-ray ACC10222
Handel Belshazzar DVD Kenneth Tarver, Rosemary Joshua, Bejun Mehta, Kristina Hammarstrom, Neal Davies, Akadamie fur Alte Musik Berlin, Rene Jacobs HARMONIA MUNDI | HMD990902829 | 794881968794 | DVD2
Handel's oratorio Belshazzar, which tells the Biblical story of the fall of Babylon, is one of his most gripping works. From the dread prophecy with which it opens, through the dramatic account of Belshazzar's Feast and the conquest of the great empire by the Persian king Cyrus, Belshazzar is cinematic in scope, rich in character and spectacular in conception.The all-star cast includes Kenneth Tarver as Belshazzar and Bejun Mehta as Cyrus. 'the entire cast achieve an abundance of highly effective acting and dramatic visual ideas...most of the singers are superb...Bejun Mehta's coloratura in the noble Cyrus's faster arias is dazzling' (Gramophone). Also on Blu-ray HMD9809028.
Margot Fonteyn Tchaikovsky Ballet Masterpieces
Extracts from The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker. Studio recordings. Margot Fonteyn, Michael Somes, Royal Opera House Orchestra, John Lanchbery, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Robert Irving, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Hugo Rignold ICA CLASSICS | ICAD5050 | 5060244550506 | DVD
Two legendary dancers, Dame Margot Fonteyn and Michael Somes CBE, are seen here in three studio recordings made between 1954-9 of scenes from Tchaikovsky's best-loved ballets. A pefect match in terms of physique, presence, style and technique, they created a perfect partnership. Fonteyn's brilliance as an actor and Somes' dymanism remain thrilling to this day.
Tchaikovsky Symphonies Nos 4, 5, 6 DVD Mariinsky Orchestra, Valery Gergiev (conductor) MARIINSKY | MAR0513 | 822231851325 | DVD
The Mariinsky label's first DVD features Tchaikovsky's best-loved symphonies – the fateful Fourth, the dramatic and triumphant Fifth, and the passionate Sixth, the famous ‘Pathétique’ – in rivetting performances conducted by Valery Gergiev. Under his masterful direction, this lyrical and full-blooded music come alive as if being played for the very first time. Filmed in the famous Salle Pleyel in Paris in 2010. Also on Blu-ray MAR0515.
Jewels DVD Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra, Tugan Sokhiev (conductor) MARIINSKY | MAR0514 | 822231851424 | DVD
George Balanchine's classic ballet Jewels, filmed in the Mariinsky Theatre, features the languid music of Faure (Emeralds), Stravinsky's playful Capriccio (Rubies) and movements from Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 3 (Diamonds). Starring the Mariinsky Ballet's most famous dancers, this is a 'must-have' for all ballet fans. Also on Blu-ray MAR0516
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
10-16 October 2011
African American spirituals Conspirare, Craig Hella Johnson (piano, conductor) HARMONIA MUNDI | HMU807525 | 093046752569 | CD
Eloquent singing by ‘one of America’s leading vocal ensembles’ (International Record Review). Spirituals are the bedrock of American music - moving, expressive and much-loved by people of all ages and musical tastes. Theses Spirituals range from celebratory and defiant to heart-breaking and mournful. This uplifting CD is a Collectors Corner album and has also received extensive airplay on many ABC Classic FM programs.
Handel’s violin sonatas have been staples of the repertoire for generations, but there has been considerable confusion about their authenticity. Early editorial practice saw to it that several authentic works were published for instruments such as flute and oboe, but more recent scholarship has established that originally they were written for the violin. All the sonatas are full of Handel’s dashing bravura and his gift for expressive slow movements, providing a series of beautifully proportioned masterpieces. Ariadne Daskalakis’s recording of the Tartini Violin Concertos (8570222) was welcomed with acclaim for its ‘grace and lyrical poetry’. (MusicWeb International)
Grieg Music for String Orchestra
Two Elegiac Melodies, Holberg Suite Two Melodies for String Orchestra, Nordic Melodies Two Lyric Pieces, Lyric Suite Malmo Symphony Orchestra, Bjarte Engeset (conductor) NAXOS | 8572403 | CD | 747313240371
Grieg’s beautiful works for string orchestra often owe their origin to poetic inspiration or to mountain vistas. Some were based on piano originals, including the Holberg Suite, a masterpiece of invention. All of these pieces show Grieg’s assimilation of Norwegian folk culture and his lyrical mastery, through which he sought to ‘give expression to the hidden harmonies in our folk melodies’. Volume 4 in this series (8570236) was described as containing ‘performances as fine as any in the catalogue. These are gorgeous, perfectly paced and thrillingly recorded’. (ClassicsToday.com)
Busoni Piano Concerto Roberto Cappello (piano), Coro Luca Marenzio, Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma, Francesco La Vecchia (conductor) NAXOS | 8572523 | CD | 747313252374
Busoni’s monumental Piano Concerto was completed in 1904 and remains the longest piano concerto to have been heard in public. He thought of the work as his ‘Italian Symphony’ but this Concerto for piano, orchestra and male chorus is an unclassifiable product, and an extraordinary synthesis of Austro-German and Italian impulses. In its virtuosity and lyricism it is one of the most remarkable works in the repertoire, making use in its final movement of the ‘Hymn to Allah’, from Adam Oehlenschläger’s play Aladdin. Roberto Cappello triumphed at the Premio Busoni competition in 1976 and is a leading international soloist.
Ireland Piano Concerto, Legend, Pastoral, Sea Idyll John Lenehan (piano), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, John Wilson (conductor) NAXOS | 8572598 | CD | 747313259878
John Ireland’s radiant Piano Concerto was written for his protégée Helen Perkin, and is infused with her sense of vitality. The result is a brilliant work of high spirits and expressive longing. Perkin also premièred Legend, a dark, brooding evocation of the ancient landscape of Harrow Hill on the Sussex Downs. Of the solo piano works, the First Rhapsody is earlier, virtuosic, and in the Lisztian tradition, whereas Indian Summer is a rural postcard of beguiling simplicity. John Lenehan has recorded three volumes of Ireland’s solo piano music (8553700, 8553889 and 8570461) to universal admiration: ‘Lenehan offers a uniquely vital and dramatic reading of the sonata.’ (MusicWeb International on Vol 3)
Shostakovich Symphonies Nos 6 and 12 Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko (conductor) NAXOS | 8572658 | CD | 747313265879
Shostakovich’s Sixth and Twelfth Symphonies both had their origins in large-scale projects about Lenin, though the Sixth was eventually to emerge as one of the composer’s most abstract and idiosyncratic symphonies. The long, intensely lyrical and meditative slow movement that opens the work is one of the composer’s most striking. The Twelfth, one of the least played of Shostakovich’s symphonies in the West, became less a celebration of Lenin’s legacy than a chronological depiction of events during the Bolshevik Revolution. ‘The playing is fabulously crisp and committed, while the interpretations combine atmosphere and a sense of proportion – to the benefit of the youthful First, which receives an eerily effective performance, free of exaggeration.’ (Financial Times on Symphonies Nos 1 and 3 - Naxos 8572396)
Azerbaijani Piano Concertos
Amirov and Nazirova Piano Concerto after Arabian Themes; Adigezalov Piano Concerto No 4; Badalbeylyi The Sea, Shusha Farhad Badalbeyli, Murad Adigezalzade (piano), Joan Rogers (soprano), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Dmitry Yablonsky (conductor) NAXOS | 8572666 | CD | 747313266678
All of the composers here combine elements of ancient Azerbaijani tradition with Western forms, colorful orchestration and vivid musical storytelling. This is epitomized in Vasif Adigezalov’s symphonically proportioned Fourth Piano Concerto, while Fikret Amirov adds a touch of Arabian exoticism into his Concerto. The bubbling energy of Tofig Guliyev’s ‘Gaytagi’ dance adds a splash of jazz, and Farhad Badalbeyli’s works depict The Sea in an expansive and atmospheric score, followed by the sad tale of the city of Shusha expressed in a vocalise.
Philidor Sancho Panca Darren Perry, Elizbeth Calleo, Karim Sulayman, Meghan McCall, Tony Boutte, Opera Lafayette Orchestra, Ryan Brown (conductor) NAXOS | 8660274 | CD | 730099027472
International chess virtuoso François-André Danican Philidor’s fortunes as a musician at the court of Versailles were transformed when he turned his attention to the new genre of opéracomique. Sancho Pança, gouverneur dans l’isle de Barataria derives from Cervantes’s famous novel Don Quixote, covering Sancho Panza’s adventures as governor of a fictitious island on which a succession of characters plot to cure him of his delusions of grandeur. Opera Lafayette’s production of this comedy revue is a ‘sparkle of shining surfaces’. (Washington Post)
Cavalli La virtu de' strali d'amore Giacinta Nicotra, Gemma Bertagnolli, Juan Sancho, Paolo Lopez, Cristiana Arcari, Marco Scavazza, Roberto Abbondanza, Roberta Invernizzi, Filippo Adami, Monica Piccinini, Donatella Lombardi, Filippo Morace, Gian Luca Zoccatelli, Milena Storti, Europa Galan NAXOS DVD | 211061415 | DVD2 | 747313561452
La virtù de’ strali d’Amore (The Power of Love's Arrows) was the first of ten operas Cavalli wrote with librettist Giovanni Faustini. Set in Cyprus, the plot involves enchanted and pastoral elements, love and its thwarting, the counterpointing of Man and God, sorcery, revelation and ultimate resolution, all accomplished in a brilliant series of scenes. A follower of Monteverdi, Cavalli reveals the influence of the older man but also his own pronounced independence. Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante have become one of the most admired partnerships in the history of Baroque music performance.