Kaufmann's Mahler and other mouth-watering delights!

Coming Soon - All available to Order Now

by Katherine Cooper. 20th January 2017

With hundreds of new releases hitting the website each month, we've decided to introduce a regular round-up of those which sparked particular excitement in the office when the details hit our inbox! This month we're particularly looking forward to Jonas Kaufmann's bold decision to tackle Mahler's two-voice song cycle single-handedly, Sir John Eliot Gardiner's revistation of the St Matthew Passion three decades after his landmark first recording of the work, Beatrice Rana's Goldberg Variations, and more intrepid bel canto exhumation courtesy of Opera Rara (the presence of the rising star Italian conductor Daniele Rustioni, shortly to make his Met debut, is an added draw!)

We'll be running exclusive interviews with Beatrice Rana, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Daniele Rustioni about these releases over the next few weeks, so stay tuned for more information!

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Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde (out 7th April)

Jonas Kaufmann (tenor); Wiener Philharmoniker, Jonathan Nott

No, we haven't left off part of the artist-listing for this recording - Jonas Kaufmann really IS singing both parts in Mahler's song-cycle (more usually split between tenor and baritone/contralto)! Given the dark timbre of his voice and his security in the lower register, we're betting he's just the man to pull it off...

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JS Bach: St Matthew Passion (out 3rd March)

Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists; Sir John Eliot Gardiner

Almost thirty years after his award-winning account of the work on DG Archiv established him as one of the great Bach conductors of his generation, Sir John Eliot Gardiner returns to the St Matthew Passion with three decades of immersion in Bach's music under his belt; we'll be talking to him about this live recording very soon, so watch this space!

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Rostropovich: Cellist of the Century (out 24th March)

Mstislav Rostropovich (cello)

Surely the most lavish and comprehensive of this year's tributes to the great cellist on the 90th anniversary of his birth, this 40-CD set brings together 'Slava' 's extensive legacy on EMI and Warner; also includes 3 DVDs and a previously unreleased audio interview with Jon Tolansky, made in the final year of Rostropovich's life.

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Bellini: Adelson & Salvini (out 3rd March)

Daniela Barcellona, Enea Scala, Maurizio Muraro, Leah-Marian Jones, Simone Alberghini; BBC Symphony Orchestra, Opera Rara Chorus, Daniele Rustioni

I've already enjoyed a sneak preview of this one, and can confirm that Bellini's neglected first opera receives splendid, vital advocacy from this committed and classy cast of bel canto specialists and their dynamic young Italian conductor- watch out for our exclusive interview with him later this month...

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Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 & Corelli Variations (out 24th February)

Vanessa Benelli Mosell (piano), London Philharmonic Orchestra, Kirill Karabits

It's a bit of a turn-up for the books to see this Italian pianist taking on one of the best-known Romantic piano concertos - her last couple of discs have focused on the decidedly unRomantic music of her mentor Stockhausen! The collaboration with Kirill Karabits should strike sparks.

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Sibelius: Kullervo & Kortekangas: Migrations (out 3rd March)

Minnesota Orchestra & YL Male Voice Choir, Osmo Vänskä

The last volume of Osmo Vänskä's Sibelius series with the Minnesota Orchestra made our Top Ten Discs of 2016, so the prospect of Kullervo and Finlandia (complemented by a new work by Sibelius's compatriot Olli Kortekangas) is an enticing one!

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JS Bach: Goldberg Variations (out 24th February)

Beatrice Rana (piano)

A protégée of Martha Argerich and a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, this 23 year old Italian pianist gave a well-received performance of Bach's mighty cycle of variations at the Wigmore Hall on Monday afternoon - having listened to the live radio broadcast, we're much looking forward to the release of her first Bach disc next month.

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Elgar: Symphony No. 2 (out 3rd March)

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko

If you've glanced through yesterday's newsletter by now, you may have alighted on Vasily Petrenko telling me how much he's enjoyed tackling Elgar with his Liverpool orchestra; their account of the First Symphony (released in 2015) won plaudits from The Telegraph for Petrenko's 'marked appreciation of Elgar’s thoroughly personal palette of orchestral timbres'.

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Sì, Sì, Sì, Sì!: Rossini Opera Arias & Duets (out 3rd March)

Marie-Nicole Lemieux (contralto), with Patrizia Ciofi (soprano); Orchestra National de Montpellier Occitanie, Enrique Mazzola

A true contralto of real amplitude and agility (not to mention an audible twinkle in the eye when required!), this Canadian singer's a perfect fit for Rossini's heroes and heroines, both comic and tragic; Italian soprano Patrizia Ciofi is silver to Lemieux's gold in the duets.

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Mozart: Violin Sonatas Volume 3 (out 31st March)

Alina Ibragimova (violin) & Cédric Tiberghien (piano)

This ongoing series is a firm favourite in the Presto office (reviewing the first instalment last year, my colleague David praised 'the fluidity of the partnership between Ibragimova and Tiberghien'); this latest volume juxtaposes Mozart's final violin sonata with two little sonatas written when he was just 10 years old.

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