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Mozart: Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K87

Mozart: Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K87

Théâtre des Champs-Élysées

Michael Spyres (Mitridate), Patricia Petibon (Aspasia), Myrtò Papatanasiu (Sifare), Christophe Dumaux (Farnace), Sabine Devieilhe (Ismène), Cyrille Dubois (Marzio) & Jaël Azzaretti (Arbate)

Le Concert d’Astrée, Emmanuelle Haïm

Mozart was just 14 years old when he composed Mitridate, re di Ponto, a noble opera seria based on a play by Racine. A great success at its premiere, it is only rarely staged today, so this 2016 performance, led by Emmanuelle Haïm at Paris’s Théâtre des Champs Elysées, was by definition a special occasion. The dazzlingly virtuosic cast is led by tenor Michael Spyres and sopranos Patricia Petibon and Sabine Devieilhe, while the intense modern staging is by Clément Hervieu-Léger, a resident director at France’s most illustrious theatre company, the Comédie Française.

In an interview with the French magazine Télérama, Emmanuelle Haïm described Mitridate as “the work of a young man, but also a work of maturity… Mozart is so inventive: no two arias are in the same form [there are over 20 in the opera altogether] and they really portray the states of mind and development of the characters. He didn’t just want to present a succession of arias: running through the entire piece there is a clear sense of dramaturgy, of storytelling. He also creates incredibly vivid accompanied recitative, in which the orchestra behaves with great sensitivity – it does much more than simply punctuate the protagonists’ emotions … We come to understand Mitridate himself as more than some sort of dreadful tyrant. He wants to preserve the safety and unity of his kingdom at any cost. In his first aria, which Mozart had to rewrite several times for the tenor in question, there is something majestic and noble, but also bruised and wounded … The way the role is written is crazy, both very high and very deep … but we have Michael Spyres, who also has a very strong sense of theatre … And you do also wonder how Mozart, as a 14-year-old, could understand women so well. Just look at Aspasia’s arias, which describe her tormented character with such vividness, while Ismene is both strong and tender. Patricia Petibon’s way of singing is ideal for Aspasia, and she has such an intense presence as a tragic actress, while there is a deceptive fragility about Sabine Devieilhe, whose Mozart has such intelligence, finesse and charm.”

Running time: 180 min. approx.

Languages: Sung in Italian, with subtitles available in Italian, French, German, English

Stereo PCM 2.0 / Dolby Digital 5.1, NTSC – All regions – 16:9

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DVD Video

Region: 0

Erato - 9029585175

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

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Debussy: L'Enfant Prodigue & Ravel: L'Enfant et les sortilèges

Debussy: L'Enfant Prodigue & Ravel: L'Enfant et les sortilèges


L'Enfant Prodigue

Roberto Alagna (Azaël), Karina Gauvin (Lia), Jean-François Lapointe (Siméon)

Symphonie in B minor: Finale

orchestrated by Colin Matthews


L'enfant et les sortilèges

Chloé Briot (L’Enfant), Nathalie Stutzmann (Maman/Tasse chinois/Libellule), Sabine Devieilhe (Le Feu/Rossignol)), Jodie Devos (La Chauve-Souris/La Chouette/La Pastourelle), Jean-François Lapointe (Le Chat/L’Horloge comtoise), Nicolas Courjal (Le Fauteuil/L’Arbre), Julie Pasturaud (Bergère/Pâtre/Ecureuil/Chatte intempérante)

Chœur et Orchestre de Radio France, Mikko Franck

Recorded live in Paris, two contrasting music dramas on the theme of an errant child, written by two supreme French composers and performed by a starry line-up of francophone singers. Mikko Franck, in his role as Music Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, conducts Debussy’s L’Enfant prodigue, starring Roberto Alagna and Karina Gauvin, and Ravel’s L'Enfant et les sortilèges, with Nathalie Stutzmann and Sabine Devieilhe among the singers surrounding Chloé Briot in the role of the Child.

Complementing the two vocal works is the world premiere recording, made under studio conditions, of British composer Colin Matthews’ orchestration of Debussy’s Symphony in B minor. The work, which survives only as a manuscript for piano duet, was composed even earlier than L’Enfant prodigue, when Debussy was just 18, but it was not published until 1933, 15 years after his death. This orchestration of the Symphony in B minor was first heard in 2009. Colin Matthews is something of a Debussy specialist, having made admired orchestral transcriptions of all the composer’s piano Préludes, some of which have been recorded by Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker.

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Erato - 9029589692

(CD - 2 discs)

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François Couperin: L'Apothéose de Lully & Leçons de ténèbres

François Couperin: L'Apothéose de Lully & Leçons de ténèbres

Couperin, F:

L'Apothéose de Lulli

Leçons de Ténèbres

Katherine Watson (soprano), Anna Dennis (soprano)

L’Apothéose de Lully was Couperin’s hommage to his great musical predecessor and depicts the elder composer’s elevation to Mount Parnassus (where he plays duets with the shade of Corelli and, with Apollo’s blessing, effects a reconciliation between the contrasting French and Italian styles of the day). The Leçons de ténèbres were written for performance in Holy Week and demand—and here receive from Katherine Watson and Anna Dennis—vocal artistry of the highest order.

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Early Music

Hyperion - CDA68093


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The Romantic Piano Concerto 71 - Czerny

The Romantic Piano Concerto 71 - Czerny


Piano Concerto in F major, Op. 28

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 214

Rondo brillant in B flat major, Op. 233

Active in every genre other than opera, Czerny is now remembered largely for the numerous piano studies he wrote as pedagogical aids. Which makes Howard Shelley’s advocacy of the three virtuoso works for piano and orchestra recorded here, two of them for the first time, all the more welcome: this is music which cannot fail to appeal.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Romantic Piano Concertos - up to 25% off

Hyperion - The Romantic Piano Concerto - CDA68138


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Jean Guyot: Te Deum laudamus

Jean Guyot: Te Deum laudamus

& other sacred music


Te Deum Patrem

O florens rosa

Amen, amen dico vobis

Accepit Jesus panem

Prudentes virgines

Omni tempore benedic Deum

Adorna thalamum

Noe, noe, genuit puerpera

Ave Maria … Signum magnum

Te Deum laudamus

Jean Guyot was another of the composers of the post-Josquin generation active in the Low Countries in the mid-sixteenth century. (He was also a priest, author and teacher, although the details of much of his life remain vague.) Cinquecento has previously explored his secular music (on Amorosi pensieri), but it was Guyot’s sacred music which was largely responsible for the high reputation he seemingly enjoyed in his lifetime. Cinquecento proves equally authoritative in both.

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Early Music

Hyperion - CDA68180


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Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze, Humoreske & Blumenstück

Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze, Humoreske & Blumenstück


Humoreske, Op. 20

Blumenstück, Op. 19

Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6

Luca Buratto (piano)

Hyperion is thrilled to welcome 2015 Honens Prize Laureate Luca Buratto to the label, a pianist whose ‘fiery imagination and finesse’ (Musical America) are perfectly suited to the demands of this all-Schumann programme. Despite its unassuming title, the Humoreske is no mere miniature but a full-scale piano cycle, very much on a par with the Davidsbündlertänze.

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Hyperion - CDA68186


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Organ Fireworks World Tour

Organ Fireworks World Tour


Litanies, AWV100


Matin Provençal No. 2 from Poèmes d'Automne, Op. 3

Bossi, M E:

Pièce Héroïque in D minor, Op. 128


Tuba Tune


Hommage à Buxtehude (1987)


An Occasional Trumpet Voluntary

Johnson, David:

Trumpet Tune in D major


Sortie in E flat major


Concert Fantasia Op. 91


Prelude & Fugue on B-A-C-H, S260


Fugue de la Sonate sur le Psaume No. 9


Festmusikk from Våg å leve


Grand March from Aida


Grand choeur ‘Benedicamus Domino’

Fourteen tracks—one from each volume of Hyperion’s complete Organ Fireworks series—combine to take the listener on a spectacular ‘world tour’ of the organs and repertoire championed by Christopher Herrick over the decades. Released in honour of his seventy-fifth birthday, this is a must for anyone yet to encounter these wonderfully life-affirming performances.

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Hyperion Organ Fireworks - CDA68214


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JS Bach: Cello Suites, Cello Sonatas & French Suites

JS Bach: Cello Suites, Cello Sonatas & French Suites

Bach, J S:

Cello Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV1007-1012

Viola da Gamba Sonatas Nos. 1-3, BWV1027-1029

French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817

Alexander Zagorinsky (cello), Einar Steen-Nøkleber (piano)

Their collaboration started back in 2002 and since then the musicians have demonstrated their outstanding professional mastery in emotional and stylistic expression of music. Alexander Zagorinsky is a representative of Natalia Shakhovskaya’s Moscow school and former concertmaster of the group of cellos of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. The musician’s extensive repertoire includes music of four centuries. In the opinion of authoritative sources, Norwegian pianist Einar SteenNøkleberg is the best interpreter of Grieg’s music, combining his solo career with active teaching. The difference in age and traditions did not prevent them from forming an ideal team where both are quick to understand each other. While their first joint album was dedicated to the age of romanticism, this time around they turn to Johann Sebastian Bach’s music. The programme of the set demonstrates the cellist’s and pianist’s mastery as both ensemble and virtuosic solo performers. The album features three sonatas for cello and clavier, six solo cello suites and six 'French harpsichord suites. The musicians dedicated their album to Tatiana Nikolayeva, a distinguished pianist and winner of the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition. Her recitals were a significant influence on the formation of both musicians’ appreciation of music.

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Melodiya - MELCD1002454

(CD - 5 discs)


(also available to download from $50.00)

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Shostakovich: Complete Concertos

Shostakovich: Complete Concertos


Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor for piano, trumpet & strings, Op. 35

Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102

Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 99

Violin Concerto No. 2 in C sharp minor, Op. 129

Cello Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 107

Cello Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 126

Tartarstan National Symphony Orchestra, Alexander Sladkovsky

Melodiya presents Dmitri Shostakovich’s instrumental concertos performed by young soloists, prize-winners of the XIV and XV International Tchaikovsky Competitions, and the Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Sladkovsky. The instrumental concertos occupy a special niche in Shostakovich’s legacy. In terms of depth of content and scale of concept they are not inferior to his symphonic cycles. At the same time, the personal statements bring them closer to the master’s chamber music that, some argue, contains the composer's 'internal voice'. Shostakovich wrote both his concertos and chamber music with personalities and performing styles of certain musicians in mind. So, he wrote the piano concertos for himself (No. 1) and his son Maxim (No. 2), both violin concertos for David Oistrakh, and the cello concertos were inspired by the art of Mstislav Rostropovich. Today Shostakovich’s instrumental concertos enjoy wide, deserved popularity and are present in many musicians’ repertoire. This set is the first in a project that will include recordings of Shostakovich’s symphonic music made by Alexander Sladkovsky and the Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra in 2016, the year of the composer’s 110th birthday. Sladkovsky became the orchestra’s chief conductor in 2010; with him at the helm, the orchestra is now one of the best symphony collectives in Russia. It has been a participant of international music festivals and has collaborated with the best international soloists. The careers of Lukas Geniušas, Alexander Buzlov, Alexander Ramm, Dmitri Masleyev, Sergei Dogadin and Pavel Milyukov began in the 21st century, but we are confident when we say that they are among the most remarkable representatives of music art of their generation and worthy successors of the great traditions of the Russian performing school.

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Melodiya - MELCD1002465

(CD - 3 discs)


(also available to download from $30.00)

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The Gate Of Heaven: Favourite Anthems from New College Oxford

The Gate Of Heaven: Favourite Anthems from New College Oxford


Lo, the Full, Final Sacrifice, Op. 26

God is gone up, Op. 27 No. 2

Hadley, P:

My beloved spake

Harris, W:

Faire is the Heaven

Bring us, O Lord God

Martin, M:

Ut unum sint

I saw the Lord (In the Year that King Uzziah Died)

Samuel, R:

Love bade me welcome


For lo, I raise up, Op. 145

Te Deum (from Service in C major, Op 115)

The anthem has always had a special place in the Anglican choral tradition and this new selection from the Choir of New College Oxford, directed by Robert Quinney, celebrates the richness of this repertoire with particular Oxford connections. The selection explores the rich vein of choral writing which grew out of the ‘Oxford movement’ and the re-emergence of Roman Catholic liturgy in the nineteenth century. Well-loved favourites by William Harris, such as Faire is the Heaven and Bring us O Lord God, which gives the collection its title, are set next to works by Stanford to illustrate the wider European influences at play on English music before the First World War. A more intimate response to text, based on the tradition of English song writing, is shown in anthems by Finzi and Hadley. And finally, new works by Matthew Martin and Rhian Samuel demonstrate the continuing commitment by choirs such as New College to keep reinventing and enriching the anthem and its place in English music.

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novum - NCR1391


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