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Beethoven - Complete Works for Solo Piano Volume 15

Beethoven - Complete Works for Solo Piano Volume 15


Beethoven:

Diabelli Variations, Op. 120

National Airs with Variations (6), Op. 105


Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano)

In 1819 the Viennese music publisher and composer Anton Diabelli sent a short waltz to a long list of composers. These included Schubert, Hummel, a very young Franz Liszt and, as the most prominent composer of the time, naturally Beethoven. Diabelli was proposing to compile an anthology of variations on his own waltz, one from each composer. Beethoven responded in a characteristic manner: first there was nothing, and then there was nothing … and then, in 1823, there was an entire, and monumental, set of no less than thirty-three variations.

There are several possible reasons for this, one being that Beethoven felt that it was below his dignity to take part in a project of this nature. What is certain, however, is that he must have found Diabelli’s theme intriguing material to work with – and against: Beethoven often seems to poke fun at the waltz, starting already in the first variation by turning it into a pompous march. But like all truly great variation works the Diabelli Variations take in the high as well as the low, jokes as well as drama – or serenity, as in Variation 24, a Fughetta, clearly inspired by the Aria in Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

As the last large-scale piano work by Beethoven, the Diabelli Variations form a fitting close to Ronald Brautigam’s traversal of the complete solo piano music. Described in International Record Review as ‘a Beethoven player whose musical discernment is a constant source of wonderment’, Brautigam has through the course of this series performed works composed between 1783 and 1825, using four different fortepianos. On the present disc we hear a copy of a 4-stringed fortepiano by Conrad Graf from 1822 – similar to Beethoven’s own last instrument, which Graf supplied him with in 1826, a year before the composer’s death.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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BIS Ronald Brautigam Beethoven - BIS1943

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Scheduled for release on 3 March 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Brahms: Works for Solo Piano Volume 4

Brahms: Works for Solo Piano Volume 4


Brahms:

Ballades (4), Op. 10

Rhapsodies (2), Op. 79

Klavierstücke (4), Op. 119

Variations on a theme by Paganini in A minor, Op. 35: Books 1 & 2


The theme of Paganini’s 24th Caprice for solo violin has tempted a number of composers to elaborate on it – from Liszt to Lutosławski and Andrew Lloyd Webber. In 1863, Johannes Brahms was one of the first to take on the challenge, with his virtuosic Paganini Variations. Playing the set has famously been described as requiring ‘fingers of steel, a heart of burning lava and the courage of a lion’ and possibly the demands that they place on the performer is the main reason why Brahms organized his 28 variations into two books of 14 each. For the fourth instalment in his series of Brahms’s piano music, Jonathan Plowright has chosen to place the two books at either end of the programme.

Between them we are presented with works spanning almost 40 years of Brahms’s life. Of the four Ballades from 1854, it is only for the first, the so-called ‘Edward’ Ballade, that a model in literature is known – a Scottish ballad about the murder of a father. The set has nevertheless been compared to the slow movements in Brahms’s three piano sonatas, composed around the same time, and all with literary references.

25 years later, Brahms had entered a phase where his works for piano were growing ever shorter and more concise, but with his Op. 79 Rhapsodies he made something of a return to the grandeur and passion of his early piano writing. This development was short-lived, however, and the following works for solo piano, of which the four piano pieces of Op. 119 from 1893 would be the last, have been compared to ‘the golden lustre of parks in autumn and the austere black and white of winter walks’. Previous discs in Jonathan Plowright’s survey have received critical acclaim worldwide, and the series has already been dubbed ‘the benchmark Brahms survey for some time to come’ in Gramophone.

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BIS Brahms: Works for Solo Piano - BIS2137

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Scheduled for release on 3 March 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Camilla Tilling sings Gluck and Mozart Arias

Camilla Tilling sings Gluck and Mozart Arias


Gluck:

Qual vita è questa mai...Che fiero momento (from Orfeo ed Euridice)

Che fiero momento (from Orfeo et Euridice)

Enfin, il est en ma puissance (from Armide)

Quel trouble me saisit (from Armide)

Ah! Si la liberté me doit être ravie (from Armide)

O malheureuse Iphigenie! (from Iphigénie en Tauride)

Mozart:

Idomeneo, K366: Overture

Quando avran fine omai ... Padre, germani, addio! (from Idomeneo)

Zeffiretti lusinghieri (from Idomeneo)

Giunse alfin il momento... Deh, vieni, non tardar… (from Le nozze di Figaro)

Temerari!...Come scoglio! (from Così fan tutte)

Ei parte...Per pietà (from Così fan tutte)

E Susanna non vien! … Dove sono i bei momenti (from Le nozze di Figaro)


Camilla Tilling (soprano)

Musica Saeculorum, Philipp von Steinaecker

Love plays a significant part in most operas, but all too often it is frustrated, or entangled with deception, humiliation and betrayal. With her new disc Camilla Tilling presents a near-comprehensive catalogue of the emotions that the vagaries of love can raise in the breast of an operatic heroine. And these emotions are universal and timeless, afflicting servants and countesses, Grecian princesses, a sorceress from Damascus and a young lady of 18th-century Naples alike.

Gluck’s Armide glories in having Renaud in her power – until she realizes that her feelings makes it impossible to destroy him as she had planned. Newly raised from the dead, his Euridice is defenceless against the strong emotions of the living, and beset by doubts when Orpheus refuses to acknowledge her on their way back to earth. In the bravura aria Come scoglio, Mozart’s Fiordiligi proclaims her steadfast love for Guglielmo, but in the following act of the opera she regretfully admits to having been enamoured by another. And from The Marriage of Figaro we hear Susanna inviting the loved one to a nocturnal rendez-vous (‘Deh vieni, non tardar’) as well as her mistress, the Countess, wondering in ‘Dove sono’ what happened to the loving marriage she once had.

With a soprano typically described as ‘radiant’, ‘vernal’ or ‘silvery’, Camilla Tilling has performed several of the roles featured here at venues such as Opéra National de Paris, Covent Garden, Salzburg Mozarteum and Drottningholm Slottsteater. On this recording she partnered by Philipp von Steinaecker and his Musica Saeculorum, whose period instruments bring out all the sweetness, pain and regret that Gluck and Mozart magically worked into their scores.

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Super Audio CD

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BIS - BIS2234

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Scheduled for release on 3 March 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

JS Bach: Organ Works, Vol. 2

JS Bach: Organ Works, Vol. 2


Bach, J S:

Prelude & Fugue in G major, BWV541

Organ Concerto in D minor (after Vivaldi), BWV596

Chorale Partita BWV768 'Sei gegrusset, Jesu gütig'

Organ Concerto in C major (after Vivaldi), BWV594

Prelude & Fugue in C major, BWV547


Before releasing his first disc of Bach’s organ works, Masaaki Suzuki had recorded the composer’s complete sacred cantatas, as well as the large-scale choral works and much of the music for harpsichord. His achievements in these fields obscured the fact that Suzuki originally trained as an organist, and began working as such already at the age of twelve. So when Volume 1 of this series reached reviewers around the world, it was something of a revelation to many: the disc went on to be named Choice of the Month in BBC Music Magazine, Diapason d’Or in Diapason and Recording of the Month in Gramophone, which then went on to include it on its list of the ‘50 Greatest Bach Recordings’.

Volume 1 featured the celebrated Schnitger/Hinz organ of Groningen’s Martinikerk in the Netherlands. For the present instalment, Suzuki returned to more familiar ground – the chapel of the Kobe Shoin Women's University where the great majority of his recordings with Bach Collegium Japan have taken place. The chapel houses a French classical organ built in 1983 by Marc Garnier, and on it Suzuki performs a highly symmetrical programme with the large-scale chorale partita BWV 768 at its centre. The work is known as ‘Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig’, although the chorale text that it is structured upon most probably is that of ‘O Jesu, du edle Gabe’. On either side the partita is flanked by an arrangement by Bach of concertos by Vivaldi, and a chorale prelude on ‘Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier’. The disc opens and closes with a Prelude and Fugue, in G major and C major respectively.

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BIS - BIS2241

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Scheduled for release on 3 March 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Sibelius: Kullervo & Kortekangas: Migrations

Sibelius: Kullervo & Kortekangas: Migrations


Kortekangas:

Migrations

Lilli Paasikivi (mezzo-soprano)

Sibelius:

Kullervo, Op. 7

Lilli Paasikivi (mezzo-soprano) & Tommi Hakala (baritone)

Finlandia, Op. 26 (for male choir and symphony orchestra)


Some 150 years ago what is sometimes called ‘The Great Migration’ of Finns to the United States began. Many of the Finns settled in the Mid-West, and especially in the so-called ‘Finn Hook’, consisting of parts of Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. To celebrate this, the Minnesota Orchestra under its Finnish music director Osmo Vänskä commissioned the composer Olli Kortekangas to compose a work on the theme of migration, of a scale and nature suitable for performance alongside Jean Sibelius’s great Kullervo. Discovering the work of the Minnesota-based poet Sheila Packa, herself of Finnish descent, Kortekangas composed Migrations for mezzo-soprano, male voice choir and orchestra, the same forces as in Kullervo, with the exception of the baritone soloist in that work.

An all-star Finnish cast – soloists Lilli Paasikivi and Tommi Hakala and the celebrated YL Male Voice Choir – joined the Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä for three concerts in February 2016, and captured by a recording team from BIS the memorable performances can now be enjoyed by a wider audience. Sibelius began working on Kullervo during his student days in Vienna in 1891, finding his inspiration in the Kalevala, Finland’s national epic. In a letter home to Finland he wrote about ‘a new symphony, totally in the Finnish spirit’ and the work is often regarded as the first successful example of a Finnish national musical language.

In spite of what Sibelius wrote in his letter, the five-movement work is usually regarded as a symphonic poem, but with a duration of c. 80 minutes Kullervo certainly has the scale of a large symphony, and as such the present performance forms a worthy appendix to the highly acclaimed Sibelius cycle which the orchestra and Vänskä brought to a close with the recent release of Symphonies No 3, 6 and 7. As a fitting close to this two-disc set, and to the concerts in Minneapolis’ Orchestra Hall, the orchestra performs Sibelius’s Finlandia, with the YL Male Voice Choir joining in in the famous hymn section.

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BIS - BIS9048

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Scheduled for release on 3 March 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

The Romantic Piano Concerto 70 - Beach, Chaminade & Howell

The Romantic Piano Concerto 70 - Beach, Chaminade & Howell

Beach, Chaminade & Howell: Piano Concertos


Beach, A:

Piano Concerto, Op. 45

Chaminade:

Concertstück for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 40

Howell, D:

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in D minor


International Women’s Day falls on 8 March, celebrating the ‘social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women’. Volume 70 in our Romantic Piano Concerto series champions three female composers, and three works whose in-the-face-of-it-all joie de vivre makes them irresistibly worthy of our attention.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - The Romantic Piano Concerto - CDA68130

(CD)

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Scheduled for release on 3 March 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Beneath the northern star

Beneath the northern star

The rise of English polyphony, 1270-1430


includes

Alanus:

Sub Arturo plebs

Fons Citharizancium

In omnem terram

Damett:

Salvatoris mater / O Georgi Deo care

Benedictus Mariae Filius


This new album from The Orlando Consort charts the radical development of music between the late thirteenth and mid fifteenth centuries—the transition from what is at essence embellished chant to the extraordinary mathematical intricacies of experimental polyphony.

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Hyperion - CDA68132

(CD)

Normally: $13.75

Special: $12.50

Scheduled for release on 3 March 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Bartók: Sonata for two pianos and percussion

Bartók: Sonata for two pianos and percussion

& other piano music


Bartók:

Piano Sonata, BB 88, Sz. 80

3 Hungarian Folksongs from Csik, BB 45b, Sz. 35a

Sonatina, BB 69, Sz. 55

3 Rondos on Slovak Folk Tunes, BB 92, Sz. 84

3 Studies, BB 81, Sz. 72, Op. 18

Sonata for Two Pianos & Percussion, BB 115, Sz. 110

with François-Frédéric Guy (piano), Colin Currie (percussion), Sam Walton (percussion)


A welcome return to the piano music of Béla Bartók and a programme which includes the popular Sonatina, the aggressively experimental Op 18 Études and the Piano Sonata of 1926, the composer’s ‘year of the piano’. Cédric Tiberghien is then joined by François-Frédéric Guy, Colin Currie and Sam Walton for the Sonata for two pianos and percussion—a high-spirited conclusion to this successful mini series.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68153

(CD)

Normally: $13.75

Special: $12.50

Scheduled for release on 3 March 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Borodin: Piano Quintet & String Quartet No. 2

Borodin: Piano Quintet & String Quartet No. 2


Borodin:

Piano Quintet in C minor

Piers Lane (piano)

Goldner String Quartet

String Quartet No. 2 in D major

Goldner String Quartet

Goldstein, Mikhail:

Cello Sonata in B minor

Julian Smiles (cello), Piers Lane (piano)


Russia in the nineteenth century had little need for chamber music—no Parisian-style competitive quartetting here. But out of this very isolation came a small, but nonetheless mighty, handful of works: those by Borodin are among the finest. Piers Lane and the Goldner String Quartet revel in what they find.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68166

(CD)

Normally: $13.75

Special: $12.50

Scheduled for release on 3 March 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Azahar: La Tempête

Azahar: La Tempête


La Tempête, Simon-Pierre Bestion

After The Tempest (ALPHA208), its first recording on a Shakespearian theme, which was much admired (Diapason d’Or etc.), La Tempête presents ‘Azahar’ (orange blossom in Spanish), which contrasts and interweaves the polyphony of Machaut with the poetry of the Spanish cantigas and the century of Stravinsky and Ohana. Simon-Pierre Bestion, founder of the company La Tempête, tells us: ‘I like the idea of disorientating the listener between different historical periods. Stravinsky wrote his Mass after discovering Machaut’s setting, while Ohana’s Cantigas de Santa Maria allude to those of Alfonso the Wise and to folksong . . . One can take extraordinary liberties with Machaut’s famous Mass: its music calls for a fairly sonorous, straight style of singing – like Corsican or Basque polyphony. I chose singers familiar with early music, powerful, direct voices, using little vibrato, voices that could also sing Stravinsky and Ohana. The orchestra was arranged in consorts for the early repertory, and in mixed desks for Ohana and Stravinsky. The chorus was placed all around in a circle, in a single row. I like to share that experience of feeling the sound physically.’

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Alpha - ALPHA261

(CD)

$14.25

Scheduled for release on 24 February 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

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