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Manuel Blancafort: Complete Songs, Vol. 1

Manuel Blancafort: Complete Songs, Vol. 1


Blancafort:

Canco de l'amor primera

Canço de l'úic camí

Cançons (4)

Tres cancons de Nadal

Ceino da mia aldea

Dessobre la terra dura

Ja no seras mai mes record

Joc

La llum de Nadal

Lirica catalana

Passant sota les braques

Plany

Rondalla del bou


Anna Alas i Jove (mezzo-soprano) & Miquel Villalba (piano)

Catalonian native Manuel Blancafort was largely self-taught as a composer. Taken under Frederic Mompou’s wing, he was introduced to the rich cultural life of 1920s Paris and became part of a fertile aesthetic revolution that rejected Romanticism and marked a revival of Classicism and beauty, his concise, intimate and playful spirit connected to that of Grieg, Faure and Satie. Always maintaining their Catalan roots, Blancafort’s songs evoke the past and dream of a country aspiring to become cultured and free from oppression. The clarity and simplicity of this message led one commentator to describe him as “the living synthesis of Catalan musical culture.” Several of these works are receiving here their world premiere recording.

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Naxos Spanish Classics - 8579012

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Prokofiev: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 5

Prokofiev: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 5


Prokofiev:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 16

1923 Version

Piano Concerto No. 5 in G major, Op. 55


This is the second and final disc in a cycle of Sergei Prokofiev’s piano concertos with pianist Olli Mustonen and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu. Of the first volume, Gramophone wrote: 'How many times have I regretted a shortage of fantasy, flair and fairy-tale imagination in recordings of the Prokofiev piano concertos? Well, here is a disc that takes all those qualities to the top'.

Upon reading the score of the 2nd Piano Concerto before its premiere, composer Nikolay Miaskovsky wrote to Prokofiev: 'When I was reading through your concerto tonight, lying in bed, I went almost crazy with admiration: I jumped and cried out, so that if I had neighbours, they’d have probably thought I’d gone mad'. Prokofiev wrote this magical work just before World War I. The original score was destroyed during the Russian revolution, and Prokofiev had to re-write the concerto in 1923. Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 5 is completely different in nature than its predecessors. A stylistic change towards simplicity is evident in the work. Although Prokofiev considered naming the work 'Music for Piano and Orchestra' he produced in the end a challenging concerto that tests any soloist’s technique. Prokofiev himself gave the first performance in Berlin on 31 October 1932.

Pianist Olli Mustonen has recorded many works with Ondine, including Respighi’s Concerto in modo Misolidio with Sakari Oramo and the Finnish Radio Symphony and a critically acclaimed disc of Scriabin’s solo piano music. Recent recordings by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Hannu Lintu on Ondine have been a fruitful collaboration, gathering excellent reviews in the international press.

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Ondine - ODE12882

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Richard Wagner: Michael Volle

Richard Wagner: Michael Volle


Wagner:

Verachtet mir die Meister nicht (from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)

Die Frist ist um (from Der fliegende Holländer)

Als du in kuhnem Sange uns bestrittest (from Tannhäuser)

Blick ich umher in diesem edlen Kreise (from Tannhäuser)

Ja, wehe! Wehe! Weh über mich! (from Parsifal)

Was duftet doch der Flieder (from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)

Euch macht ihr's leicht (from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)

Dir Unweisen ruf´ ich´s ins Ohr (from Siegfried)

Abendlich strahlt der Sonne Auge (from Das Rheingold)

Leb wohl, du kühnes, herrliches Kind! (from Die Walküre)


Michael Volle (bass-baritone)

Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Georg Fritzsch

The roles featured on this CD are, in more ways than one, truly great ones; the vocal and interpretational demands on the artist are of an equally high calibre. The fact, as J. M. Fischer writes in the booklet text, that the term 'heroic baritone' has established itself in connection with these roles is recognition of the highly technical challenges – and simultaneously an understatement. The parallels with Wagnerʼs 'heroic tenor roles' can be seen in the truly supreme vocal challenges, and yet the bass-baritone protagonistʼs role in each of these works also demands even greater control of the dramatic character and, therefore, a more complex musical approach. The enduring fascination of these demanding roles can also be sought in their 'tragic awareness'.

Michael Volle is the epitome of a singer who has almost untypically by todayʼs standard continuously grown into these roles, bringing out each one's individual characteristics. Hailing from a much wider repertoire, he now performs those great Wagner roles on the most renowned international stages – most recently as Sachs at the New York Met as well as in the highly acclaimed Herheim production in Salzburg or the new version in Bayreuth. Following on from parts like Wolfram, Amfortas and Sachs, the artist is now able to tackle Wotan, Wanderer and – perhaps the most challenging Wagnerian baritone role of all – the Dutchman from the composerʼs early period.

Michael Volle receives ample support from Georg Fritzsch, a GMD with many years of opera to his credit, and conducting the highly flexible Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, whose Wagner credentials are documented on a recent CD of all his operas.

“With Michael Volle in such outstanding form this essential Wagner collection is a riveting experience on Orfeo.” MusicWeb International, September 2017

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Orfeo - C904171A

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Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 & Barber: Adagio for Strings

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 & Barber: Adagio for Strings


Barber:

Adagio for Strings, Op. 11

Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47


SAN FRANCISCO:Reference Recordings proudly presents these two beloved works in definitive interpretations from Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, in superb audiophile sound.

In his fascinating and scholarly music notes, Maestro Honeck gives us great insight into the history of both pieces, and describes how he conducts and interprets each. He reminds us that Joseph Stalin’s Soviet government was offended by Shostakovich’s previous works. Under threat of arrest or banishment to Siberia, Shostakovich devised a new, less-complex compositional style for the 5th Symphony, still full of irony and double meaning, to appease Stalin and appeal to the common people.

The Adagio of Samuel Barber is his most performed work, and one of the most popular of all 20th Century orchestral works. It is beloved for its beautiful simplicity and emotion. Manfred Honeck describes Barber’s 1967 a capella version for mixed choir using the “Agnus Dei” text, and tells us his own interpretation is inspired by this text. He says it is “for me, without a doubt, the key to finding a deeper sense of this piece. Perhaps it is for this reason that the Adagio has enchanted and moved audiences around the world since its very first incarnation and has continued to do so in all subsequent versions born since.” This release is the seventh in the highly acclaimed Pittsburgh Live!series of multi-channel hybrid SACD releases on the FRESH! series from Reference Recordings. Each has received dozens of critical accolades. Dvořák/Janaček(FR-710SACD) and Bruckner 4(FR-713SACD) have each received GRAMMY® nominations for Best Orchestral Performance. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, known for its artistic excellence for more than 120 years, is credited with a rich history of the world’s finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. Past music directors have included many of the greats, including Fritz Reiner (1938-1948), William Steinberg (1952-1976), Andre Previn (1976-1984), Lorin Maazel (1984-1996) and Mariss Jansons (1995-2004). This tradition of outstanding international music directors was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

The orchestra has been at the forefront of championing new American works, and gave the first performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah” in 1944, and John Adams’ “Short Ride in a Fast Machine” in 1986. The Pittsburgh Symphony also has an illustrious history in the areas of recordings and radio concerts dating back to the 1930s. And, with a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900—including more than 37 international tours to Europe, the Far East and South America—the Pittsburgh Symphony continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest orchestras.

“this is luxury playing. Honeck plays the scherzo as a Mahlerian ländler, applying touches of very Viennese rubato. It works.” The Arts Desk, September 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Reference Recordings - FR724

(SACD)

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Cleopatra - Baroque Arias

Cleopatra - Baroque Arias


Graun, C H:

Tra le procelle assorto (from Cleopatra e Cesare)

Handel:

Che sento?...Se pietà di me non senti (from Giulio Cesare)

Hasse, J A:

Morte, col fiero aspetto (from Antonio e cleopatra)

Lascia, Antonio, deh lascia (from Antonio e cleopatra)

Quel candido armellino (from Antonio e cleopatra)

Legrenzi:

Se tu sarai felice (from Antioco il Grande)

Mattheson:

Mein Leben ist hin (from Die unglückselige Cleopatra)

Ruhe sanft, geliebter Geist (from Die unglückselige Cleopatra)

Sartorio:

Quando voglio (from Giulio Cesare in Egitto)

Scarlatti, A:

Antonio, e qual destino (from Marc'Antonio e Cleopatra)

Vò goder senza contrasto (from Marc'Antonio e Cleopatra)


Regula Mühlemann (soprano)

La Folia Barokorchester, Robin Peter Müller

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Sony - 88985407012

(CD)

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Bach Concertos

Bach Concertos


Bach, J S:

Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV1052

arr. for 2 marimbas and orchestra

Concerto for Two Keyboards in C minor, BWV1062

arr. for 4 marimbas and orchestra

Concerto for Four Keyboards in A minor (after Vivaldi), BWV1065

arr. for 4 marimbas and orchestra

Concerto for Two Keyboards in C major, BWV1061

arr. for 8 marimbas and orchestra


The Wave Quartet (marimba quartet)

L'Orfeo

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Sony - 88985436462

(CD)

$13.75

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Piano Circle Songs

Piano Circle Songs


Gonzales, Chilly:

Tryst

Chilly Gonzales (piano)

Schlimé:

Circle Song

This too shall go

Grey Light

Never

All I have

Triangle Song

Chilly Gonzales (piano)

Pastoral

Circle Song II

Merl

Circle Song III

Nuria’s Lament

La franciscana

Monologue for two

Chilly Gonzales (piano)

Third Haiku

Chilly Gonzales (piano)


Francesco Tristano (piano)

FT returns to his first passion with a selection of beautiful, newly composed works for solo piano. ‘Piano Circle Songs’ features award-winning Canadian pianist and songwriter Chilly Gonzales on four of the tracks, of which Gonzales composed “Tryst” himself for the album.

It was important for FT to capture the intimacy of the music in both the recording and the post- production phases. By purposefully placing mics close to the instrument, he wants the listener to experience the sensation of having “their ear inside the piano”.

“I love the beats, I love the constant impulse. The music on ‘Piano Circle Songs’ is the opposite. It’s very intimate, a melodic way of composing that has been largely inspired by the fact I had children. They made me explore a gentler phase of what I could do at the piano, in terms of writing”, FT explains.

The album theme of “circle” reflects the cyclical nature of the pieces themselves; many of the works follow ABA form or extended variations of this. FT also drew inspiration from a chance conversation with Chilly Gonzales and reflections on the behaviour of his children.

“His latest project lands in an innocuous middle zone, with stripped-back piano-writing borrowing the loops and layers of deep house and the spacious textures and wan harmonies of ambient tracks.” The Guardian, 31st August 2017 ***

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Sony - 88985448182

(CD)

$13.75

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Bach: Solo Cantatas for Bass

Bach: Solo Cantatas for Bass


Bach, J S:

Cantata BWV21 'Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis': Sinfonia

Cantata BWV82 'Ich habe genug'

Michael Volle (bass)

Cantata BWV42 'Am Abend aber desselbigen Sabbats': Sinfonia

Cantata BWV158 'Der Friede sei mit dir'

Robin Johannsen (soprano)

Cantata BWV169 'Gott soll allein mein Herze haben': Sinfonia

Cantata BWV56 'Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen'

Michael Volle (bass)


Michael Volle (bass)

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Members of the RIAS Kammerchor, Raphael Alpermann

Next to the big choral works like the Mass in B minor or the St. John and St. Matthew Passions as well as his a-cappella motets, Johann Sebastian Bach’s over 200 preserved cantatas represent the corpus of his sacred choral and orchestral music. Written in an almost weekly cycle for every Sunday of the Christian year, their musical diversity and beauty is astounding.

Among the cantatas, three are written for solo-bass, to which Michael Volle regularly lends his warm yet powerful voice in concerts all around Europe. In December 2016, he recorded them at the Christuskirche Berlin, together with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, one of the world’s leading orchestras specialized in historic performance.

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Accentus Music - ACC30410

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I Love My Love

I Love My Love


Butterworth, G:

A Shropshire Lad - Rhapsody

British Symphony Orchestra, Adrian Boult

Smyth:

Two Interlinked French Melodies

Light Symphony Orchestra, Adrian Boult

trad.:

The Turtle Dove

The English Singers

Just as the tide was flowing

The English Singers

Down in yon Forest

The English Singers

An Acre of Land

The English Singers

A Farmer's Son

The English Singers

Ca' the yowes

The English Singers

The dark-eyed sailor

The English Singers

It's of a Lawyer

The English Singers

We've been a while a wandering

The English Singers

Wassail Song (Here We Come A-Wassailing)

The English Singers

The Keys of Heaven

Steuart Wilson (tenor), Gerald Moore (piano)

Rio Grande

Steuart Wilson (tenor), Gerald Moore (piano)

The Crocodile

Steuart Wilson (tenor), Gerald Moore (piano)

Admiral Benbow

Frederick Ranalow (baritone)

O No John!

Conchita Supervia (mezzo-soprano), Ivor Newton (piano)

The Crystal Spring

I will give my love an apple

Londonderry Air

Leon Goossens (oboe), Clarence Raybould (piano)

Brigg Fair

Norman Stone (tenor), Oriana Madrigal Society

G. Kennedy Scott

The Turtle Dove

Glasgow Orpheus Choir

Sir Hugh Roberton

I love my Love

The Fleet Street Choir

T.B. Lawrence

Vaughan Williams:

Tuesday Morning (from Hugh the Drover)

Mary Lewis (Mary), William Anderson (The Constable), Frederick Collier (John the Butcher), Trefor Jones (Ballad-Seller)

British National Opera Company, Malcolm Sargent


I Love my Love is a collection of remastered 78 rpm recordings of folk songs. It focuses on folk songs of classical beauty, presented in generally straightforward arrangements, collected in the early years of the 20th century. There is a depth of humanity in these songs that connects us to a not-so-distant past. The stories and sentiments they describe, of love, war, courtship, separation and the vagaries of the seasons, can make us smile, empathise and, sometimes, still move us to tears.

“This Vaughan Williams Society disc, based on 78rpm records collected by David Mitchell, opens a window on a lost England of folk songs and arrangements...and a style instantly pinnable to its period, as in Adrian Boult’s first recording of Butterworth’s A Shropshire Lad.” Sunday Times, 20th August 2017

“the era it captures is not that of the original folk traditions but that of the civilising arrangements in which 20th-century composers clothed them: cut-glass accents and deftly anachronistic piano accompaniments...a touching reminder of a frightfully polite age.” The Observer, 20th August 2017 **

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Albion Records - ALBCD032

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Kenneth Macmillan's Anastasia

Kenneth Macmillan's Anastasia

Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky & Bohuslav Martinů


 

Anastasia

Tchaikovsky/Martinů


Natalia Osipova (Anastasia/Anna Anderson), Marianela Nuñez (Mathilde Kschessinska), Federico Bonelli (Kschessinska’s Partner), Edward Watson (The husband), Thiago Soares (Rasputin), Christina Arestis (Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna), Christopher Saunders (Tsar Nicholas Ii)

Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Simon Hewett, Kenneth Macmillan (choreographer)

Royal Ballet Principal Natalia Osipova dances the title role in Kenneth MacMillan’s haunting ballet, to atmospheric music by Tchaikovsky and Martinů. Anastasia tells the story of Anna Anderson who, following the Russian Revolution and the murder of the royal family, claimed she was the surviving Grand Duchess Anastasia. Many believed her to be an imposter; others hoped she was Anastasia, a remnant of a lost world. A powerful, psychological challenge for the lead dancer, Anastasia explores one of the great historical mysteries of the 20th century, only recently solved, and the distorting mirror of memory, time and place.

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DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte Royal Opera House Collection - OA1243D

(DVD Video)

$29.50

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