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Dimitar Nenov: Piano Concerto & Ballade No. 2

Dimitar Nenov: Piano Concerto & Ballade No. 2


Piano Concerto

Ballade No. 2

A refusal to toe the party line in communist Bulgaria led to polymath Dimitar Nenov being marginalized in life, and to posthumous neglect. But this is hugely enjoyable music, well worthy of revival in such fiercely committed performances as we find here.

“This excellent new recording by Ivo Varbanov with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by fellow Bulgarian Emil Tabakov – the orchestral playing in particular is impressive” BBC Music Magazine, July 2017 ****

“The monumental concerto is a highly-strung, emotional, single-movement journey, combining a late Romantic sensibility with a uniquely daring modernism, while the Ballade moves from pastoral idyll to climactic frenzy, with boisterous Bulgarian dance influences along the way.” The Observer, 18th June 2017 ****

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68205


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Songs by Robert Franz

Songs by Robert Franz

Franz, R:

Mailied, Op. 33 No. 3

Gleich und gleich, Op. 22 No. 1

Wonne der Wehmut, Op. 33 No. 1

Im Sommer, Op. 16 No. 2

Rastlose Liebe, Op. 33 No. 6

Liebliche Maid!, Op. 4 No. 3

O säh’ ich auf der Haide dort, Op. 1 No. 5

Schlummerlied, Op. 1 No. 10

Romanze, Op. 35 No. 4

Jagdlied Op. 1 No. 9

Der vielschönen Fraue, Op. 10 No. 4

Im wunderschönen Monat Mai, Op. 25 No. 5

Die Rose, die Lilie, Op. 34 No. 5

Wenn ich in deine Augen seh’, Op. 44 No. 5

Ich will meine Seele tauchen, Op. 43 No. 4

Im Rhein, im heiligen Strome, Op. 18 No. 2

Hör’ ich das Liedchen klingen, Op. 5 No. 11

Am leuchtenden Sommermorgen, Op. 11 No. 2

Ich hab' im Traume geweinet, Op. 25 No. 3

Allnächtlich im Traume, Op. 9 No. 4

Die Lotosblume, Op. 25 No. 1

Lieb' Liebchen, Op. 17 No. 3

Es treibt mich hin

Ja, du bist elend, Op. 7 No. 6

Durch den Wald im Mondenscheine, Op. 8 No. 3

Wie des Mondes Abbild

Auf dem Meere

Ich lieb’ eine Blume, Op. 28 No. 1

Aus meinen grossen schmerzen

Es fällt ein Stern herunter, Op. 44 No. 4

Der Fichtenbaum, Op. 16 No. 3

Das ist ein Brausen und Heulen, Op. 8 No. 4

Auf dem Meere, Op. 5 No. 3

Sterne mit den goldnen Füßchen?

Traumbild, Op. 34 No. 3

Madchen mit dem roten Mundchen, Op. 5 No. 5

Frühlingsgedränge, Op. 7 No. 5

Um Mitternacht, Op. 28 No. 6

Ein Stündlein wohl vor Tag, Op. 28 No. 2

Verborgenheit, Op. 28 No. 5

Waldfahrt, Op. 14 No. 3

Die Lotosblume, Op. 1 No. 3

Voglein, wohin so schnell, Op. 11 No. 1

Für Musik

Ach, wenn ich doch ein Immchen wär, Op. 3 No. 6

Um Mitternacht, Op. 16 No. 6


Robin Tritschler (tenor) & Graham Johnson (piano)

Highly regarded by such contemporaries as Mendelssohn, Schumann and Liszt, Robert Franz wrote 279 songs over the course of a long life. For this recital, Graham Johnson and Robin Tritschler have chosen forty-seven of their favourites.

“With Johnson’s discerning support, Tritschler confirms his credentials as a natural in Lieder. His is a voice of spring, fresh and easy on the ear, produced with a care both for clarity of diction and a true singing line. Tritschler is a lively, sensitive interpreter, too…Franz’s songs typically demand, and get, dulcet tone, perfect dynamic control, including a limpid mezza voce, and refined phrasing.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2017

“Plangent of tone and refreshingly unmannered in his delivery, the young Irish tenor is an inspired and committed advocate for these songs...I’m certain fellow lieder fans will relish the opportunity to compare and contrast Franz’s treatment of the poems which Schumann set in Dichterliebe with their better-known incarnation!” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, June 2017

“ This concise music perhaps lacks the contained intensity of his two compatriots, but it’s still hugely appealing. Tritschler and Johnson’s performances capture precisely the mood and scent of each song.” Sunday Times, 18th June 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68128


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Ravel: Piano Concertos & Falla: Nights in the gardens of Spain

Ravel: Piano Concertos & Falla: Nights in the gardens of Spain


Noches en los jardines de Espana


Piano Concerto in G major

Piano Concerto in D major (for the left hand)

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

Steven Osborne’s solo Ravel for Hyperion has invited comparisons with the distinguished interpretations of the past; this new recording of the concertos is certain to win similar plaudits. The Falla is a generous and appropriate coupling, perfectly complementing these wonderful works.

“Full of colour, both Osborne’s poetry and his exceptional touch are to the fore, the sparkling cascades in the final movement being especially breathtaking…strong performances of a programme that bears repeated listening” BBC Music Magazine, June 2017 ****

“Time and again whilst listening I had to dash to my score to check that everything I could hear was actually being played by just the one hand! More importantly, though, Osborne doesn’t just treat it as a series of notes: he always manages to maintain the line, and to bring out each phrase effortlessly, no matter what else may be going on at the same time!” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 2nd June 2017

“This performance is atmospheric and suggestive, Osborne and Morlot (Nights is more for orchestra with piano) conjuring an intoxicating impressionism that finds, for me, more in this three-movement score than hitherto, especially the outer ones – the second always makes an immediate appeal – and further recognition that this is an outstanding release in every way.”, June 2017 *****

“Osborne and the orchestra imbue [the Falla] with fabulous drama, especially in the rambunctious third movement...Broadly speaking, these performers [of the Ravel] make the great Left Hand Concerto in D seem like a traumatic postlude to the war and the much jollier Piano Concerto in G sound like the purest escapism from it.” The Times, 23rd June 2017

Presto Disc of the Week

2nd June 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68148


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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.

“The delightful scenario of L’Apothéose de Lully imagines the composer Lully, one of François Couperin’s forebears at the court of Louis XIV, being wafted up to Mount Parnassus by Apollo. There, he meets the Italian muses, and the music becomes that synthesis of the French and Italian styles which Couperin so admired. All of this is captured with grace in Arcangelo’s playing under its founder, Jonathan Cohen.” Financial Times, 28th April 2017 ****

“those pesky French quavers are played with such a delightfully relaxed shrug by harpsichordist Jonathan Cohen and his four Arcangelo musicians. But you need know nothing of that to enjoy the grace and immediacy of the playing, or the charm of the music.” The Guardian, 4th May 2017 ****

“Superb…allows us to marvel at the adaptability of Couperin’s music” Gramophone Magazine, May 2017

“The pictorial movements of L’Apothéose are introduced by a reciter and all are well characterise with unnecessary exaggeration. Indeed, at times, the performance errs slightly on the side of restraint, although it is unfailingly beautiful and much aided by excellent lute and gamba continuo accompaniment…the breath control of Katherine Watson and Anna Dennis in the long melismatic lines is stunning” BBC Music Magazine, July 2017 ****

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68093


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Stanford: Preludes

Stanford: Preludes


Preludes (24) in all the keys, Op. 163: excerpts

Preludes (24) in all the keys, Op. 179: excerpts

Sam Haywood (piano)

Stanford retained an enthusiasm for the music of Bach throughout his life, and the two sets of ‘Twenty-four Preludes in all the keys for pianoforte’ are a clear homage to JSB’s own ‘48’. Sam Haywood, making his second recording for Hyperion, performs his own selection.

Hyperion Records and Sam Haywood are exceedingly grateful to Lark Group Limited for their support of this recording.

“Haywood offers a living performance, coloured with the romantic aura that even clings to the preludes modelled after Baroque dance forms” BBC Music Magazine, June 2017 ***

“[Haywood] does this repertoire absolutely proud; possessing a pleasingly rounded tone, sensitivity to dynamic nuance and flawless technical address, his is a decidedly superior brand of pianism” Gramophone Magazine, June 2017

“Haywood plays these intensely rewarding miniatures with just the right amount of swagger and flair.” The Observer, 28th May 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68183


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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.

“Guyot emerges from this disc as a marvellously fluent composer, perhaps a touch unvaried in texture but always pleasing…the five adult men of Cinquecento – here joined by the countertenor David Allsopp – are, as always, absolutely flawless in the performance of this music. Even by the best standards of today their ensemble, balance and intonation are beyond reproach” Gramophone Magazine, May 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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.

“Buratto captures the evolving moods with panache and just enough pomp.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 ***

“A first impression of Buratto’s of a serious, highly refined pianist who seems incapable of producing an ugly sound, but who perhaps is sometimes just a little bit too well-mannered...Then suddenly, during the wonderfully protean Davidsbündlertänze, Buratto seems to find another gear; everything snaps into sharper focus.” The Guardian, 11th May 2017 ****

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68186


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Bruch: String Quintets & Octet

Bruch: String Quintets & Octet


String Quintet in E Flat, Op. posth (1918)

Octet in B flat major, Op. post. (1920)

String Quintet in A minor, Op. posth (1918)

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

Music which belies the date and circumstances of its composition. All three works were written in the immediate aftermath of World War I, yet inhabit a sound world of Brahmsian richness and warmth—very much the product of the composer of the famous Violin Concerto. The Nash Ensemble are ideal interpreters.

“The always rewarding Nash Ensemble add warmth and grace to the sprightly String Quintet in E flat major and bring verve and attack to its edgier A minor companion, but it is in the magnificent String Octet that the players finally allow the sun to truly shine. Recommended.” The Observer, 26th March 2017 ****

“they have a yearning lyricism that harks back to the G minor Violin Concerto...and the rich texture of five and eight parts gives the sound a depth and mellowness. Although all three are in the ‘concertante’ style, ensuring that first violinist Stephanie Gonley enjoys the majority of the limelight, there’s no shortage of interplay between the parts as well as some delightful melodic turns of phrase.” David Smith, Presto Classical, 31st March 2017

“The Nash ensemble have a natural feeling for the music's ebb and flow, and while they're not afraid of big gestures and the bite of horsehair and rosin, they play beautifully as an ensemble...Together, these performances go to the top of a not exactly crowded field; in fact his disc needs to be heard by everyone who loves German Romantic chamber music.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2017

“These three very likeable chamber offerings by Max Bruch…receive joyously assured treatment from the distinguished members of The Nash Ensemble on this truthfully engineered Hyperion release…Tully Potter supplies a personable and authoritative booklet-essay, and collectors with a sweet tooth will find the disc as a whole well worth seeking out.” Classical Ear, 14th April 2017 ****

“The Nash Ensemble members (including Stephanie Gonley, Laura Samuel, Lawrence Power and Adrian Brendel) play superbly and devotedly and are tangibly recorded. Highly recommended.”, May 2017 *****

Presto Disc of the Week

31st March 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68168



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Music for the 100 Years' War

Music for the 100 Years' War


Sub Arturo plebs

Fons Citharizancium

In omnem terram


Anglia tibi turbidas spera lucem post tenebras

Ianuam quam clauserat

Pastor cesus in gregis medio

Opem nobis, o Thoma...Salve, Thoma

De flore martyrum...Deus tuorum militum

Ave miles celestis curie / Ave Rex patrone patrie / Ave Rex

Gaude martyr...Collaudemus venerantes

Ecce mitto angelum

The Agincourt Carol

Kyrie … Domine miserere – Ab inimicis nostris


Preco Preheminencie

Precurscor premittitur

Inter natos mulierum

Missa Da gaudiorum premia

Veni Sancte Spiritus

Power, L:

Gloria 'Ad Thome memoriam'

Music of predominantly royal association spanning the reign of Henry V, the Battle of Agincourt and its aftermath, and the coronations in England and France of the boy king Henry VI. The Binchois Consort under Andrew Kirkman bring this music vividly to life, while the copiously illustrated booklet is a pleasure in itself.

“The mysterious and influential John Dunstaple (c1390-1453) is the best known of the composers here. His Missa Da gaudiorum premia and Veni Sancte Spiritus are highlights on a fascinating disc…we are lucky to have the Binchois Consort – here, two altos, four tenors – to bring this haunting, often jubilant early English repertoire to full-blooded life” The Observer, April 2017 *****

“The Orlandos sensibly espouse the music’s rough edges (as in the Kyrie Cuthberte), courting roughness themselves in a good cause. Where a more mellifluous tone is required, as in the top-voice-driven Credo by Excetre, they give Matthew Venner’s expressive countertenor full rein.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

“A fascinating musical account of the English court from the late 14th century onwards. The Binchois Consort is on stellar form.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68170



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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.

“Howard Shelley and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra are, by now, firm friends, and it’s thanks to his intimacy with every note of the orchestral score, as well as that of the piano part, that makes these readings so rewarding” Gramophone Magazine, May 2017

“in the later Piano Concerto in A Minor Czerny’s limpid writing emulates Chopin in its attractive, early romanticism — an unexpected delight…” Financial Times, 5th May 2017 ***

“They certainly require a formidable keyboard technician such as Shelley” The Observer, 14th May 2017 ***

“His brilliant technique and musicianship, bearing in mind that he is usually conducting from the keyboard, finally allows the listener the fullest appreciation of what it was that made such composer-pianists famous in their own time and allows the music to speak for itself.” MusicWeb International, May 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - The Romantic Piano Concerto - CDA68138


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