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Debussy: Images & Préludes II

Debussy: Images & Préludes II


Debussy:

Préludes - Book 2 (12, complete)

Images pour piano - Books 1 & 2


A new album from Marc-André Hamelin is always cause for celebration. Here in his first Debussy recording for Hyperion he presents the two books of Images: Debussy’s colouristic masterpiece, a bewitching compendium of ‘scents, colours and sounds’. Also recorded here is the second book of Préludes, in a poetic and evocative performance.

“Hamelin's stature, extraordinary from the start, increases with every new issue. And here in his latest album he subdues his legendary, transcendent technique to convey Debussy's very essence with a surpassing ease and naturalness....Hamelin's glistening sonority is flawlessly captured by the Hyperion team. This is a disc to treasure.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2014

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA67920

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Brumel: Missa de beata virgine & motets

Brumel: Missa de beata virgine & motets


Brumel, A:

Nato canunt omnia

Beata es, Maria

Lauda Sion salvatorem

Ave caelorum domina

Missa de beata virgine


The Brabant Ensemble, Stephen Rice

The Brabant Ensemble continues its exploration of hidden gems of the Renaissance with an album of music by Antoine Brumel, famous for his ‘Earthquake’ Mass but otherwise barely known today. Conductor Stephen Rice has assembled an intriguing collection of works including the Missa de beata virgine, a work suffused with plainsong but in which the voices are used almost percussively, making rhythm the driving force of the piece. The Christmas motet Nato canunt omnia is one of the most remarkable musical works of the period.

The Brabant Ensemble’s performance is polished yet light, flexible expressive and spontaneous, parading the polyphony in all its glory.

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Hyperion - CDA68065

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Bach, J S: Mass in B minor, BWV232

Bach, J S: Mass in B minor, BWV232


Lydia Teuscher (soprano), Ida Falk Winland (soprano), Tim Mead (countertenor), Samuel Boden (tenor), Neal Davies (bass)

Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan Cohen talks to Presto's David Smith about the recording here.

Arcangelo and their inspirational director Jonathan Cohen, one of the brightest stars in the Early Music galaxy, present Bach’s great masterpiece in a glorious new recording made following a thrilling performance at the Tetbury festival.

Arcangelo are still a relatively new ensemble, but have already won one Gramophone Award and been nominated for another. The members of the choir and orchestra are performers of dazzling technical ability with a passion for faithful interpretation that goes far beyond historical understanding. Their previous recordings for Hyperion have been praised for their liveliness, colour and full string sound. In this new recording these aspects of their performance are alchemically combined with a feeling of the great solemnity of Bach’s monumental achievement.

“Cohen's rejection of the generic, within a grand and ravishing overview, is what propels an overwhelming sense here that this reading deserves to be taken very seriously...The work infrequently speaks with such gracefulness, freedom or conviction.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2014

“One might expect Cohen’s Arcangelo to opt for minimal personnel — although the trumpety movements suggest spectacular forces — but his choir of 20 can convey the inward spirituality of Et incarnatus est and the laudatory éclat of the Gloria and Et resurrexit with equal efficacy.” Sunday Times, 23rd November 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2014

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Hyperion - CDA68051/2

(CD - 2 discs)

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Rameau: Pièces de clavecin

Rameau: Pièces de clavecin


Rameau:

Suite in A minor from Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin (c1729–30)

Suite in E minor from Pièces de clavecin (1724, revised 1731)

Suite in D Major

Menuet en rondeau in C major

Suite in A minor from Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin (c1729–30)

Suite in G minor from Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin (c1729–30)

La Dauphine

Les petits marteaux


Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord)

Mahan Esfahani talks to Presto's David Smith about Rameau and his career to date here.

Gramophone-Award-winning harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani has recorded Rameau’s Pièces de clavecin in the historic setting of the Music Room at Hatchlands Park in Surrey. This is a masterclass for the instrument, confirming this young artist as a truly great player: in the words of International Record Review ‘his technique is beyond criticism and his inherent musicianship goes far deeper than mere surface understanding … it is difficult not to warm to such a musician’.

This double album comprises the whole of Rameau’s output of keyboard suites, and Esfahani rejoices in its wealth of genius, its excitement and drama. Rameau is a composer whose revival is ongoing, and his unique combination of the witty and the cerebral, the light and the curmudgeonly, abounds throughout his harpsichord music.

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Hyperion - CDA68071/2

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Hymns to Saint Cecilia

Hymns to Saint Cecilia


Bennett, R R:

Verses

on Saint Cecilia’s Day

Bliss:

Sing, mortals!

Britten:

Hymn to St Cecilia, Op. 27

Dyson:

Live For Ever, Glorious Lord

Elgar:

There is sweet music, Op. 53 No. 1

Gardner, John:

A Song for St Cecilia’s Day, Op. 119

Howells:

A Hymn for St Cecilia

Jackson, Gabriel:

La musique

with Dame Felicity Lott (soprano)

MacMillan:

Cecilia Virgo

Rose, B:

Feast Song for St Cecilia

Vaughan Williams:

Silence and Music


Royal Holloway Choir, Rupert Gough

A new choral compendium from the highly regarded Choir of Royal Holloway, comprising twentieth- and twenty-first century works inspired by the adulation of Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music.

In many ways it was Britten’s Hymn to Saint Cecilia—first performed on the radio in 1942—that rekindled musicians’ interest in celebrating their patron saint. The Musicians Benevolent Fund revived the tradition of an annual service of celebration for St Cecilia in 1947, and has marked the occasion with a new commission almost every year. Many of the pieces on this recording are the result of those commissions. Also included is a new work by Gabriel Jackson, one of the most popular choral composers of today, featuring Dame Felicity Lott.

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Hyperion - CDA68047

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The Romantic Violin Concerto 17 - Bruch

The Romantic Violin Concerto 17 - Bruch


Bruch:

Violin Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 58

Scottish Fantasy, Op. 46


Award-winning violinist Jack Liebeck brings his impassioned tones, fulsome emotional display and formidable technique to the first of three albums of music by Max Bruch.

This programme presents one of Bruch’s most popular pieces for violin and orchestra, the Scottish Fantasy, alongside one of his least known, the Violin Concerto No 3 in D minor, Op 58. Anyone hearing Jack Liebeck’s performance may well wonder why this concerto has languished in the lumber room for so long—it has never been heard at the BBC Proms, for example. It was written for Joseph Joachim who gave the premiere in Düsseldorf and subsequently played the concerto in Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Strasbourg, Breslau, Leipzig, Cologne and London (for the Philharmonic Society).

The Scottish Fantasy in E flat major, Op 46 (or more correctly ‘Fantasia for the violin with orchestra and harp, freely using Scottish folk melodies’), was written in Berlin during the winter of 1879–80 for Sarasate and reflected the Spaniard’s more colourful personality. Although Bruch never visited Scotland, he was typical of German Romantics in having a fascination with the picture of the country painted by such writers as Walter Scott. For the Scottish Fantasy he drew on James Johnson’s voluminous folk-song collection The Scots Musical Museum.

“Jack Liebeck and conductor Martyn Brabbins work hard to make the music come alive. Liebeck’s playing is consistently fresh and his phrasing always imaginative” The Guardian, 23rd October 2014 ***

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Hyperion - The Romantic Violin Concerto - CDA68050

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 64 - Oswald & Napoleão dos Santos

The Romantic Piano Concerto 64 - Oswald & Napoleão dos Santos


Oswald, H:

Piano Concerto in G minor, Op. 10

Santos, A:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in E flat minor, Op. 31


Portuguese virtuoso Artur Pizarro makes a welcome return to the Romantic Piano Concerto series with the outpourings of two brilliant pianist-composers. Their names may not be familiar to listeners today. The Brazilian Henrique Oswald and the Portuguese Alfredo Napoleão were born in the same year, less than three months apart, when Schumann, Brahms and Liszt were alive and Chopin recently deceased. Both were of mixed European heritage: Oswald with a Swiss-German father and Italian mother, Napoleão with an Italian father and Portuguese mother. Both were child prodigies who became widely travelled concert pianists, pedagogues and composers. In 1868 Oswald gave his ‘farewell recital’ and left Rio de Janeiro to study in Europe; Napoleão went to Brazil.

Oswald’s Piano Concerto in G minor, Op 10, dates from about 1886, the year he met Liszt. Although influences of Fauré can be detected in the second theme, the overall character of the first movement owes more to the late Romantic German style. The orchestration is rich and full, but the Tchaikovskian athleticism and virtuosity of the piano-writing keep the soloist to the fore.

Napoleão’s Piano Concerto No 2 in E flat minor, Op 31, is undated but was probably composed around the same time as Oswald’s Piano Concerto. Although Napoleão performed the concerto in a solo piano version, the first performance with orchestra had to wait until 12 February 1941. This was given by Evaristo de Campos Coelho (1903–1988)—with whom Artur Pizarro, the pianist on the present recording, studied as a young child. He played the work numerous times, and performed it for Portuguese radio. Dinorah Leitão (who was Ivo Cruz’s daughter in law, and also a student of Campos Coelho) then played it, and Artur Pizarro is only the third pianist to champion this work.

“One cannot imagine them more convincingly executed. What verve and flair [Pizarro] brings to the stamina-sapping solos, and with what graceful lyricism he invests the cantabile writing. He is only the third pianist to champion the Napoleão concerto.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2014

“Napoleão’s concerto No 2 in E flat minor grips with a first movement worthy of Chopin, and delights with a sparkling central scherzo but the wandering, occasionally twee third movement is disappointing, despite the dedicated playing of Artur Pizarro.” The Observer, 26th October 2014 ***

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - The Romantic Piano Concerto - CDA67984

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Schumann: Novelletten & Nachtstücke

Schumann: Novelletten & Nachtstücke


Schumann:

Novelletten (8), Op. 21

Nachtstücke, Op. 23

Romance in F sharp major, Op. 28 No. 2


Danny Driver (piano)

In this new album Danny Driver brings his impeccable pianism, consummate style and imagination to Schumann’s Novelletten and Nachtstücke, less well-known sets from his extraordinary output for the piano.

Schumann wrote Nachtstücke, a set of four character pieces, upon the death of his brother, and would have entitled it ‘Corpse Fantasia’ were it not for Clara’s intervention. The eight pieces of the Novelletten form what is at once the largest and the least known among Schumann’s major piano cycles. The music itself is of consistently high quality (years later, Schumann himself still regarded this among his most successful works), and clearly written in an exultant mood.

“Driver is commanding and personable. He never fails to establish character and to provide the understanding and flair of a virtuoso in leading us on, in getting from one thing to another. The only qualities I miss are a measure of ease with the continuity and greater differentiation in the sound and movement.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2014

“[Driver], who is going from strength to strength at the moment, turns in a powerhouse performance on his new Schumann album, playing with great technical prowess, and admirably alert to the fluctuations of mood and feeling within the prevailing intensity of the whole.” The Guardian, 13th November 2014 ****

“there is an unbroken thread of thought running through Driver’s interpretation, with the fluxes of harmony and nuances of dynamics artlessly etched in and a natural flow and impetus to the music from the very start to its hushed finish...This is playing of a most perceptive order.” The Telegraph, 24th November 2014

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA67983

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Brahms: The Complete Trios

Brahms: The Complete Trios


Brahms:

Piano Trios Nos. 1-3 (Complete)

Horn Trio in E flat major, Op. 40

Stephen Stirling (horn)

Clarinet Trio in A minor, Op. 114

Richard Hosford (clarinet)


Here are all of Brahms’s Trios assembled on one album. The three Piano Trios date from the extremes of the composer’s life—Opus 8 from 1853/4 when he was about twenty years old (though here performed in its revised version of 1889), and Opus 101 from 1886, written when he was fifty-three. The Clarinet Trio was one of his very last works, written for the clarinettist who also inspired the Clarinet Quintet and the two Opus 120 Sonatas, Richard Mühlfeld. The marvellous Horn Trio is a middle-period work, composed when the composer was in his early thirties. The five works are presented chronologically and all are immaculately played by the acclaimed Florestan Trio.

“A clear first recommendation for any of the five works. I find these fully the equal of any other versions of any of the trios in the catalogs, whether by present-day or ‘golden age’ performers. Wonderful music-making” Fanfare

“These are very desirable recordings … enriching performances that make one aware of Brahms’s stature first and the superb musicianship of the executants second—which is exactly as it should be!” Gramophone Magazine

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Hyperion Dyads - CDD22082

(CD - 2 discs)

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Debussy Songs Volume 3

Debussy Songs Volume 3


Debussy:

Musique

Romance

La romance d'Ariel

Regret

L'Archet

Chanson triste L24

Jonathan McGovern (baritone)

Les baisers d'amour L23

Jonathan McGovern (baritone)

Les Elfes

Aimons-nous et dormons L7

Souhait

Sérénade L29

Rêverie

La Belle au bois dormant

Jonathan McGovern (baritone)

Il dort encore (Hymnis)

Les Roses

Pierrot

Les baisers L9

Dans le jardin

Jonathan McGovern (baritone)

Le Lilas

Caprice

Zéphyr (Triolet a Philis)

Fête galante

Le promenoir des deux amants

Jonathan McGovern (baritone)

Paysage sentimental


Jennifer France (soprano), Malcolm Martineau (piano)

Hyperion presents a third volume in its acclaimed Debussy songs series, accompanied and curated by Malcolm Martineau, with booklet notes by French music expert par excellence Roger Nichols. Young soprano Jennifer France, winner of the Song Prize at the 2014 Kathleen Ferrier Awards and making her debut on the label, has a thrillingly expressive voice of diamantine beauty and is an ideal performer of these songs. Baritone Jonathan McGovern performs Le promenoir des deux amants and other songs with warm tone and great musical sensitivity.

“France negotiates the upper-altitude territory both with accuracy and with sensitivity to the songs' moods, with smoothness of line matching her subtlety of vocal inflection...McGovern shows himself to be thoroughly at home within the normal baritone register...Martineau, whose pianism is a constant delight, has devised a proper recital programme rather than a completist survey.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2014

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion Debussy Song Series - CDA68016

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