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Shostakovich: Piano Quintet & String Quartet No. 2

Shostakovich: Piano Quintet & String Quartet No. 2


String Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 68

Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57

Marc-André Hamelin (piano)

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

It is hard to envisage a more enticing prospect: Shostakovich’s densely woven String Quartet No 2 and his deceptively backward-looking Piano Quintet, performed by the stellar Takács Quartet and Marc-André Hamelin, generously notated by David Fanning, and lovingly recorded by Hyperion’s Simon Eadon and Andrew Keener team. Seventy minutes of post-Revolutionary Russian ecstasy.

“it’s hard to imagine a better performance than those given by the Takács Quartet and Marc-André Hamelin. I find their tutti playing particularly excellent; the big chordal climaxes in both works show off their absolutely peerless ensemble, and the interplay with Hamelin in the Quintet is sensitive and well-judged. These are two works that it’s definitely worth getting to know, and Hamelin and the Takács Quartet are fine ambassadors for them.” Presto Classical, 30th March 2015

“The great Soviet composer’s chamber music is new to the discography of the Takacs, arguably the world’s most versatile string quartet. Here they strike up a tingling rapport with one of Hyperion’s “house” pianists: sparks fly between the French-Canadian and the British/Hungarian string players.” Sunday Times, 19th April 2015

“As the work unfolds, you're very aware that the relationship between pianist and string quartet is one of dialogue…it's perhaps in the Intermezzo [of the Piano Quintet] that the new disc scores most highly, exquisitely withdrawn, while in the finale the ambiguity of mood is well captured.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2015

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA67987


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Mozart: Piano Sonatas

Mozart: Piano Sonatas


Piano Sonata No. 18 in D major, K576 'Hunt'

Piano Sonata No. 5 in G, K283

Piano Sonata No. 12 in F major, K332

Piano Sonata No. 17 in B flat major, K570

Rondo in D major, K485

Gigue in G Major, K574

Piano Sonata No. 10 in C major, K330

Piano Sonata No. 13 in B flat major, K333

Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major, K545 'Facile'

Piano Sonata No. 4 in E flat major K282

Rondo in A minor, K511

Fantasia in D minor, K397

Eight of Mozart’s divinely inspired Piano Sonatas here receive performances of mercurial inspiration from consummate-musician cum virtuoso-wizard Marc-André Hamelin. His four Haydn albums have enthralled—this new Mozart will not disappoint. Two Rondos, a Fantasia, and a decidedly quirky Gigue complete a delight of a double album.

“Hamelin is never dull. He may not touch the heart through a perfect blend of control and insight, of pulse and flexibility, but his capacity for brilliance, for beauty of sound, and his flawless technical address can amount to pleasures in themselves.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2015

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68029

(CD - 2 discs)

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Mendelssohn: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 3

Mendelssohn: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 3


Lied in F sharp minor

Songs without Words, Book 4 (6), Op. 53

Piano Sonata in G minor, Op. 105

Caprices Nos 1-3, Op. 33 (Complete)

Scherzo a capriccio in F sharp minor

Scherzo in B minor

Etude in F minor

Under-valued for a century and a half, the perfected joys of Mendelssohn’s music for solo piano are further unearthed in this third volume of our complete series from Howard Shelley where fascinating early works sit happily alongside Book 4 of the ‘Songs without words’ and the wonderful Caprices of opus 33.

“Mendelssohn and Howard Shelley are a musical marriage made in heaven. Stylish and delectably light-fingered, Shelley makes a flawless case in Vol 3 of his [Complete Solo Piano Music of Mendelssohn]…if anyone can persuade us of Mendelssohn's quality, it is Shelley.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2015

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion Howard Shelley Mendelssohn Complete Piano Music - CDA68098


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Richard Strauss: The Complete Songs 7

Richard Strauss: The Complete Songs 7

Strauss, R:

Weihnachtsgefühl, WoO. 94

Weihnachtslied, Op. 2

Einkehr, Op. 47 No. 4

Der müde Wanderer, Op. 13

Husarenlied, AV14 TrV42

Der Fischer, AV33 TrV48

Die Drossel

Lass ruh'n die Toten, WoO. 35

Lust und Qual, AV36 TrV51

Spielmann und Zither, AV40 TrV58

Wiegenlied , TrV59

Abend- und Morgenrot, WoO. 42

Im Walde, AV43 TrV62


Soldatenlied, TrV66

Ein Röslein zog ich mir im Garten, Op. 49

Waldesgesang , TrV75

Alphorn, Op. 29

Ed Lockwood (French horn)

Sinnspruch, AV105

Durch allen Schall und Klang, AV111

Zugemessne Rhythmen, AV122

Xenion, AV131

Auf ein Kind, Op. 47 No. 1

Rückleben, Op. 47 No. 3

Von den sieben Zechbrüdern, Op. 47 No. 5

Sankt Michael , Op. 88 No. 3

Winterreise, AV4 TrV4

Ruby Hughes (soprano), Ben Johnson (tenor), Günter Haumer (baritone), Roger Vignoles (piano)

Volume 7 of our Complete Strauss Songs cycle focuses on the juvenilia. But the mysterious TrV references obfuscate compositions of a beauty hard to reconcile with the facts behind their genesis (Strauss was just six when he penned the first of them—his mother had to write in the words for him). Three new singers—Ruby Hughes, Ben Johnson and Günter Haumer—join Roger Vignoles in this most unexpected of recitals to relish.

“the pleasures are manifold. Even ardent Straussians won't know many of the songs in this mix of juvenilia...[Hughes] is a delight, pure lyric-soprano transparency for the often folksy simplicity of young Richard...[by Von den sieben Zechbrüdern] Johnson has really come out of his shell to relish the operatic narrative of which we know he's capable.” BBC Music Magazine, Awards Issue 2015 ****

“Ruby Hughes's bright soprano is appealing” Gramophone Magazine, May 2015

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion Richard Strauss Complete Songs - CDA68074


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Leighton: Crucifixus

Leighton: Crucifixus

& other choral works


Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis (Collegium Magdalenae Oxonienses)

God's Grandeur

Give me the wings of faith

Missa Brevis Op. 50

Missa de Gloria, Op. 82, ‘Dublin Festival Mass’: Ite, missa est

Jeremy Cole (organ)

What love is this of thine?

Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis (Second Service), Op. 62

Crucifixus pro nobis, Op. 38

Andrew Kennedy (tenor)

The choral music of Kenneth Leighton is beloved of cathedral and collegiate choirs across the land: immersion in the Anglican tradition dates back to the composer’s earliest years as a boy chorister and combines with a unique adult musical language to create a world at once radical and traditional. And who better to perform it than the musicians of the next generation—Trinity College Choir Cambridge under their director Stephen Layton.

“The writing [in Crucifixus] is at its finest when tenor Andrew Kennedy is singing: his contribution is altogether gripping, and unstintingly committed. There's wonderful quiet singing from the choir in the concluding 'Drop, drop slow tears'...The account of the Missa brevis is if anything even better...[Layton] elicits great subtleties of expression from his young singers.” BBC Music Magazine, Awards Issue 2015 *****

“An excellent disc, one for all lovers of 20th century British music in general and choral music in particular.” MusicWeb International, April 2015

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68039


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Liszt: The Complete Songs Volume 3 - Gerald Finley

Liszt: The Complete Songs Volume 3 - Gerald Finley


Morgens steh ich auf und frage, S290

third version

Ein Fichtenbaum steht einsam, S309

second setting

Anfangs wollt ich fast verzagen, S311

fourth version

Weimars Toten, S303

Wer nie sein Brot mit Tränen ass, S.297

second setting

Sonetti di Petrarca (3) for voice & piano, S270

second version

Die Fischerstochter

Und wir dachten der Toten

Die Vätergruft, S.281

second version


La tombe et la rose, S285

Le vieux vagabond, S304

Go not, happy day

Gerald Finley (baritone) & Julius Drake (piano)

A third volume in Hyperion’s Complete Liszt Songs cycle warmly welcomes to the series maestro Gerald Finley. The songs themselves encompass everything from finely honed miniatures to big-boned epics of tragic import, and these compelling performances elicit from the multi-award-winning pairing of Finley and Julius Drake a sense of paced drama and pathos which is rarely matched.

“This third volume deserves a special recommendation — first thanks to Gerald Finley, an inspiring champion of Liszt’s music, and secondly because this volume includes the exalted Three Petrarch Sonnets (in Liszt’s second version), where baritones usually fear to tread. Finley, accompanied by Julius Drake, is eloquent and impassioned in them.” Financial Times, 7th March 2015 ****

“The standard of the songs is impressively high...Julius Drake shines in all of them. So, too, does Finley, with his sensitivity to the fore in the fine Heine settings, bringing emotional engagement and a measure of Italianate warmth to the comparatively well known Petrarch settings...In excellent sound, the whole adds up to a delightful sequence of discoveries.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2015 *****

“The ever-rewarding song partnership of Gerald Finley and Julius Drake are persuasive advocates across the whole spectrum of Lisztian styles. Where theatrical panache is a sine qua non...the pair provide it in spades.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2015

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2015

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion Liszt Complete Songs - CDA67956



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Dohnányi: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 3

Dohnányi: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 3


Ruralia hungarica, Op. 32a

Variations on a Hungarian Folk Song Op. 29

Three Pieces, Op. 23

Gavotte and Musette in B flat

Waltz for Piano from Delibes' "Naila"

Schatz Waltz (Treasure Waltz)

Strauss, J, II:

Du und Du Walzer, Op. 367

arr. Ernő Dohnányi

The penultimate volume in Hyperion’s four-part survey of the complete solo piano music of Ernő Dohnányi focuses on music from the period when the composer’s pre-eminent position was being assured. The titles of the largest works here, Ruralia hungarica and the Variations on a Hungarian Folksong, mask in their nationalistic ostentation the skill of a true master of piano composition.

Martin Roscoe inhabits the world of Dohnányi’s music like no other—appraisals of the earlier volumes attest to this—and this new recording is a joy.

“[Roscoe] is the one for repeated listening. His finesse of colouring as well as his strong rhythmic impulse and lyrical astuteness are qualities that fit the music ideally and allow it to eloquently expressive advocate for an unduly neglected master of the keyboard.” The Telegraph, 8th March 2015 ****

“The most substantial undoubtedly the suite Ruralia Hungarica...It's an enormously attractive work, by turns exhilarating...and rhapsodic...Roscoe relishes these contrasts in mood with playing that is both exuberant and expressive. Similar qualities abound in Roscoe's masterly performances of the 1971 Variations on a Hungarian folksong and the Three Pieces Op. 23.” BBC Music Magazine, Awards Issue 2015 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2015

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion Dohnányi Complete Solo Piano Music - CDA68033



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Szymański & Mykietyn: Music for string quartet

Szymański & Mykietyn: Music for string quartet


String Quartet No. 2


Five pieces for string quartet

Four pieces for string quartet

Two pieces for string quartet

The official titles of the works performed here are not helpful: what they conceal are the most extraordinary soundworlds from two composers at the vanguard of the contemporary Polish music scene, and the magicians of the Royal String Quartet summon from their instruments sounds of collective and individual wonder.

This is music to grab the attention of its audience—whether willing or not—and it will leave listeners emphatically having chosen a side of the fence.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68085



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Liszt: Piano Sonata

Liszt: Piano Sonata

& other works


Piano Sonata in B minor, S178

Sonetto 47 del Petrarca (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 4)

Sonetto 104 del Petrarca (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 5)

Sonetto 123 del Petrarca (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 6)

Après une lecture du Dante, fantasia quasi sonata (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 7)

Angela Hewitt’s notes for this important new album describe a teenager’s moment of revelation when she first came to appreciate the epic masterpiece that is the Liszt Piano Sonata. Here we have a heart-felt recording where this palpable sense of wonder is manifest alongside Hewitt’s enthralling technical facility at the keyboard.

The programme is completed by the second half of Liszt’s dazzling second Année de pèlerinage collection: the three Petrarch Sonnets and the noble Dante Sonata, the latter composed as a fund-raiser for the Bonn Beethoven monument in 1839.

“Hewitt has a refreshing attitude to Liszt...Virtuosity is only the start [of the Dante Sonata]. Here, in the B minor sonata and in the three youthful Petrarch Sonnets, Hewitt is magisterial. For many years Bach has been her calling card. Her Liszt is, if anything, yet more compelling.” The Observer, 1st February 2015 ****

“Hewitt’s Liszt interpretations are both exquisite and dramatic, at once finely thought-out and exalting. From the first bar, the Sonata is invested with a freshness...Wise long pauses are left between items, time in which to forget every music you ever knew.” Sunday Times, 8th February 2015

“Elegant and immaculate in both musicianship and platform wardrobe, the pianist Angela Hewitt doesn’t immediately rush to mind when considering the wild music of Liszt...Even if her approach sometimes rubs against the music’s grain, the poise and clarity of her textures and phrasings still brings major pleasures.” The Times, 6th February 2015 ****

“She recognises that the sonata is a work of emotional extremes, but of extremes that are close-knit and have a clear expressive focus...Hewitt’s interpretation scores over those that veer from one dramatic incident to another without paying due attention to the shaping of the quieter moments of bliss and repose.” The Telegraph, 1st March 2015 ****

“What enviable poise and expressive beauty to launch the central Andante...Hewitt holds her own to such an extent that she makes you forget all about odious comparisons and listen instead to one of the great milestones in all music...This is possibly the very finest of Angela Hewitt's many recordings.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2015

“Hewitt allows [the Sonata's] huge single-movement span to unfold with a sense of space and a purposeful clarity - qualities akin to the manner of Beethoven's late sonatas...Hewitt, a hugely experienced Bach-performer, delivers [the Allegro] at an unexaggerated pace, and with a precisely articulated vividness that works superbly.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2015 ***/****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2015

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68067



In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Ēriks Ešenvalds: Northern Lights

Ēriks Ešenvalds: Northern Lights

& other choral works


O salutaris Hostia

with Rachel Ambrose Evans (soprano), Hannah Partridge (soprano)

The new moon

Psalm 67

with Michael Craddock (bass)

Trinity Te Deum

with Sally Pryce (harp)

Trinity Brass

Northern Lights

with Jamie Roberts (tenor)

The heavens' flock

The earthly rose

with Sally Pryce (harp)

Magnificat, Nunc dimittis (Merton College Service)

with Hannah King (soprano)

Rivers of light

with Hannah King (soprano), Jonathan Pacey (bass), Zane Šmite (jaw harp)

Ubi caritas

Amazing grace

with Anna Cavaliero (mezzo-soprano)

O Emmanuel

with Helen Charlston (mezzo-soprano)

Who can sail without the wind?

with Helen Charlston (mezzo-soprano), Hiroshi Amako (tenor), Sally Pryce (harp)


Only in sleep

with Rachel Ambrose Evans (soprano)

The intensely practical choral music of the young Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds is steadily gaining appreciation across the world. The works on this new album owe their genesis to commissions from the United States, England and northern Europe and encompass ethereal expressions of uniquely arctic phenomena (listen for wine glasses turned—and tuned—to wondrously simple but devastating effect within the choral texture), American ballads and several works in the ‘Anglican tradition’, the fruits of the composer’s recent residency at Trinity College Cambridge.

Trinity College Choir Cambridge here returns the compliment, as it were, with superlative performances of these varied and engaging works, all recorded under the watchful eye of the composer and conductor Stephen Layton.

“One of the chief pleasures of this CD is right at the beginning - the silvery duetting of Rachel Ambrose Evans and Hannah Partridge...Their fluid delivery of the little grace notes is delectable, and Stephen Layton secures a perfect balance with the choir in the background. Ešenvalds's music, is not quite easy listening, is certainly audience-friendly...what a force the Trinity choir has become.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2015 ****

***** Choir & Organ

“Trinity College's choir sounds as though its members relish the experience of recording his music. The sonority is secure from top to bottom...I find Ešenvalds at his most convincing when dwelling on natural phenomena of his homeland...lovers of this corner of the choral repertoire will find here much to enjoy.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2015

“His rich, sonorous choral writing is in almost permanent ecstasy...that, when packed into one album of 16 varied items, is too ravishing to cope with. It’s all beautifully sung, but the sheer quantity of the material diminishes each work’s individual impact.” The Observer, 25th January 2015 ***

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68083



In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.


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