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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 ****

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

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Hyperion - CDA68093

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Organ Fireworks World Tour

Organ Fireworks World Tour


Alain:

Litanies, AWV100

Bonnet:

Matin Provençal No. 2 from Poèmes d'Automne, Op. 3

Bossi, M E:

Pièce Héroïque in D minor, Op. 128

Cooker:

Tuba Tune

Eben:

Hommage à Buxtehude (1987)

Gowers:

An Occasional Trumpet Voluntary

Johnson, David:

Trumpet Tune in D major

Lefebure-Wely:

Sortie in E flat major

Lemare:

Concert Fantasia Op. 91

Liszt:

Prelude & Fugue on B-A-C-H, S260

Reubke:

Fugue de la Sonate sur le Psaume No. 9

Takle:

Festmusikk from Våg å leve

Verdi:

Grand March from Aida

Weitz:

Grand choeur ‘Benedicamus Domino’


Fourteen tracks—one from each volume of Hyperion’s complete Organ Fireworks series—combine to take the listener on a spectacular ‘world tour’ of the organs and repertoire championed by Christopher Herrick over the decades. Released in honour of his seventy-fifth birthday, this is a must for anyone yet to encounter these wonderfully life-affirming performances.

“This whirlwind tour takes in some of the world’s most spectacular organs, from the town halls of Melbourne and Wellington to the Royal Albert Hall in London, and all are brilliantly captured.” Choir & Organ, May 2017 ****

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion Organ Fireworks - CDA68214

(CD)

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Jean Guyot: Te Deum laudamus

Jean Guyot: Te Deum laudamus

& other sacred music


Guyot:

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

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Hyperion - CDA68180

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Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze, Humoreske & Blumenstück

Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze, Humoreske & Blumenstück


Schumann:

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 playing...is 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

(CD)

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Bruch: String Quintets & Octet

Bruch: String Quintets & Octet


Bruch:

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 ****

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


Alanus:

Sub Arturo plebs

Fons Citharizancium

In omnem terram

anon.:

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

Dunstaple:

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

Up to 30% off Early Music

Hyperion - CDA68170

(CD)

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 71 - Czerny

The Romantic Piano Concerto 71 - Czerny


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

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Romantic Piano Concertos - up to 25% off

Hyperion - The Romantic Piano Concerto - CDA68138

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Mozart: Violin Sonatas Volume 3

Mozart: Violin Sonatas Volume 3


Mozart:

Violin Sonata No. 12 in G major, K27

Violin Sonata No. 16 in B flat major, K31

Violin Sonata No. 17 in C major, K296

Violin Sonata No. 23 in D major, K306

Violin Sonata No. 32 in B flat major, K454

Violin Sonata No. 36 in F major, K547 'For Beginners'


The third of the ongoing series from the ‘nigh-on ideal’ partnership (Gramophone) of Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien. As before, the programme mixes the early—two works by the precocious ten-year-old—with the mature, and includes Mozart’s final violin sonata.

“This is developing into a delightful series – Vol 3 sees Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien find immense charm and character in these sonatas from across Mozart’s life. Tiberghien and Ibragimova come close to my ideal Mozartian duo, in performances that further whet the appetite for the rest of the series.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

“They don’t patronise the 10-year-old’s works — the allegro of No 16 (B flat major) sparkles in their mercurial hands — but they reserve their finest playing for No 23 (D major) and Mozart’s last sonata for this combination in F, No 36.” Sunday Times, 3rd April 2017

“once again it is hard to imagine a better partnership. Each of the six works in this double CD programme is a pure delight, with exquisite playing from these world-class performers – Ibragimova fleet and lithe, Tiberghien playfully delicate.” The Observer, 2nd April 2017 *****

“it is difficult to image this wonderful score more exquisitely played or radiantly engineered.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion Ibragimova & Tiberghien Mozart Violin Sonatas - CDA68143

(CD - 2 discs)

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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

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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.

“The French pianist has saved some of Bartók’s most straight-up tuneful material for last...through it all, the angular and the earthy, he has a way of making Bartók’s rhythms sound simultaneously stretchy, precise and personal.” The Guardian, 16th February 2017 ****

“Bartok’s piano idiom, generally less resonant than, say, Liszt’s or Chopin’s, oddly benefits from the stylistic amplification lent by other instruments: a thought provoked by this fine account with François-Frédéric Guy and the percussionists Colin Currie and Sam Walton.” Sunday Times, 5th March 2017

“Tiberghien meets all the technical challenges in these pieces with seeming effortlessness. His touch is pellucid, and he knows ho to bring out the charm of Bartók’s arrangements; every grace note is given due weight; and the sustaining pedal is used to make simple effects more resonant; when Bartók’s games with tonatlity grow complex, he renders them with relaxed playfulness.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 *****

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68153

(CD)

$14.50

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