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Canticles from St Paul's

Canticles from St Paul's


Archer, M:

Benedicite, omnia opera

Gray, Alan:

Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in F minor

Roth, A:

Jubilate

Stanford:

Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in B flat, Op. 10

Tippett:

Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (Collegium Sancti Johannis Cantabrigiense)

Walmisley:

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in D Minor

Walton:

Coronation Te Deum

Wood, C:

Magnificat and Nunc dimittis (Collegium Regale)


The Canticles are the crowning glory of the Anglican liturgy and have afforded the greatest opportunity for musical development within the Anglican rite. Thousands of people daily hear the world-famous St Paul’s Cathedral Choir and organist Simon Johnson under their director of music Andrew Carwood singing these settings. Here these forces present a satisfying collection including nineteenth-century masterpieces by Stanford and Charles Wood, and from the twentieth century Walton’s Coronation Te Deum, written for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and Tippett’s monumental work for St John’s College Cambridge.

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Hyperion - CDA68058

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	The Romantic Piano Concerto 63 - Godard

The Romantic Piano Concerto 63 - Godard


Godard, B:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 31

Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 148

Introduction et Allegro pour piano et orchestre, Op. 49


Howard Shelley directs the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra from the piano in this latest volume of The Romantic Piano Concerto series. As ever, they perform unknown music with consummate style and deep understanding, making the best possible case for the works. We have reached Volume 63 and the works of French composer Benjamin Godard, a figure who is almost totally forgotten today. He is described by Jeremy Nicholas in his booklet note as ‘a composer who combines the sentimental melodic appeal of Massenet with the fecundity and technical facility of Saint-Saëns’.

Among Godard’s oeuvre, well over seventy opus numbers are devoted to works for solo piano, ranging from Les contes de Perrault, Op 6, to Valse No 15, Op 153. His Hommage à Chopin can be found on Hyperion CDA67803, performed by Jonathan Plowright. Much of the enormous amount of music he produced followed in the tradition of Mendelssohn and Schumann (his admiration for the latter inspired a string quartet arrangement of Kinderszenen in 1876). With the emergence of more innovative composers, Godard’s conservative idiom meant his reputation faded before his early death in Cannes on 10 January 1895. However, in the three works presented here his writing for the piano exceeds the technical range of his two idols, and is often reminiscent of the bravura demands found in the concertos of Liszt and Rubinstein.

“Godard distrusted Wagnerism, and his two piano concertos constrain Romantic sensibilities within the classical form...The disc is a tour de force for Howard Shelley, who, in addition to coping with Godard's often vertiginous piano writing, directs all three performances from the keyboard, which is no mean feat.” The Guardian, 10th July 2014 ****

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Hyperion - The Romantic Piano Concerto - CDA68043

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Bridge: Complete Songs

Bridge: Complete Songs

All forty-five of the songs composed by Frank Bridge


Janice Watson (soprano), Louise Winter (mezzo soprano), Jamie MacDougal (tenor), Gerald Finley (baritone), Roger Vignoles (piano)

This important release brings together all forty-five of the songs composed by Frank Bridge. The programme is presented generally along chronological lines, and although the songs were written over two decades there is a remarkable consistency of style. A good number of the texts will be familiar from the songs of, say, Quilter or Finzi, but many more show Bridge’s enthusiasm for unearthing rather less well-known literary subject matter.

“Prepared and performed with the care and conviction for which Hyperion is famous. Those who simply love vocal recitals will find plenty of enjoyment in these well-documented discs, as well as a further revelation of the wealth of ‘English Renaissance’ contributions to art song. Distinguished performances of little-known but substantial, and often impressive, repertoire” Classic CD

“Another superb collection of songs” Financial Times

“These two CDs, finely recorded and thoughtfully presented, are a most timely and valuable addition to the catalogue” Gramophone Magazine

“This fine collection of settings by poets as diverse as Herrick, Heine and Tagore is full of surprises and beautifully performed by all, especially pianist Roger Vignoles” The Observer

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Hyperion Dyads - CDD22071

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Prokofiev: Violin Sonatas & Five Melodies

Prokofiev: Violin Sonatas & Five Melodies


Prokofiev:

Violin Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 80

Five Melodies for Violin and Piano, Op. 35b

Violin Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op. 94a


‘One of the biggest joys of the London concert scene in recent years has been the opening up of the musical world of Alina Ibragimova, a world that seems to know no bounds … here she was partnered by Steven Osborne—a meeting of minds and talents that had that paradoxical effect, common to the best collaborations, of two strongly contrasted individuals speaking with one voice. The First Sonata really let fly … quiet but powerfully sustained in the slow music, a fount of uncorked energy in the more frequent fast sections, Ibragimova dug deep into Prokofiev’s aching heart, profiling the jagged motifs of the Allegro brusco second movement as vividly as she tore into the syncopated rhythms of the battling finale—every phrase stamped with conviction and gravitas’ (Financial Times)

Hyperion is delighted to present a collaboration—an extraordinary force on the concert platform—in its first appearance on record. Alina Ibragimova and Steven Osborne are musicians of searing, uncompromising intelligence and intense feeling.

In his works for the violin, Prokofiev produced some of his most personal and expressive music. Both of his Violin Sonatas were written for David Oistrakh. The First was begun against the backdrop of Stalin’s Great Terror, in 1938, and one senses that he drew his inspiration from the uncharacteristically dark wells of fear, despair and bereavement which were the lot of Prokofiev and his contemporaries. The Violin Sonata No 2 in D major is of a very different character—generally sunny and carefree, though still with occasional fleeting shadows from the dark world of the First Sonata. In its original form it was a Flute Sonata, Op 94, which Prokofiev had completed in 1943. At David Oistrakh’s suggestion and with his assistance, Prokofiev transcribed this Sonata to create the Second Violin Sonata, Op 94bis.

“The performances might lack the volcanic lustre found in Ibragimova’s Szymanowski album, but her febrile manner still finds a lively outlet in repertoire stamped with the skittish, the sardonic, the bittersweet and other Prokofiev hallmarks.” The Times, 27th June 2014 ****

“there is always room for performances of the depth of perception and strength of character that Ibragimova and Osborne give...In tandem with the comparative calm of the Second Sonata there is also a vitalising impetus and an apt palette of colour that distinguishes the whole disc.” The Telegraph, 4th July 2014 *****

“They are played here with an intense-feeling virtuosity, Ibragimova equally magnificent in restraint...and when belting out, say, the second movement of [the F minor], as strongly contrasted with its predecessor as the whole sonata is with its successor.” Sunday Times, 6th July 2014

“they bring their interpretation to disc – with the same conviction, clairvoyance and charismatic force as their live rendition. Osborne’s weighty tone is a match for the Russian-born violinist’s no-holds-barred attack.” Financial Times, 19th June 2014 *****

“Two of today’s most impressive soloists unite in pieces both introspective and lyrical, and – particularly the First Sonata – deeply emotional. Musical collaboration at its most intense and thoughtful.” Gramophone Magazine, 22nd July 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - August 2014

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Hyperion - CDA67514

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Mendelssohn: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 2

Mendelssohn: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 2


Mendelssohn:

Rondo capriccioso in E major, Op. 14

Fantasia on "The Last Rose of Summer", Op. 15

3 Fantasies (or Caprices) Op. 16

Fantasia in F sharp minor, Op. 28

Songs without Words, Book 2 (6), Op. 30

Individual ‘Lieder ohne Worte’: E flat major, Espressivo & Allegro, MWV U 68

Individual ‘Lieder ohne Worte’: A major [Allegretto], MWV U 138

Songs without Words, Book 3 (6), Op. 38


Howard Shelley is acclaimed as the living master of early Romantic piano music. So much of this music was ignored throughout the twentieth century that there is still a sense of discovery at each new recording. Shelley here presents the second instalment of a six-volume set of Mendelssohn’s complete solo piano music—perhaps the least well-known part of the composer’s repertoire. The first volume was praised for Shelley’s ‘immaculate, lightly-pedalled brilliance, unfailing stylistic assurance, warmth and flexibility’ (Gramophone).

This second volume includes the Rondo capriccioso, a favourite virtuoso concert piece of the nineteenth century; the three-movement Fantasia in F sharp minor, which was originally described as a ‘Sonate écossaise’, with its characteristic Scottish folk-song elements in the first movement, and two books of the Songs without Words.

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Hyperion - CDA68059

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Amorosi pensieri

Amorosi pensieri

Songs for the Habsburg Court by Philippe de Monte, Jean Guyot, Jacobus Vaet & Jacob Regnart


Guyot:

En lieux d’esbatz m’assault melancolie

Je suis amoureux d’une fille Je suis amoureux d’une fille

Vous estes si doulce et benigne

L’arbre d’amour ung fruict d’amaritude

Vous perdez temps de me dire mal d’elle

Tel en mesdict qui pour soy la desire

Monte, P:

Amorosi pensieri

Ombra son io

Con che soavità

Anima dolorosa

O dolci sguardi

Que me servent mes vers

Susanne un jour

Sortez regretz

Regnart:

Ach weh der Zeit, die ich verzert

Ein Lieb nit mehr hat

Venus du und dein Kind

Du hast mich sollen nemen

Chi mi consolerà

Amor, che debbo fare

Vola vola pensier

Alarm’, alarm’ o fidi miei pensieri

Vaet:

Amour leal

Sans vous ne puis

En l’ombre d’ung buissonet


Cinquecento

A new departure for the wonderful all-male vocal ensemble Cinquecento. They turn to the secular music—generally much less well-known—of the Renaissance masters Philippe de Monte, Jacobus Vaet and Jacob Regnart whose sacred music they have explored so successfully in previous recordings for Hyperion. Also included are six chansons by Jean Guyot de Châtelet (his name is sometimes Latinized to ‘Castileti’).

This collection is both historically fascinating and stunningly performed. The music is beautiful and sensuous, with the polyphonic arts familiar from sacred works of this period now put to the service of earthly emotions. An expressively melancholic vein pervades many of these works, and one can see them as a precursor to Monteverdi’s madrigals.

“This is great...It's not just that their ensemble and tuning are flawless, nor that with six highly individual voices they can create an amazing range of colours, but that with their multicultural forces they can fit effortlessly into the style of the music, whether the texts are in Italian, French or German.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2014

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Hyperion - CDA68053

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Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 22 & 24

Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 22 & 24


Mozart:

Piano Concerto No. 22 in E flat major, K482

Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K491


Angela Hewitt (piano)

National Arts Centre Orchestra, Hannu Lintu

Hyperion is delighted to present Angela Hewitt’s third volume of Mozart piano concertos. Writing in The Observer, Stephen Pritchard wrote of the first volume that ‘Judging from this first example, it’s going to be a journey as revelatory as her exploration of all the major keyboard works of Bach’.

Here Angela Hewitt is joined by her compatriot National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada and frequent collaborator Hannu Lintu for sparklingly stylish renditions of Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos 22 and 24.

Both of these works were written between December 1785 and March 1786. For the first time in a piano concerto orchestration, in No 22 he uses clarinets—an instrument that became a regular member of orchestras only in the 1780s. No 24 is a dark and passionate work, made more striking by its classical restraint, and the final movement, a set of variations, is commonly called ‘sublime’.

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Hyperion Angela Hewitt Complete Mozart Piano Concertos - CDA68049

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Schumann: Kinderszenen & Waldszenen & Janáček: On the overgrown path I

Schumann: Kinderszenen & Waldszenen & Janáček: On the overgrown path I


Janacek:

Along an Overgrown Path, JW VIII/17, Book 1

Schumann:

Waldszenen, Op. 82

Kinderszenen, Op. 15


Marc-André presents a fascinating juxtaposition of two composers who are not obviously musically related, but who are proved on this album to be a felicitous combination.

Schumann’s well-loved Kinderszenen (‘Scenes from childhood’) cycle is a masterpiece: each piece is as deftly and exquisitely crafted as anything in his more outwardly sophisticated mode. From the haunting beauty of the opening ‘From foreign lands and people’ (‘Von fremden Ländern und Menschen’), via the spare eloquence of the central ‘Dreaming’ (‘Träumerei’), to the quiet rhetoric of ‘The poet speaks’ (‘Der Dichter spricht’), the listener is taken through nuances of emotion whose effects are heartrendingly poignant.

Waldszenen (‘Forest scenes’) is another collection of miniatures, and Schumann’s last major cycle for solo piano. This deeply ‘Romantic’ work in the most psychological sense of the word is no objective foray into the woods, but a very personal reaction to an imagined landscape; and equally striking is the sense that each piece represents just a shard of a larger experience. On the whole it is the more bucolic aspect that Schumann explores, though these pieces are not without darker shadows. And while they may be technically fairly straightforward, their changeability calls for the quickest of reactions and a wealth of subtle nuance.

Over half a century separates Schumann’s nature-inspired Waldszenen from the first book of Janáček’s On the overgrown path. The subject matter is darker and more oblique and the piano writing is deceptively treacherous, many of the difficulties far from overt. The title of the overall cycle refers to a Moravian wedding song, the bride lamenting that ‘The path to my mother’s has become overgrown with clover’. The sequence of ten pieces that comprises Book 1 constitutes, as the scholar John Tyrrell has written, some of the ‘profoundest, most disturbing music that Janáček had written, their impact quite out of proportion to their modest means and ambition’.

“Time and again he makes you think vocally, of the range and flexibility of a great singer...the knife-edge between composer and interpreter, between creator and recreator is held in the finest balance.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2014

“Hamelin has already made several fine recordings of Schumann's piano music, focusing on big virtuoso pieces. He proves to be equally adept at exploring the more intimate side of the composer's character and the two Schumann cycles here are absolutely magical.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2014 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - June 2014

BBC Music Magazine

Disc of the month - July 2014

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68030

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A French Baroque Diva

A French Baroque Diva

Arias for Marie Fel


Fiocco, J H:

Laudate pueri (Part 1 of Laudate pueri)

A solis ortu (Part 3 of Laudate pueri)

Alleluia (Part 4 of Laudate pueri)

Lacoste:

Ah! quand reviendront nos beaux jours?

Lalande:

Regna terrae (Movement 5 of Exsurgat Deus, S71)

Sinfonie (Movement 1 of Te Deum laudamus, S32)

Tu rex gloriae (Movement 8 of Te Deum laudamus, S32)

Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem (Movement 9 of Te Deum laudamus, S32)

Viderunt omnes termini terrae (Movement 5 of Cantate Domino, S72)

Mondonville:

Gasouillats auzeléts (Act 1 Scene 2 from Daphnis et Alcimadure)

Venite, adoremus (Movement 4 of Venite, exsultemus)

Hodie si vocem (Movement 6 of Venite, exsultemus)

Rameau:

Tristes apprêts (from Castor et Pollux)

Amour, lance tes traits (from Les fêtes de l'Hymen et de l'Amour)

La Lyre Enchantée

Rousseau, J-J:

Salve regina


A welcome return of Carolyn Sampson and Ex Cathedra to Hyperion, performing the rich, fulsome music of the French Baroque. Their recording of love songs from Rameau’s operas (Hyperion CDA67447) was hugely acclaimed for Sampson’s stylish, fluid, seductive performances, and ten years later her artistry is even more dazzling.

This album is of particular interest as rather than concentrating on one composer it showcases the works written for the premiere soprano of the day, Marie Fel. Voltaire called her his ‘adorable nightingale’. For d’Aquin, she was an enchanted being. Marie Fel was the soprano who held an entire generation spellbound at the Paris Opéra and at Louis XV’s court during one of the most glorious periods of French music. With a voice described as ‘pure, charming, silvery’ (La Borde), ‘touching and sublime’ (Grimm) and ‘always lovely, always seductive’ (d’Aquin), she inspired some of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s finest music and introduced a whole new level of virtuosity and expression into the French singing tradition. Her long, triumphant career is traced through this fascinating recording.

Carolyn Sampson talks to Presto's Katherine Cooper about the disc here.

“don't be put off by the apparently recherche repertoire: this is a programme that leases as much today as it did in [Fel's]...the longer we listen to Sampson's voice, the more she seems to inhabit the aura of Fel...Sampson's performance is the more admirable for evoking the spirit of another singer. Start to finish, Jeffrey Skidmore devotedly shapes and paces the programme.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2014

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68035

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Tchaikovsky: The Seasons

Tchaikovsky: The Seasons


Tchaikovsky:

The Seasons, Op. 37b

Morceaux (6), Op. 19


Pavel Kolesnikov (piano)

Pavel Kolesnikov became Laureate of the Honens Prize for Piano in 2012 and gave his Wigmore Hall debut at the beginning of 2013. In his five-star review for The Daily Telegraph, John Allison praised the Russian-born, London-based artist for his recital’s ‘intelligent programming and outstanding pianism … one of the most memorable of such occasions London has witnessed’.

Hyperion is delighted to present this brilliant young artist in an album of Tchaikovsky’s Les saisons and Six morceaux.

Tchaikovsky’s symphonies and ballets are perhaps the most popular and frequently performed in the entire canon—compared to them his piano music is little-known. It is generally of a much more intimate nature than that of his compatriots, and has more in common with the emotional subtleties—and melodic beauties—of Schumann’s music.

The seasons is a cycle of twelve pieces, taking the listener through the months of the year. Each piece also has an atmospheric epigraph. The Six morceaux, Op 19, conclude with the ‘Thème original et variations’, which is often performed alone as a concert piece, but is particularly satisfying in context, as recorded here.

“In 2012, Kolesnikov took first prize in the Honens piano competition in Canada, and on the evidence of his effortlessly refined playing here, he was a worthy winner. His performances never overstretch the boundaries of what are, essentially, salon pieces...But Kolesnikov invests them with their own quietly distinctive character.” The Guardian, 5th June 2014 ****

“it is wonderful to hear a young Russian avoiding the barnstorming style of so many contemporaries. He plays the Six Pieces with affection and élan.” Sunday Times, 22nd June 2014

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Hyperion - CDA68028

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