29th October 2007
This is just the pick of the recent releases. The New Releases and Future Releases pages are always available for browsing all the new and forthcoming releases.
Elgar: Symphony No. 3 & Pomp and Circumstance March No. 6
Following the success of Symphony No. 1, which was Gramophone’s Editor’s Choice, and Symphony No. 2 which was Classic FM magazine’s Disc of the Month, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Richard Hickox here performs Elgar’s Symphony No. 3 as elaborated and orchestrated by Anthony Payne.
The second reason to buy this disc is Pomp and Circumstance March No. 6. When Elgar embarked on his series of Pomp and Circumstance Marches in 1901, he planned a set of six. He completed five but the existence of sketches for a sixth did not come to light until 1996. In 2005, the Elgar Will Trust asked Anthony Payne to review the sketches with a view to assembling and orchestrating a performing version, and this was then performed at the BBC Proms in 2006. The work is here recorded for the first time.
Haas & Janácek - String Quartets
Pavel Haas Quartet
A follow up to to the hugely successful first album which amongst other things won the Newcomer of the Year Award at the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2007, and was nominated for the Gramophone Chamber Award 2007.
"...the PHQ’s streamlined but full-blooded playing is more than welcome, and if they are lining up the first Janácek and the first and third Haas for a follow-up CD, I will be at the front of the queue to hear it." - Gramophone
Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano), Carolyn Sampson (soprano), Susan Gritton (soprano), Mark Padmore (tenor) & David Wilson-Johnson (baritone), RIAS Kammerchor & Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Daniel Reuss
Handel was 63 years old when he composed Solomon and it ranks as one of his final masterpieces. This 'perfect marriage of music and English words', as Winton Dean has called it, caused the composer serious financial difficulties in 1749 on account of the exceptional forces it required - but today, under the baton of Daniel Reuss, with an unbeatable British cast, finds a performance totally devoted to its noble cause!
Bach - Cantatas Volume 16
The Monteverdi Choir & The English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
Approaching half way through the whole series this week sees the release of the third and final of the three 'Christmas Cantatas' discs.
"Once again, Gardiner’s Monteverdi Choir is the jewel in the crown of each cantata performance. Add to that Gardiner’s dramatic, electric response to music he clearly loves and you have a set that rivals his Gramophone Record of the Year Award-winning disc that launched this amazing series." - Gramophone
Elgar: Violin Concerto in B minor
James Ehnes (violin), Philharmonia Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis
Sure to be one of the outstanding recordings for Elgar anniversary year, this quite outstanding Violin Concerto was recorded live in May at two performances given during the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Elgar series under the direction of outstanding Elgarian Sir Andrew Davis.
Debussy - Complete Works for Solo Piano Volume 2
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano)
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet here presents his second volume of Debussy’s Complete Works for Piano, which reveals a more reflective, private period in Debussy’s compositional career.
‘Bavouzet has taken his time before committing his interpretations to disc but here he announces himself a peerless Debussyiste ... Bavouzet’s command of touch, colour and rhythmic vitality are all that one could ask for ... This is essential Debussy, immaculately realised’ - The Sunday Times on Volume 1
Sandrine Piau & Vivica Genaux (sopranos), Guillemette Laurens & Romina Basso (mezzo sopranos), Nathalie Stutzmann (contralto) Paul Agnew & Stefano Ferrari (tenors), Federico Maria Sardelli
The Vivaldi Edition presents the world première recording of the opera Atenaide. The cast features some of the greatest modern day interpreters of Vivaldi’s music, including the internationally renowned soprano Sandrine Piau in the title role, experienced early music exponents Nathalie Stutzmann, Vivica Genaux and Guillemette Laurens, the very talented young singer Romina Basso, and old hands Paul Agnew and Stefano Ferrari. The work is conducted by the eminent Florentine conductor and Vivaldi specialist Federico Maria Sardelli, who here fulfils his dream of recording L’Atenaide not only in his native Florence, but in the very theatre in which it was first performed two hundred and seventy-nine years ago.
Live Recordings 1962-1990
Gundula Janowitz was admired above all for the clarity of her timbre and her consistently clean intonation. It would be wrong, however, to suggest that Gundula Janowitz's needle-sharp accuracy ever impeded her emotional and dramatic involvement in a role. Quite the opposite, in fact: the simplicity and nobility of her singing very much predestined her for the roles with which she was most closely associated: the Countess, Donna Anna and Donna Elvira, Elisabetta in Don Carlo and as Ariadne, the role in which she bade farewell to the operatic stage in 1990, by which date she had sung the part almost 50 times at the Vienna State Opera alone.