31st March 2008
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.
Schubert - Sehnsucht (Matthias Goerne Schubert Edition Vol. 1)
Matthias Goerne (baritone) & Elisabeth Leonskaja (piano)
A new series of recordings with one of the greatest interpreters of Lieder, Matthias Goerne. The aim of this ambitious project is to record a broad selection of Schubert lieder. Around a dozen discs will comprise the Matthias Goerne Schubert Edition, which will be released over the next few years.
In this first volume, Schubert recalls us to our condition as short-lived wanderers. A solitary voice sings of its torments and desires, accompanied only by that equally solitary instrument, the eminently self-sufficient piano.
The Romantic Piano Concerto 45 - Ferdinand Hiller
Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Howard Shelley (piano/conductor)
The Romantic Piano Concerto series continues to bring undiscovered works to the listening public, performed by the greatest piano virtuosos of today. The composer Hiller was admired by Schumann, who described him as the exemplar of ‘how to combine orchestra and piano in brilliant fashion’. One of the most imposing musical personalities of the nineteenth century, close friends with the likes of Rossini, Liszt, Berlioz and particularly Mendelssohn, Hiller was nevertheless largely forgotten less than twenty years after his death as musical fashion changed.
Richard Strauss - The Complete Songs 3
Andrew Kennedy (tenor) & Roger Vignoles (piano)
Hyperion’s Strauss Lieder series is fast becoming a worthy successor to the seminal Schubert and Schumann Lieder sets on the label. This third volume features the brilliant young British tenor Andrew Kennedy, whose performances in concert, in operas and on disc have received the highest praise. Hearing Strauss’s songs sung by a tenor is a wonderful and rare experience, and brings a different colour to even the most well-known songs on this disc.
Bax - Tone Poems Volume 2
BBC Philharmonic, Vernon Handley
For Bax there were several periods of intense creativity when he committed to paper a variety of works in the form of piano scores, and orchestrated them when required. Many of the tone poems performed here were conceived in this fashion, including Red Autumn, which here receives its premiere recording.
Marc-André Hamelin in a state of jazz
Works by Antheil, Gulda, Kapustin and Weissenberg
Marc-André Hamelin’s technical and interpretative brilliance over an extraordinarily wide range of repertoire has placed him firmly in the top rank of living pianists. His recent recordings of Alkan and Haydn were universally acclaimed in the highest terms. In this latest recording, Hyperion presents Marc-André Hamelin ‘in a state of jazz’, as he turns his attention to the music of Kapustin, Antheil, Gulda and Weissenberg - all composers who felt keenly that there was a fundamental desire on the part of the concert-going public to hear something different. This wonderful disc is full of surprises - as Hamelin writes in his entertaining yet scholarly liner notes, ‘There is no jazz in this recording. At least not in the traditional sense ... There is much to be enjoyed here, and much to be amazed by’.
Mahler: Symphony No. 6 in A minor 'Tragic'
London Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev
Valery Gergiev's eagerly anticipated debut recording for LSO Live is also his first recording of Mahler's music and the first in a complete cycle of the composer's symphonies. Recorded in November 2007 as part of his sensational concert series of the symphonies, Gergiev delivers an intensely emotional account of this pivotal work. Does Mahler’s Sixth Symphony foretell the tragedy of his later life, or does it have a more cerebral purpose? Whatever the composer’s motives for writing it, tragic it certainly is: driven, bitter and sweet by turns, and ending in devastation – utterly compelling.
Le Concert Spirituel, Hervé Niquet
For his latest recording directing Le Concert Spirituel, Hervé Niquet has revived Sémélé by Marin Marais - the final opera by one of the leading composers from the reign of Louis XIV. Known for his compositions for viola da gamba, Marais was also the author of a number of tragédies lyriques which he wrote for the Académie royale de Musique. However, only Alcyone has attracted any attention. Sémélé, first performed in 1709, has music to charm and seduce: a sparkling prologue honouring Bacchus, a set of arias with freshly-minted appeal, a marvellously inventive diabolical scene; all leading up to an earthquake scene that anticipates the later work of Rameau. For all lovers of baroque music, here is the opportunity to discover and enjoy a masterpiece which has lain in the shadows for the last three centuries.
Mozart: Così fan tutte, K588
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment & Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, Sir Charles Mackerras
Così fan tutte is Mozart’s third opera to a Da Ponte libretto. It is in opera buffa style and has only six characters, two couples and an elderly philosopher and a trusted maid. In this recording Lesley Garrett sings the part of the maid, Despina, and the celebrated veteran Sir Thomas Allen the philosopher, Don Alfonso. Despite the somewhat cynical storyline this opera contains some of Mozart’s most memorable and sublime music.
Vaughan Williams - On Wenlock Edge
Mark Padmore (tenor), Schubert Ensemble
Although there have been a number of recordings of On Wenlock Edge recently, this disc features the remarkable voice of Mark Padmore and uniquely adds the early Piano Quintet in C minor, recently released for performance by the composer’s widow and published in 2002, and also the Romance and Pastorale, two similarly early, brief lyric pieces for violin and piano published in 1923.
hmGold - new series.
A new Prestige Collection at mid-price - SPECIAL OFFER!
hmGold will assemble the recordings that have marked the history of harmonia mundi, packaged in elegant gold digipaks and enhanced with carefully chosen editorial material. A collection that begins, naturally enough, with the historic Deller recital Music for a While, but which contains many other gems. 15 further releases will be available in September.