9th June 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.
Rolando Villazón - Cielo E Mar
Rolando Villazón (tenor)
Exuberant and charismatic, Rolando Villazón is the tenor of today. Here he releases his first solo album on Deutsche Grammophon. The soaring title track from Ponchielli’s La Gioconda inspired Villazón to become a singer. Here it is the starting point for an intriguing album which moves far beyond the usual “greatest tenor hits”. Less familiar masterpieces by Boito, Cilea and Verdi feature alongside little-known Donizetti arias and rarities by Gomes, Mercadante and Pietri.
The album is Villazón’s personal homage to his illustrious predecessors in the lyric-dramatic repertoire - great tenors such as Bergonzi, Caruso and Domingo.
Mahler: Symphony No. 10 in F sharp minor
(Edited by Deryck Cooke)
Wiener Philharmoniker, Daniel Harding
Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 existed only in sketch form (the opening Adagio aside) at the time of the composer’s death in 1911. It was “completed” decades later by the English scholar Deryck Cooke in collaboration with Berthold Goldschmidt, Colin Matthews and David Matthews.
It is a stunning performance which shows that the young Daniel Harding has understood exactly how this emotionally complex music should sound.
Freddy Kempf plays Mussorgsky, Ravel & Balakirev
Freddy Kempf (piano)
Two years since his last release on BIS, Freddy Kempf returns to present a programme featuring three central works in the great virtuoso repertoire for solo piano. Each piece has the qualities in terms of characterisation and timbre that have resulted in well-known orchestral arrangements. Pictures from an Exhibition was composed following the death of Mussorgsky’s friend, the painter and architect Viktor Hartmann. Balakirev’s Islamey was composed five years earlier and was long regarded as the most difficult work in the entire piano repertory, and in fact, when Ravel 1908 composed Scarbo, the third movement of Gaspard de la Nuit, he specifically wanted to write something that would be even more difficult.
Nielsen - Chamber Music Volume 2
(The Violin Sonatas and works for Solo Violin)
Jon Gjesme (violin) & Jens Elvekjær (piano)
Carl Nielsen’s works for violin, both with and without violin accompaniment, have never achieved the same dizzy heights of popularity as his Wind Quintet, but they do give us a very wide-ranging picture of the composer. The Sonata No. 1 was avant-garde for its time, and was treated with suspicion upon its première in 1895. His last work for solo violin from 1928 was just as experimental, but was received with much more respect, because in the intervening period he had won the status of a national icon.
Rachmaninov - Symphony No. 1
BBC Philharmonic, Gianandrea Noseda
Regarded as one of the most remarkable composers of the twentieth century, Serge Rachmaninoff wrote three romantically inclined symphonies, two of which are now standard orchestral repertoire. However, the premiere of Symphony No. 1 was such a disaster that Rachmaninoff refrained from composing anything more for the next three years. The conductor, Glazunov, is reputed to have been drunk, and Rachmaninoff was unable to attend the entire performance. He reacted by tearing up the score. Thankfully for posterity, the instrumental parts were preserved and rediscovered in 1945, permitting the work to be restored. It is a work full of youthful fervour, distinctive and sweeping themes, and nationalist sentiments, and is now widely regarded as a vivid example of his early talent.
Ireland - Piano Music Volume 1
Mark Bebbington (piano)
This is volume 1 of a planned cycle of all the piano music by John Ireland. 1879 was an auspicious year for English music. It saw the births of Frank Bridge and Cyril Scott as well as John Ireland.
Having scored huge critical acclaim and public acclamation for his recent recordings of music by Bax, Lambert and Elgar, pianist Mark Bebbington is nothing less than spectacular in these stunning piano pieces. A very welcome release from Somm. Not to be missed!
The Rise of the North Italian Violin Concerto 1690–1740 (Volume Three: The Golden Age)
La Serenissima, Adrian Chandler
Born on Merseyside in 1974, Adrian Chandler studied both modern and Baroque violin at the Royal College of Music with Rodney Friend and Catherine Mackintosh. Whilst still a student at the RCM he founded he period ensemble La Serenissima with whom he has since performed numerous solo recitals and Vivaldi concerti in major festivals around the world.
Adrian was awarded a three year AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) fellowship at Southampton University in order to research the development of the North Italian violin concerto between 1690 and 1740. The culmination of this project is the release of this CD, the third of the North Italian Violin Concerto series.
Britten-Pears Collection - 4 DVDs
This collection features four historically and musically significant films from the BBC archives of works and performances by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, one of the greatest English tenors and Britten’s long-term partner and artistic inspiration.