1st September 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.
Brahms - Symphony No. 1 (and Brahms and Mendelssohn Choral Works)
The Monteverdi Choir, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
Following on from John Eliot Gardiner’s critically acclaimed recordings of the symphonies of Beethoven and Schumann, SDG are proud to be releasing the first disc in a new series exploring the music of Johannes Brahms. Recorded live during last autumn’s Brahms and his antecedents tour, and showcasing the four symphonies as well as Brahms’ major choral works, this series is an important milestone for SDG heralding the development of the label beyond the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and the Renaissance choral repertoire which have so far dominated its catalogue.
Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique
Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle
Having championed Russian and German repertoire in their first three releases of 2008, Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker turned to French music for their latest CD, specifically the Symphonie fantastique and La mort de Cléopâtre by Hector Berlioz. The Grammy-Award winning mezzo-soprano Susan Graham is featured in La mort de Cléopâtre.
watch a 6 minute video
Britten: Complete works for piano & orchestra
Steven Osborne (piano), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Ilan Volkov
The three compositions which comprise Britten’s music for solo piano and orchestra constitute a unique, yet still little explored, part of his output. Here they are brought together in a stunning disc that pays tribute to the great artistry of all involved.
Mahler: Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor
Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, David Zinman
This is the fifth release in David Zinman & Tonhalle Zurich’s Mahler Symphony cycle, which is set to be complete by 2010.
Having completed several cycles, among them the complete Beethoven symphonies (with over 1 million copies sold internationally), the orchestral works of R. Strauss and Schumann, in 2007 the orchestra embarked on this Mahler Symphony cycle which has split critics but undoubtedly has something new to say.
Bach - Cantatas Volume 40
Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki
Although Bach did not compose many cantatas during the year 1725, the four cantatas that he did compose are far from being routine affairs. Lobe den Herren (Praise to the Lord), BWV 137, is a case in point: in it Bach includes the original text of the famous hymn, and also uses the familiar melody in all five movements to a greater or lesser degree. To impose such limitations must have been a challenge to himself as a composer, and the imagination and technical skill with which he fulfilled his task are striking.
Beethoven: Violin Concerto and Tsintsadze: Miniatures
Lisa Batiashvili (violin and direction), Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
Hailed as one of the most exciting musicians of her generation: “Dazzling…” (The Daily Telegraph); “…lavish virtuosity” (The Financial Times); her eagerly-awaited follow-up sees Batiashvili, internationally regarded as a superb interpreter of the classical repertoire and a decided champion of new music, in another adventurous collaboration with her trademark twist of unusual pairings: this time Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen coupled with Miniatures by Georgian composer Sulkhan Tsintsadze (1925-1991) featuring the Georgian Chamber Orchestra.
Haydn & Hummel - Trumpet Concertos
Alison Balsom (trumpet), Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
Alison Balsom’s fourth CD for EMI Classics features Franz Joseph Haydn and Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s evergreen trumpet concertos, coupled with concertos by Johann Baptist Georg Neruda and Giuseppe Torelli. Balsom also directs Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.
“Occasionally a player comes along who turns all the preconceived ideas about their instrument on their head, and reinvents the repertoire. … Alison Balsom is a virtuoso player and a natural, gifted communicator, but what really comes across is her sheer exuberance and joy in making music.” Classic FM Magazine
watch a 7 minute video
Bellini: La straniera
Geoffrey Mitchell Choir and The London Philharmonic Orchestra, David Parry
Three of Bellini’s operas – La sonnambula and Norma (both 1831), and his last work, I puritani (1835) – remain classics of the bel canto repertoire, yet the slightly earlier La straniera (The Stranger) remains curiously neglected. In fact, this highly romantic melodrama, first staged at La Scala in 1829, was initially a success and only fell from grace when the bel canto style itself became unfashionable. Opera Rara’s cast boasts singers with the vocal skills and dramatic insight to enliven this neglected masterpiece of romantic opera, which has been lost to Bellini fans for far too long.