31st May 2010
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.
Bach, J S: Mass in B minor, BWV232
Susan Hamilton (soprano), Cecilia Osmond (soprano), Margot Oitzinger (alto), Thomas Hobbs (tenor) & Matthew Brook (bass), Dunedin Consort & Players, John Butt (director)
The Dunedin Consort’s recording of Bach’s Mass in B Minor revisits the spectacular individual virtuosity that made the Messiah recording so successful. This is the premiere recording of the work in the new Breitkopf edition, edited by Joshua Rifkin, a leading thinker in authentic period performance, who fully endorses John Butt’s interpretation.
Bach’s Mass capitalizes on the very essence of the group’s skills: virtuosic choral performance coupled with outstanding, characterful solo singing.
Brahms - The Complete Songs Volume 1
Angelika Kirchschlager (mezzo-soprano) & Graham Johnson (piano)
Graham Johnson’s complete Schubert and Schumann songs series for Hyperion are landmarks in the history of recorded music. Now this indefatigable performer and scholar turns to the songs and vocal works of Brahms. Each disc of this Hyperion edition takes a journey through Brahms’s career. The songs are not quite presented in chronological order but they do appear here in the order that the songs were presented to the world. Each recital represents a different journey through the repertoire (and thus through Brahms’s life). In a number of these Hyperion recitals an opus number will be presented in its entirety (in the case of this disc, Op 48). The folksongs of 1894 will be shared between all the singers in the series.
Hyperion is delighted to present the celebrated mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager in this first volume of the series. She enjoys an international career as one of today’s most important singers, dividing her time between recitals and opera in Europe, North America and the Far East.
Bach Cantatas Volume 11
Joanne Lunn (soprano), Magdalena Kožená, Sara Mingardo (mezzos), William Towers (alto), Christoph Genz, Paul Agnew (tenors), Peter Harvey, Gotthold Schwarz (basses), The Monteverdi Choir &The English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
Cantatas for the twentieth and twenty-first Sunday after Trinity, recorded live in November 2000. John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir and The English Baroque Soloists head to Italy to give two concerts, one in the cathedral of San Lorenzo in Genoa and one the following day in the basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome.
Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea
Dame Janet Baker (Poppea), Robert Ferguson (Nerone), Anne Collins (Arnalta), Katherine Pring (Ottavia), Clifford Grant (Seneca) & John Brecknock (Valletto), Sadler’s Wells Chorus & Sadler’s Wells Orchestra, Raymond Leppard
In November 1971, Dame Janet Baker – a great champion of opera sung in English – performed the title role in Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea with Sadler’s Wells Opera at the London Coliseum, conducted by the baroque and classical specialist Raymond Leppard. This was the first time the company had produced the work and, happily, a performance was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
This release of that broadcast has been remastered. Inevitably, the sound quality reflects the fact that it is a 1971 ‘live’ recording, and some deterioration is evident, although this does not detract from the incomparable performance value.
Yevgeny Sudbin plays Haydn
Yevgeny Sudbin (piano)
After the great success of his recordings of Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky and Medtner Piano Concertos, Yevgeny Sudbin now presents a disc of solo works by Haydn.
As Sudbin writes in his liner notes, one of the qualities in this composer which he finds particularly endearing is Haydn’s ‘delight in silliness, outrageous wit and the breaking of all conventions’. The works chosen for this recital are by no means mere light-weight ‘musical jokes’, however; for instance they include the profoundly beautiful Andante con variazioni in F minor, which some have suggested was written in response to the death of Mozart In an affectionate tribute to the composer, Sudbin ends his recital with Larking with Haydn, his own tongue-in-cheek arrangement of the Finale of the Lark Quartet.
Adrian Willaert - Missa Mente tota & Motets
The all-male vocal ensemble Cinquecento have won great praise for their recordings of Renaissance rarities. Their tone, vocal flexibility, collective and individual musicianship and commitment to their chosen repertoire places them at the very forefront of modern-day specialists in this music.
Their latest disc features the music of Adrian Willaert, a contemporary of Josquin and for many years chapel master of the Venetian basilica di San Marco. Two extraordinary early works, Missa Mente tota and Quid non ebrietas, testify to the composer’s remarkable talent and love for complex contrapuntal constructions. Also included are four beautiful motets.
Dvorak: Rusalka, Op. 114
Natasha Jouhl, Barbara Senator, Élodie Méchain, Mischa Schelomianski, Ana María Martínez, London Philharmonic Orchestra & The Glyndebourne Chorus, Jirí Belohlávek
Rusalka is by no means a mainstay in the operatic oeuvre but this new 2009 production and recording from Glyndebourne is destined to put this much overlooked masterpiece in the forefront of romantic repertory.
The recording is aided by a stellar cast. Ana María Martínez’s astonishing humanity shines through in her heart rending portrayal of Rusalka, burly tenor Brandon Jovanovich is a handsome Prince, with real Slavic flavour added with Mischa Schelomianski as Rusalka’s wise old father Vodnik, and Larissa Diadkova as the evil witch Ježíbaba, both giving exemplary performances, with Czech conductor Jirí Belohlávek and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, giving the music a wonderful emotional intensity at all the right moments.
Kodály - Cello Sonata
Natalie Clein (cello) & Julius Drake (piano)
The wonderful young cellist Natalie Clein has been a familiar name since winning the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition in 1994. Since then, she has pursued a distinguished career performing with the most celebrated orchestras and conductors around the world. She has also made a number of recordings, generally concentrating on the most popular cello repertoire.
For her Hyperion debut she turns to a composer who is extremely close to her heart, the great Hungarian national composer Zoltán Kodály, who by his discovery and creative use of his folk-music heritage forged the standard by which twentieth-century Hungarian music should be judged.