30th August 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.
Arvo Pärt: Symphony No. 4
Los Angeles Philharmonic & Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Esa-Pekka Salonen & Tõnu Kaljuste
Arvo Pärt returns to symphonic structure and scope, in a new work scored for string orchestra, harp, tympani and percussion: the Symphony No. 4 ‘Los Angeles’. Almost 40 years after his Third Symphony, the Estonian composer wrote his Fourth for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen – and ECM releases their premiere performance, recorded live in January 2009, to celebrate Pärt’s 75th birthday (on 11 September)
Brahms: Symphony No. 4
The Monteverdi Choir & Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
Soli Deo Gloria is proud to release the last instalment of its successful Brahms Symphony series which sees John Eliot Gardiner and his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique explore the music of Johannes Brahms.
This album is a celebration of the Fourth Symphony and the various pieces that contributed to its making. From baroque to romantic, and from great orchestral pieces to intimate choral works, the listener gains a wonderful insight into Brahms’s mind and music making, through pieces that he loved and inspired him.
Choral Music by Jonathan Dove
Jonathan Vaughn (organ), Wells Cathedral Choir, Matthew Owens
Jonathan Dove’s beautiful choral works have made him into a household name among professional and amateur singers alike. His writing is eminently approachable yet highly original. His music appears on cathedral music lists frequently around the UK, his distinctive voice and imaginative choice of texts creating inspirational works suitable for many different liturgical occasions.
Carmen Giannattasio, Patricia Bardon, Colin Lee, Bülent Bezdüz, Graeme Broadbent, Rebecca Bottone, Victoria Simmonds & Loïc Félix, Geoffrey Mitchell Choir & London Philharmonic Orchestra, David Parry
During the years from 1815 to 1822 when his career centred on Naples, Rossini composed a sequence of works for the Teatro San Carlo, which at that time boasted an outstanding orchestra and a company of resident singers that was the leading ensemble available anywhere. A string of masterpieces resulted, including such works as Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra, Otello, Ricciardo e Zoraide and La donna del lago (all featuring in Opera Rara’s catalogue).
Ermione is without doubt one of the greatest operas by Rossini, despite it being perhaps the least immediately successful: Ermione was received with incomprehension at its sole performance in 1819 and was never revived in Rossini’s lifetime.
Monteverdi: Vespro della beata Vergine (1610)
New College Choir Oxford & Charivari Agréable, Edward Higginbottom
400 years ago this September, Monteverdi’s great collection of church music, known as the 1610 Vespers, was published in Venice. To mark the anniversary, the award-winning Choir of New College Oxford, under its celebrated director Edward Higginbottom, releases its own version of this masterpiece. The performance bristles with the musical energy invariably associated with New College Choir, coloured by the very special sound of its trebles alongside outstanding tenor and bass voices. Apart from brilliant contributions from the tenors Nicholas Mulroy and Thomas Hobbs, all the solo material is taken by Choir members, emphasizing the nature of the music as a consort work.
Marc-André Hamelin: Études
Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Hamelin plays Hamelin: a glimpse into the fabulously bizarre musical mind of one of the greatest piano virtuosos of today. The pianophile population has been clamouring for this disc for some time.
Marc-André Hamelin’s 12 Études, written over a period of nearly twenty-five years, have already achieved cult status by reputation as pianistic challenges beyond the reach of most human fingers. They are also highly-wrought character pieces. That they will immediately take their place in the concert repertoire of any pianist who thinks themself equal to them is indicated by their contemporaenous publication by Peters Edition New York.
Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 5 & Choral Fantasia
Ronald Brautigam (piano), Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Parrott
For the final instalment of his survey of Beethoven’s works for piano and orchestra, Ronald Brautigam has saved ‘the final crowning glory of his concerto output’, as Beethoven specialist Barry Cooper describes the Fifth Piano Concerto in his liner notes. It is coupled on this disc with the Choral Fantasia – an intriguing work scored for piano, orchestra and chorus with vocal soloists.
Strauss: Ariadne on Naxos (Sung in English)
Christine Brewer, Robert Dean Smith, Gillian Keith, Alice Coote, Stephen Fry, Alan Opie, John Graham-Hall, Roderick Williams, Matthew Rose, Wynne Evans, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Sir Richard Armstrong
Appearances in opera, concert, and recital by the Grammy Award winning American soprano Christine Brewer are marked by her unique timbre, at once warm and brilliant, combined with a vibrant personality and emotional honesty reminiscent of the great sopranos of the past. Her range, golden tone, boundless power, and control make her a favourite of the stage as well as a sought-after recording artist.
On the opera stage, she has made a speciality of the late romantic repertoire and of Richard Strauss in particular. The title role in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos is one of her most famous roles, even her ‘signature’ role, and she has taken her striking portrayal of it to The Metropolitan Opera (her debut, in 2003), Opéra de Lyon, Châtelet Théâtre musical de Paris, Santa Fe Opera, English National Opera, and Opera Theater of St Louis.