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 New Release Round-up, New Release Round-Up - 12th January 2018

This week brings a stunningly-sung recital of Handel favourites from Franco Fagioli, a Porpora world premiere recording from Max Emanuel Cenčić and his Parnassus Arts colleagues, a new opera about the opera world from American composer Jake Heggie (starring his frequent muse Joyce DiDonato, on familiar territory as a bel canto queen from small-town America!), and an inspiring and humbling documentary on Czech harpsichordist and Holocaust-survivor Zuzana Růžičková who passed away last year aged 90.

Handel Arias

Franco Fagioli (countertenor), Il Pomo d'Oro, Zefira Valova

Astonishing singing from the Argentine super-countertenor, who radiates joy in this collection of arias spanning Handel’s entire operatic career (and Fagioli’s entire three-octave range!); includes excerpts from Serse, Ariodante, Giulio Cesare, Radamisto and Rodelinda. Keep your eyes peeled for my interview with him in the next week or two!

Available Formats: CD, MP3, CD Quality FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Porpora: Germanico in Germania

Max Emanuel Cenčić, Julia Lezhneva, Mary-Ellen Nesi, Juan Sancho; Capella Cracoviensis, Jan Tomasz Adamus

Fielding vocal pyrotechnics as flamboyant as the cover-image, Cenčić sings the title-role in the world premiere recording of Porpora’s 1732 opera, which received its first modern performance just two years ago; he's touring with a programme of arias by the same composer to mark the 250th anniversary of his death, so fingers crossed for a recording of that!

Available Formats: 3 CDs, MP3, CD Quality FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

JS Bach: Sonatas for Violin & Harpsichord Nos. 1-6

Isabelle Faust (violin) & Kristian Bezuidenhout (harpsichord)

Seven years after her ‘gently voiced and eloquently inflected’ (BBC Music Magazine) accounts of the solo sonatas and partitas, Faust teams up with Kristian Bezuidenhout for the six sonatas for violin and harpsichord, which they performed to great acclaim at venues including the Wigmore Hall and the Concertgebouw in 2016.

Available Formats: 2 CDs, MP3, CD Quality FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Serenata Espanola

Xavier De Maistre (harp)

The French harpist’s ‘Spanish Serenade’ includes music by Albeniz, Falla, Soler and Gimenez, plus Tarrega’s famous guitar showpiece Recuerdos de la Alhambra in an arrangement for harp; Mexican flamenco-dancer and castanet-virtuoso Lucero Tena (who turns 80 this year!) joins him for several tracks.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, CD Quality FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Fire on all sides

James Rhodes (piano)

Released as a companion to his candid and moving new book of the same title (out now on Quercus) which reflects on his recent world tour whilst battling the ‘voices jostling in [his] head’, this album includes music by three composers who are particularly close to Rhodes’s heart: Beethoven, Chopin and Rachmaninov.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, CD Quality FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC, Hi-Res+ FLAC

Paganini: Caprices for solo violin

Augustin Hadelich (violin)

Three years after winning the inaugural Warner Music Prize, the Italian-born violinist makes his solo debut on the label with one of the most formidable challenges in the repertoire: Paganini’s two-dozen caprices for unaccompanied violin, which have fascinated him since he was eight years old and which he describes as ‘beautiful, witty and intelligent’ compositions.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, CD Quality FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Jake Heggie: Great Scott

Joyce DiDonato, Ailyn Pérez, Frederica von Stade, Nathan Gunn, Anthony Roth Costanzo; Orchestra and Chorus of The Dallas Opera, Patrick Summers

Self-styled ‘Yankee Diva’ DiDonato (a regular collaborator and muse for Jake Heggie) takes centre-stage as Arden Scott, a (fictitious) star opera-singer who returns to her hometown in contemporary America to appear in an exhumed bel canto rarity with the struggling regional company with which she first made her name.

Available Formats: 2 CDs, MP3, CD Quality FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC, Hi-Res+ FLAC

Zuzana: Music is Life A story of Love, Tyranny and Triumph

Zuzana Růžičková

A fascinating documentary on the life of the Czech harpsichordist, who survived three concentration-camps and went on to be the first person to record Bach’s complete keyboard works. Růžičková herself (who died last year aged 90) narrates much of the film, with contributors including one of her most illustrious pupils, Iranian-American harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani.

Available Format: DVD Video + Vinyl

Leopold Stokowski - Complete Decca Recordings

Leopold Stokowski

Released to mark the 40th anniversary of his death, this 23-disc set brings together all of Stokowski’s recordings for Decca/Phase Four, complete with original artwork and a new audio documentary; repertoire includes his own renowned orchestrations of works such as Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Debussy’s La cathédrale engloutie, plus his symphonic synthesis of Boris Godunov.

Available Format: 23 CDs

Eugen Jochum - The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon, Vol. 2

Eugen Jochum

The second instalment of Deutsche Grammophon’s Jochum survey focuses on his opera and choral recordings, including Bach’s Mass in B minor, Christmas Oratorio and Passions, Mozart’s Requiem, Carmina Burana and a substantial selection of Bruckner, plus Cosi fan tutte, Die Entführung, Der Freischütz, Die Meistersinger and a newly-remastered Lohengrin.

Available Format: 38 CDs

New on Naxos January New on Naxos - January 2018

Our dedicated Naxos New Release Brochure returns this week, where you can browse, read about, and listen to excerpts of all the exciting Naxos releases out this month. Highlights include Kodály orchestral music from JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the premiere recording from Dame Evelyn Glennie's new ensemble (titled the The Core-tet Project) and the first volume in a new series of Percy Grainger's complete music for wind band.

Read more about this month's Naxos releases...