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 Recording of the Week  The year ahead

As 2010 draws towards a close I thought I’d give you a brief preview of some of the things we have to look forward to in the year ahead.

2011 will be the second successive Mahler anniversary year (born in 1860, died in 1911). And the year starts with a bundle of new Mahler recordings: The Fifth Symphony from Gergiev and the LSO (the penultimate release in their cycle) is due out at the end of January, and then a week later we’ll get to hear Simon Rattle’s new recording of the ‘Resurrection’ Symphony (No. 2). It is a work he recorded with the CBSO back in 1987, but with Kate Royal (soprano) and (his wife) Magdalena Kožená (mezzo) as the soloists, this new recording promises to be something really special. But before both of those there is a new Des Knaben Wunderhorn in the orchestral version with Thomas Hampson and the Wiener Virtuosen (essentially the principal players of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra). I’ve heard a bit of it already and I can tell you it sounds terrific.

Alfred Brendel
Alfred Brendel

Other notable composers who reach milestones next year include Tomás Luis de Victoria (died 1611), Franz Liszt (born 1811) and Percy Grainger (died 1961). It will also be one hundred years since the death of W.S. Gilbert, the librettist half of the comic opera duo Gilbert and Sullivan. So we can expect a number of good value box sets as well as new recordings based around these composers (I know that Chandos for example have been working on a Complete Percy Grainger box).

There are also a number of musicians who reach notable anniversaries next year. It will be 125 years since the birth of Wilhelm Furtwängler and 50 years since the death of Sir Thomas Beecham. And there are a number of birthdays to celebrate as well: Martha Argerich and Plácido Domingo both turn 70 and Alfred Brendel turns 80. Brendel’s birthday is actually next week (5th January) and with four Brendel releases out the Monday after, we thought we’d kick the year off with a Brendel special offer which has many of his greatest recordings at discounts of up to 40%. You can browse full details of the Alfred Brendel 80th Birthday Offer here.

Talking of special offers I know that in the run-up to Christmas a lot of you have been taking advantage of our three big box set special offers. With over 500 titles included and discounts of up to 40% there are some real bargains within. Just a reminder then that these special offers all end in two days time (Wednesday 29th December) so make sure you get your final orders in now if you want to enjoy these very special prices.


It only remains for me to wish you a happy end to the year, and a successful and musically fulfilling 2011.

Mahler: Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor

London Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev

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

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'

Kate Royal (soprano), Magdalena Kožená (mezzo), Berliner Philharmoniker & Rundfunkchor Berlin, Sir Simon Rattle

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

Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn (12 songs, complete)

Thomas Hampson, Wiener Virtuosen

Available Formats: MP3, CD Quality FLAC