Mozart: Piano Concerto No 19 in F major, K 459 (28:31)
Cleveland Orchestra / Mitsuko Uchida, piano
Widely celebrated as one of the leading performers of Mozart’s works, Mitsuko Uchida continues her Grammy Award-winning relationship with the Cleveland Orchestra. Uchida performs two of Mozart’s most individual piano concertos in a program that hints of the maturity to come in his later works. “Uchida’s Mozart playing is stunningly sensitive, crystalline and true.” (Boston Globe)
Monteverdi: Vespers of Saint Mark: Deus, in adiutorium (2:27); Dixit Dominus (10:00)
Soloists; Concerto Italiano / Rinaldo Alessandrini
This new disc reconstructs a possible Vespers service for the Feast of Saint Mark, using material published by Claudio Monteverdi during his years as maestro di cappella at the Basilica of Saint Mark in Venice. The music is taken from the Selva Morale e Spirituale, published in 1640, together with the Missa e Psalmi published after his death, as well as the 1610 Vespers. The recording was made in Mantua in the Basilica of Santa Barbara, the church for which the 1610 Vespers were originally composed.
Fasch: Recorder Concerto in F major (8:16)
Pamela Thorby, recorder; Ensemble Marsyas
Although Johann Friedrich Fasch (1688-1758) is now a fairly minor figure in the history of music, during his own lifetime his works were highly treasured and actively sought after. Of the pieces on this recording, none survives in what remains of the court library of Anhalt-Zerbst, where Fasch worked as Kapellmeister for 36 years but rather they are mostly found in the major repositories of 18th-century music, Dresden and Darmstadt. Fasch had direct contact with both of these places and he seems to have established a musical exchange network which, while keeping him up to date with the latest musical fashions, also helped increase the popularity of his own pieces.
New Release of the Week
Bach: Partita No 1 in B-flat major, BWV 825 (18:54)
Igor Levit, piano
Igor Levit has received international acclaim since he appeared as the youngest artist ever at the Artur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in 2005, where he won four awards. Born in Russia, Levit moved to Germany with his family at the age of eight. He is a graduate of the Hochschule für Musik in Hannover. Following his landmark recording of late piano sonatas by Beethoven, Levit is again tackling another complex and difficult body of work, J.S. Bach’s six partitas.
Liszt: Mazeppa (15:26)
Vienna Philharmonic / Christoph Eschenbach
Led by guest conductor Christoph Eschenbach, the Vienna Philharmonic returns for their 11th open-air concert in the magnificent gardens of the Schönbrunn Palace. The piano soloist is Lang Lang, who plays Richard Strauss’ Burleske. The outdoor concert, recorded May 29, is free to thousands of attendees in Vienna, and serves the orchestra’s objective of making classical music accessible to a broad spectrum of concertgoers beyond its usual, core audience.
Bartók: Kossuth (19:52)
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra / JoAnn Falletta
All three works in this program reveal a young composer on the threshold of greatness, serving as his passport to the vast new world of orchestral music at the beginning of the 20th century. Inspired by the tone poems of Richard Strauss, Bartók’s Kossuth dramatically commemorates the struggle for Hungarian independence in 1848 with an alluring and provocative orchestration. The Two Portraits set moods of love and painful heartbreak into stark contrast, while the First Suite is a showcase of symphonic effects which caused a sensation in Vienna at its premiere in 1905.
Strauss: Violin Sonata in E-flat major, Op 18 (29:12)
Lisa Schatzman, violin; Benjamin Engeli, piano
Born in Lyon in 1981, Lisa Schatzman has been concertmaster of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra since 2010 and since 2011 has been regularly invited as such by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Her new recital CD by Claves Records with pianist Benjamin Engeli features a program of rare pieces and arrangements by Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt, as well as the early Violin Sonata, Op 18, by Richard Strauss.
New Release of the Week
Trad German: Es geht ein dunkle Wolk herein (1:02)
Beethoven: Egmont: Die Trommel gerühret (2:57)
Eisler: Kriegslied eines Kindes (2:13)
Wolf: Der Tambour (2:45); Der Soldat II (0:47)
Rachmaninoff: Polyubila ya na pečal’ svoyu (1:51)
Anna Prohaska, soprano; Eric Schneider, piano
For her third solo album, Anna Prohaska addresses the worlds of peace and war in music. “Behind the Lines” draws a connection to World War I in this, the centenary year. Joined by noted pianist Eric Schneider, she has programmed songs ranging from Beethoven, by way of Schubert, Schumann and Liszt, and turn-of-the-century composers Fauré, Mahler and Wolf, to the early-modern works of Weill and Eisler.
Khachaturian: Battle of Stalingrad: A City on the Volga – The Invasion (5:18); Othello: Prologue & Introduction (8:44)
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra / Adriano
Khachaturian’s involvement in film, which began in Armenia as early as 1934, was long-lived and highly distinctive. Until 1960, the date of his last film, he wrote principally for Mosfilm and his scores, not least in subsequent arrangements, earned him considerable renown. This album features his own eight-part concert suite taken from the epic Battle of Stalingrad (1948–50). The suite derived from the score for Othello reveals the full canvas of Khachaturian’s cinematic imagination, from glorious love music to darker scenes of despair.
Fibich: Othello, Op 6 (16:59)
Czech National Symphony Orchestra / Marek Štilec
Less well-known than his compatriots Dvořák and Smetana, Zdenĕk Fibich was one of the great Czech composers of his day. These symphonic poems span the best part of his career, starting with Othello, which emphasizes the intertwined fates of Shakespeare’s main characters. More nationalist in character, Záboj, Slavoj and Luděk impressed Smetana when he was working on Má vlast, while Toman and the Wood Nymph is an evocative and tragic tale of supernatural romantic yearnings. The Tempest encapsulates Shakespeare’s story, and Spring depicts the season in all its variety.