Mozart: Violin Concerto No 3 in G major, K 216 (20:21)
Henning Kraggerud, violin; Norwegian Chamber Orchestra
Mozart wrote his Violin Concertos in 1775 while still living in Salzburg. He had already toured internationally and found his home town restricting. But, as ever, Mozart rose above circumstances to create sublime and thrillingly unconventional masterpieces filled with wit and elegant charm. Violinist Henning Kraggerud leads the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and plays his own cadenzas.
Shostakovich: Piano Trio No 1 in C minor, Op 8 (13:10)
Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano; Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay, violin; Mats Lidström, cello
As a young man in Moscow in the early 1960s, Vladimir Ashkenazy was invited by Shostakovich to play a private performance of the Piano Trio No 2 in the composer’s apartment. Ashkenazy’s friendship with the composer and his lifelong advocacy of his music as a pianist and conductor lends the performances on this album a definitive authority.
Dowland: My Lady Hunsdon’s Puffe (1:47); Come Again (5:56)
Byrd: Woods So Wild (4:33)
One of the trends that came about in the 1960s was the British Folk Rock Movement. The musicians of this movement were often proficient performers of “early music” as well. Ayreheart aims to blend together the “art” and “folk” traditions seamlessly. Brian Kay is heralded as a modern-day troubadour and performs vocals, lute, and komuz. Lutenist and composer Ronn McFarlane is also part of this recording. He aims to take the most popular Renaissance instrument- the lute- and make it part of today’s musical mainstream.
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 1 in G minor, Op 13, Winter Dreams (41:04)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Vasily Petrenko
The eagerly awaited Tchaikovsky Symphony cycle from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko gets underway with Symphonies 1, 2 & 5. In 2015, the Tchaikovsky Album with Petrenko and the RLPO, released to coincide with the orchestra’s 175th anniversary, became one of the best-selling classical CDs in the United Kingdom and met with high praise from reviewers.
Chopin: Piano Sonata No 2 in B-flat minor, Op 35 (22:49)
Martha Argerich, piano
This 5 CD set brings together Martha Argerich’s complete studio, live and radio recordings of Chopin on Deutsche Grammophon, and documents her special, intuitive and passionate relationship with the composer’s music. Issued for her 75th birthday celebration, this retrospective offers a comprehensive view on the composer who has always been at the very heart of Argerich’s repertoire.
Adler: Drifting on Winds and Currents (8:47)
Royal Scottish National Orchestra / José Serebrier
For those unfamiliar with Samuel Adler’s music, this album is a great entrance point with three works by the influential American composer, including the world premiere recording of his Sixth Symphony. These works are benchmarks of contemporary American music, monumental in scale and embracing a wide expressive range with ease and visceral power.
Boccherini: Minuet (3:44)
Bach: ‘Little’ Fugue in G minor, BWV 578 (3:36)
Wagner: Die Walküre: Ride of the Valkyries (5:35)
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / José Serebrier
One of the 20th century’s great conductors, Leopold Stokowski was also a prolific transcriber of music for orchestra, creating a unique repertoire by bringing masterpieces to the concert hall that were often unfamiliar to audiences of the time. José Serebrier was Stokowski’s associate conductor in New York. Drawing on memories of his special quality of orchestral sound, Serebrier has revived and revised the best of these sumptuous arrangements.
Schubert: Der Fischer (2:52); An die Musik (2:09); Du bist die Ruh (3:49)
Florian Boesch, baritone; Malcolm Martineau, piano
Florian Boesch and Malcolm Martineau have recorded the three great Schubert song cycles for Onyx. They have earned a formidable reputation as a partnership that delivers, in recital and in the studio, some of the most thought-provoking and challenging interpretations of Schubert Lieder of our time. Their latest release is a recital of favorite songs.
Bach: Organ Trio Sonata No 1 in E-flat major, BWV 525 (12:53)
Cameron Carpenter, organ
Bach’s organ music has been central to Cameron Carpenter’s multi-faceted repertoire. For his first all-Bach release, Carpenter has created a program that reveals the scope of Bach’s genius. Carpenter plays his signature International Touring Organ, an instrument which uses computer technology to digitally reproduce the sounds of many diverse American pipe organs without any of their mechanisms.
Bates: Anthology of Fantastic Zoology (34:42)
Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Riccardo Muti
Anthology of Fantastic Zoology is a work by Mason Bates that can be described as a concerto for orchestra, drawing its subject matter from the strange creatures found in Jorge Luis Borges’ book of magical realism by the same title. This 11-movement work contains short musical depictions of fantastic creatures. Between these picture-pieces are transitional movements which take the listener deeper into the forest world that these surreal creatures populate, all culminating in an epic episode with all the creatures in motion at the witching hour just before dawn.