Brahms: Symphony #3 in F major, Op 90 (40:04)
Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra / John Axelrod
Clara Schumann: Mein Stern (2:40); Die gute Nacht (2:18)
Wolfgang Holzmair, baritone; John Axelrod, piano
Clara Schumann: Das Veilchen (1:40); Sie liebten sich beide (2:06)
Felicity Lott, soprano; John Axelrod, piano
Conductor John Axelrod concludes his exploration of the relationship between Brahms and the woman he loved, Clara Schumann, as depicted in their music. “If you listen to the Brahms symphonies,” says Axelrod, “each of them seems to inhabit a completely different, though connected, character. Then, if you listen to the songs of Clara Schumann, they also fall clearly into a very similar four moods. I believe that Clara’s own personality is in those songs, and so if that is true, it is also possible to think of the four Brahms symphonies as portraits of Clara – four different aspects of her.”
Schumann: Abegg Variations, Op 1 (8:14)
Lise de la Salle, piano
25-year-old French pianist Lise de la Salle releases her eighth recording on the Naïve label, an all-Schumann album, featuring Kinderszenen, the ‘Abegg’ Variations, Op 1, and Fantasy in C Major, Op 17. De la Salle says, “I’ve always listened to a lot of Schumann. He fascinated me when I was a little girl of six or seven. I’ve always been attracted by the manic side of him, his very individual touch, and I’ve always loved surrendering myself to his music. I feel very close to it.”
Albinoni: Violin Sonata in B-flat major (10:29)
Adrian Chandler returns to where it all began. ‘Per Monsieur Pisendel’ was the debut album by the Vivaldi enthusiast released on Avie in 2003, launching a recording career that has earned international awards and recognition as one of the world’s leading authorities on the music of Vivaldi and his Italian contemporaries. With ‘Per Monsier Pisendel 2,’ Chandler and his ensemble La Serenissima hark back to their debut album, performing works by Vivaldi, Albinoni, Pisendel and Montanari with stunning virtuosity.
Richard Reed Parry: Quartet for Heart and Breath (6:48)
‘Music for Heart and Breath’ is Richard Reed Parry’s debut as a classical composer, inspired by the likes of Steve Reich and Brian Eno. Parry is well known for his work as a multi-instrumentalist with the Grammy-winning alternative rock band Arcade Fire. He draws his influences from classical music, folk and electronica. The concept behind ‘Heart and Breath’ is that every musician involved in the piece generates his own tempo by listening to his/her pulse during the performance. Fragile and intimate, these pieces reflect Parry’s philosophy that music and nature (in this case, the body) can be explicitly linked.
Robert Kyr: The Cloud of Unknowing: Part II, Songs of Dawn (12:13)
Estelí Gomez, soprano; David Farwig, baritone; Conspirare; Victoria Bach Festival Orchestra / Craig Hella Johnson
Craig Hella Johnson conducts this first recording of three choral works by Robert Kyr. Exploring the relationship between human and divine love, his cantatas The Cloud of Unknowing and Songs of the Soul transfixed audiences and critics alike when Conspirare premiered them. The texts are by the 16th-century Spanish mystics St Teresa of Ávila and St John of the Cross, some sung in Spanish, some in English translation. Kyr’s choral music is distinguished by a warmly compelling lyricism, as well as by a contrapuntal mastery that arises from his love of early music, especially the work of Dufay, Josquin Des Prez, and above all, Bach.
New Release of the Week
Tchaikovsky: The Seasons, Op 37b: July – October (13:47)
Pavel Kolesnikov, piano
Since becoming Prize Laureate of the Honens Prize for Piano in 2012, Pavel Kolesnikov has been winning acclaim around the world. A live recording of his performances, released on the Honens Label, was praised by BBC Music Magazine, who hailed its ‘tremendous clarity, unfailing musicality and considerable beauty.’ For his debut on Hyperion, Kolesnikov plays music of Tchaikovsky, including The Seasons, a cycle which takes listeners on a journey through the months of the year.
Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op 16: I, Allegro molto moderato (12:17)
Stewart Goodyear, piano; Czech National Symphony / Stanislav Bogunia
This album marks Stewart Goodyear’s debut on Steinway & Sons and is the first orchestral recording released on the label. The Canadian pianist is a notable concert soloist and has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among many. In 2013, Goodyear gave a series of marathon performances in the U.S. of the Beethoven Piano Sonatas, playing the complete cycle in a single, eleven-hour concert at each venue.
Glinka, arr Balakirev: The Lark (5:09)
Aminollah Hossein: Prelude No 1, Homage to Omar Khayyam (6:11)
Tara Kamangar, piano
Russia’s centuries-old geographic proximity to Muslim regions – historically regarded as part of the “Orient” – has resulted in considerable cultural and artistic cross-fertilization, particularly in the realm of music. Most Russian composers during (and since) the Romantic era have incorporated elements of what one could call “oriental exoticism” into their compositions. Pianist Tara Kamangar – an American of Iranian descent – has made it her musical mission to explore such musical connections, specifically as they apply to the traditions of Iran and Russia.
Falla: Cuatro Piezas Españolas (15:42)
Brazilian Guitar Quartet
In this, the 2011 Latin Grammy–winning Brazilian Guitar Quartet’s sixth album on Delos, the ensemble pays homage to its rich and varied heritage as exemplified by the music of Spain – which, in turn, gave rise to Latin American music. The album’s eighteen selections – mostly dances – are derived primarily from piano works by six of the best–known 20th–century Spanish composers: Albéniz, Falla, Granados, Rodrigo, Mompou and Turina.
Strauss: Salome: Dance of the Seven Veils (9:46)
Suisse Romande Orchestra / Kazuki Yamada
Kazuki Yamada is the Principal Guest Conductor of the Suisse Romande Orchestra. This is their second recording from the Pentatone label on the theme of dance, with waltzes, polkas, mazurkas and gavottes weaving through the album. The program of 19th- and 20th-century music includes works by Liszt, Strauss, Korngold, Busoni and Schreker.