Beethoven: 32 Variations in C minor on an Original Theme, WoO 80 (12:38)
Daniel Barenboim, piano
This is Daniel Barenboim’s first solo recording on the remarkable new concert grand he developed in collaboration with instrument maker Chris Maene. Barenboim has selected works by composers from different periods to display the piano’s special colors, transparency and tonal possibilities. He says, “I’ve fallen in love with my new piano and want to spend as much time with it as possible.”
Schubert: Alinde (4:29); Du bist die Ruh (3:58)
Philippe Sly, baritone; John Charles Britton, guitar
Collaborators for a number of years, Philippe Sly and John Charles Britton recognize, in these “Schubert Sessions,” a way of expanding and reclaiming the Viennese composer’s place in popular culture, notably his influence on modern song. They present the opportunity to hear these lyrical masterpieces accompanied by guitar, which was probably the instrument Schubert used in order to appreciate the true effect of these compositions.
Trad Irish: Master McGrath (2:56); The Lark in the Clear Air (3:41); You Are Welcome Home (3:08)
Barry Douglas, piano; Eimear McGeown, Irish flute; Catriona McKay, Scottish harp; Chris Stout, Shetland fiddle
With this new volume, Barry Douglas weaves a magic web with Celtic tunes that have been handed down from generation to generation. His playing is entwined with new material composed by his musical companions, internationally renowned for their fearless explorations and interpretations of Celtic music.
Tchaikovsky: String Quartet No 1 in D major, Op 11 (31:04)
The Heath Quartet makes its Harmonia Mundi debut with a contrasting program of two of Tchaikovsky’s quartets: No 1, famed for its plaintive Andante cantabile, and the tempestuous Quartet No 3. “The music’s potency and bravura were conveyed with thrilling conviction.” (The Guardian)
Boieldieu: Harp Concerto in C major (23:18)
Anaïs Gaudemard, harp; Rouen Opera Orchestra / Leo Hussain
Anaïs Gaudemard studied at the conservatory in Lyon, France. In 2012, she won the First Prize at the prestigious International Harp Contest in Israel. Since then, she has collaborated with orchestras around the world. On her debut album from Claves, she performs three works for harp and orchestra, featuring music of Ginastera, Boieldieu and Debussy.
Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture (19:17)
Czech Philharmonic / Semyon Bychkov
The Czech Philharmonic embarks on a cycle of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies under the baton of Semyon Bychkov. This first release showcases Tchaikovsky’s last symphony, the Pathétique, paired with the Romeo and Juliet Overture Fantasy. Volume 1 marks the start of Decca’s first Tchaikovsky cycle in nearly 40 years, and future recordings – covering all Tchaikovsky’s symphonies, piano concertos, and other orchestral works – will follow.
Various: L’Éventail de Jeanne (30:56)
Pays de la Loire National Orchestra / John Axelrod
Ravel’s much-loved ballet Mother Goose vividly portrays familiar fairy tales and is heard here in its expanded version. The children’s ballet L’Éventail de Jeanne (Jean’s Fan) brought together composers, including members of Les Six, to create a joyous mélange of influence and individuality. This is the first recording of the complete ballet to be made by a French orchestra.
Tchaikovsky: Album for the Young: Maman (1:11)
Mozart: La tartine de beurre (2:09)
Hough: Musical Jewelry Box (3:21)
Prokofiev, arr Nikolayeva: Peter and the Wolf (4:03)
Jenny Lin, piano
“Melody’s Mostly Musical Day” follows the life of a child from breakfast to bedtime, told through effervescent music played by Jenny Lin and captivating pictures illustrated by Mikela Provost. The delightful compilation encourages children to find their own joy and playfulness in classical music. The album includes works by Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Prokofiev, Poulenc, Grieg, Brahms and Chopin.
Thomas: Mignon: Connais-tu le pays (5:46)
Verdi: La forza del destino: Rataplan (3:02)
Elīna Garanča, mezzo-soprano; Comunitat Valenciana Orchestra / Roberto Abbado
“Revive,” the new studio album from mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča, celebrates the strength and emotional depth of opera’s powerful women. The album contains stunning arias and set pieces composed by Verdi, Cilea, Mascagni, Massenet, Saint-Saëns and others – all given new life by Elīna’s “sumptuous voice and charisma” (New York Times).
Strauss: Suite from Der Rosenkavalier (24:41)
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra / Manfred Honeck
This new recording presents orchestral suites based on two of the most significant operas in history. Der Rosenkavalier found its place in the concert hall from the beginning, first with two waltz sequences and later with the famous 1944 suite. But Elektra remained purely on the opera stage, until now. Conductor Manfred Honeck has made his own symphonic adaptation, in collaboration with the Czech composer Tomáš Ille.