Beethoven: Symphony No 7 in A major, Op 92: I, Poco sostenuto – Vivace (12:29)
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Early in the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s recording career, their repertoire was specifically for chamber orchestra. As the ensemble matured, the selections became more wide-ranging but included only one work by Beethoven, The Creatures of Prometheus. This omission in their recording history changes with the release of Beethoven’s Fifth and Seventh Symphonies, taken from performances at Carnegie Hall. Orpheus began playing the larger symphonies of Beethoven only over the last 12 years. Having just celebrated 40 years of music making, Orpheus has matured as a cohesive unit to take on these extraordinary pieces.
Beethoven: Piano Trio No 6 in E-flat major, Op 70 No 2 (30:03)
Alexander Melnikov, fortepiano; Isabelle Faust, violin; Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello
By giving the stringed instruments the status of genuinely equal partners with the piano, it was Beethoven who gave the piano trio the form it was to retain throughout the 19th century. This album presents the composer’s last two works in the genre: Op 70 No 2, dedicated to Countess Marie Erdödy, and the celebrated ‘Archduke’ trio, which marked the final public appearance of its composer. All three eminent Beethovenians, violinist Isabelle Faust, cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and pianist Alexander Melnikov join forces here in performances that set a new standard.
Bach: Prelude & Fugue in C major, BWV 547 (9:31)
Kei Koito, organ
In this Bach program, Kei Koito has gathered various works written in the key of C, put into perspective with a few works intended for the Trinity period. She plays the Schnitger organ of Groningen’s Martinikerk in the Netherlands. Like the three previous ones, this new volume of Bach organ works contains masterpieces, but also works that have not been clearly authenticated and transcriptions of Bach works not originally composed for the organ.
Tartini: Stabat Mater (7:33)
Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles
The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, is a small order of nuns established in 1995 in Gower, Missouri. The nuns sing together daily, typically for five hours per day, as part of their daily life of prayer. In 2012 and 2013, two albums of their recorded chants and hymns reached number 1 on the classical Billboard charts. Their latest album, Lent at Ephesus, includes chants, intricate harmonies and hymns of glory and redemption, capturing the reflective season of Lent.
Debussy: Preludes, Book II: Brouillards (3:11); Feuilles mortes (2:57); La Puerta del Vino (3:06); Les Fées sont d’exquises danseuses (3:02)
Michael Lewin, piano
The latest project from pianist Michael Lewin is a collection of popular works by Debussy, including the complete second book of Preludes. This release follows the popular and critical success of last year’s Piano Phantoms by Lewin. It marks the first time this music has been presented in high-resolution stereo and surround sound on Pure Audio Blu-ray. A standard CD is also included in the package.
Hindemith: Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Weber (20:39)
Kansas City Symphony / Michael Stern
This new recording by the Kansas City Symphony contains three classic modern masterpieces: Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis, Prokofiev’s Suite from The Love for Three Oranges and Bartók’s Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin. It is also the premiere recording made in the orchestra’s new home, Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City. Conductor Michael Stern’s interpretations of these great works have been captured in brilliant HDCD sound.
New Release of the Week
Bellini: I Puritani: O rendetemi la speme…Qui la voce sua soave (10:00)
Olga Peretyatko, soprano; NDR Symphony Orchestra / Enrique Mazzola
Olga Peretyatko combines a beautiful and versatile soprano voice with an overwhelming stage presence. Winner of several competitions including the Domingo Operalia Competition, she is conquering opera stages around the world. On her new album, Arabesque, she casts her net wide, from bel canto to light music. In addition to arias by Verdi, Bellini and Strauss, the Russian soprano performs pieces by French composers Gounod and Bizet. And, for the first time in her career, she has recorded arias by her favorite composer, Mozart.
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 2 in G major, Op 44: I, Allegro brillante e molto vivace (21:21)
Denis Matsuev, piano; Mariinsky Theater Orchestra / Valery Gergiev
Since winning the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998, Denis Matsuev has established a reputation as one of Russia’s leading pianists and is renowned for his interpretations of Russian music. He embarks on a Tchaikovsky year for 2014 with a new recording of the Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2 and an extensive tour of Europe and the United States.
New Release of the Week
Busoni: Duettino concertante (based on Piano Concerto, K 459) (7:01)
Mozart, arr Anderson & Roe: Così fan tutte: Soave sia il vento (3:11)
Anderson & Roe Piano Duo
“An Amadeus Affair,” the second release from Anderson & Roe on the Steinway label, celebrates Mozart with a brilliant recording of his Sonata for Two Pianos surrounded by four-hand arrangements of music from his operas and concertos. Their first release on Steinway, “When Words Fade,” was released to critical acclaim and spent over a dozen weeks on the Billboard classical charts.
Schubert: Der Wanderer, D 489 (5:23); Der Wanderer, D 649 (2:24); Der Wanderer an den Mond, D 870 (2:25)
Florian Boesch, baritone; Roger Vignoles, piano
Florian Boesch and Roger Vignoles were shortlisted for a BBC Music Magazine award for their first Hyperion album (Loewe Songs and Ballads). Now the duo turn to a selection of Schubert’s Lieder from the dark heart of the repertoire. ‘Dort, wo du nicht bist, dort ist das Glück!’ (‘There, where you are not, is happiness!’) – the final lines of Der Wanderer encapsulate a recurrent theme of German Romantic art: that of the rootless outsider.