Strauss: Metamorphosen (28:59)
Baltic Chamber Orchestra / Emmanuel Leducq-Barôme
Both the works on this album came about as a reaction to the horrors of war. Shostakovich’s String Quartet No 8 is one of his most powerful and deeply personal works. It was later arranged for string orchestra by Rudolf Barshai. Richard Strauss, well into his 80s when the Second World War ended, was crushed by the destruction of the great opera houses and places of learning in Germany. His Metamorphosen is a lament for the loss of the Germany he knew as a young man.
Mozart: Oboe Quartet in F major, K 370 (14:44)
Britten Oboe Quartet
The Britten Oboe Quartet makes its recording debut with a program of its core repertory. It naturally includes the great Mozart Quartet, K 370, and Britten’s own Phantasy, Op 2, but also two pieces that have a special resonance for oboist Nicholas Daniel, because they were commissioned and premiered by Janet Craxton, his ‘beloved teacher’ and inspiration, and her London Oboe Quartet.
Shostakovich: Symphony No 5 in D minor, Op 47: Finale (12:25)
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra / Manfred Honeck
Manfred Honeck reminds us that Stalin was offended by Shostakovich’s previous works. Under threat of arrest or banishment to Siberia, Shostakovich devised a less-complex compositional style for the Fifth Symphony, still full of irony and double meaning. Barber’s Adagio is one of the most popular of all 20th century orchestral works. This release is the seventh in the highly acclaimed Pittsburgh Live! series from Reference Recordings.
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No 15 in D major, Op 28, Pastoral (25:45)
Andrew Rangell, piano
“It seems to me that Beethoven’s mainstream piano works and those we would label “outliers” have tended to become segregated, both in recital and recording. This collection hopes to say a few new things, first in the playing, of course, but also in the integrated presentation of these pieces. Each flower making its distinctive contribution to the present bouquet.” (Andrew Rangell)
Granados: Valses poéticos (16:41)
Stephen Marchionda, guitar
During his lifetime, Enrique Granados was highly valued above all for the poetry of his piano playing – and his compositions also breathe the same poetic spirit. Guitarist Stephen Marchionda honors the composer on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of his birth with a highly personal selection from these works.
Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op 33 (18:07)
Antonio Meneses, cello; Royal Northern Sinfonia / Claudio Cruz
In celebration of the 35th anniversary of winning the Gold Medal at the International Tchaikovsky Competition, as well as his 60th birthday in August 2017, Antonio Meneses adds to his distinguished discography with three works with orchestra he has not previously recorded: Schumann’s Cello Concerto, Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No 1, and Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme.
Dvořák, arr. Diener-Bennett: Rusalka: Song to the Moon (5:24)
Sufjan Stevens, arr. Atkinson: Run Rabbit Run: Year of Our Lord (5:17)
Yo-Yo Ma, cello; The Knights / Eric Jacobsen
“Azul” is the title of the contemplative cello concerto by Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov that forms the centerpiece of this celestially themed album. The concerto received its premiere in 2006, with Yo-Yo Ma as soloist joined by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which commissioned the work. On this album, Ma teams up with The Knights, the Brooklyn-based group that describes itself as “an orchestral collective.”
Handel: Ottone: Overture (4:42); Aria, Dell’onda ai fieri moti (3:18)
Max Emanuel Cencic, countertenor; Il Pomo d’Oro / George Petrou
Decca presents a new recording of Handel’s Ottone with countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic in the title role and a superb cast under the baton of George Petrou with Il Pomo d’Oro. Premiered in London in 1723, Ottone was one of Handel’s most successful operas during his lifetime. This rare recording breathes new life into one of the master’s greatest works and features three bonus arias performed in the 1726 revival.
Haydn: Piano Sonata in E-flat major, Hob XVI:49 (19:11)
Byron Janis, piano
“Byron Janis Live: On Tour” is a collection of previously unissued live performances of music by Chopin, Haydn and Liszt that were recorded between 1979 and 1999. The album aslo includes solo-piano arrangements of several of Janis’s songs, reminding us that he is also a highly accomplished popular songwriter.
Schoenfield: Sonatina: Jig (3:39)
Hammond: The Lamentation of Owen O’Neil (3:50)
Irish Traditional, arr. McHale: The Lark in the Clear Air (3:51)
Demarre McGill, flute; Anthony McGill, clarinet; Michael McHale, piano
The McGill-McHale Trio, an international all-star ensemble of flute, clarinet, and piano, makes its recording debut with Portraits, featuring world-premiere recordings of new compositions and arrangements for this captivating combination of instruments.