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.
Bruckner: Symphony No 9 in D minor: I, Feierlich (27:31)
London Symphony Orchestra / Bernard Haitink
Bernard Haitink is internationally renowned for his interpretations of Bruckner’s symphonies, which are often described as ‘Gothic cathedrals in sound’ – an apt description considering the composer’s devout faith and early vocation as an organist. He died before he could finish his Symphony No 9, but within its three movements can be found some of his most complete music, imbued with a sense of deep solace and resolution.
Augusta Read Thomas: Carillon Sky (8:20)
Baird Dodge, violin; Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNOW Ensemble / Oliver Knussen
This release is the first in a series presenting the music of the eminent American composer Augusta Read Thomas, and contains the following performances:
- Aureole for orchestra – DePaul University Symphony, Cliff Colnot conducting
- Words of the Sea for orchestra – Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Boulez conducting
- In My Sky at Twilight for soprano and ensemble – Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNOW Ensemble with soprano Christine Brandes, Pierre Boulez conducting
- Carillon Sky for solo violin and chamber ensemble – Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNOW Ensemble with violinist Baird Dodge, Oliver Knussen conducting
- Terpsichore’s Dream for chamber orchestra – ART Chamber Orchestra, Cliff Colnot conducting
- Silver Chants the Litanies for French horn and 18 players – Southern Methodist University Wind Ensemble with Greg Heustis on horn, Jack Delaney conducting
Handel: Harp Concerto in B-flat major, Op 4 No 6 (13:10)
Valérie Milot, harp; Les Violons du Roy / Bernard Labadie
The three concertos on this recording were all composed during eras in which the harp had yet to be brought to its full technical potential. However, Handel, Mozart and Boieldieu’s concertos all remain central works of the harp repertoire. Valérie Milot’s powerful and colorful playing highlights three important moments in the history of a fascinating instrument.
C.P.E. Bach: Magnificat: Excerpts (11:47)
Soloists; RIAS Chamber Choir; Berlin Academy of Ancient Music / Hans-Christoph Rademann
On April 9, 1786, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach conducted a charity concert in Hamburg featuring three of his finest and most representative works: the Symphony Wq 183/1, the Magnificat (written in 1749 in the hope of succeeding his father as Cantor in Leipzig) and Heilig ist Gott for double choir, of which he wrote, “It will be my swan song of this kind, and will serve to ensure that I shall not soon be forgotten after my death.” Released to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the composer’s birth, this recording recreating the program of that historic concert confirms the prophetic nature of the composer’s words.
Catalani: Il Mattino ‘Sinfonia romantica’ (14:44)
Rome Symphony Orchestra / Francesco La Vecchia
Alfredo Catalani is best known today for his opera La Wally, but he also experimented with a number of orchestral works, including three symphonies. Ero e Leandro, Catalani’s last orchestral work, evokes the dramatic tragedy of the Greek mythological lovers Hero and Leander. The brief Scherzo is a sparkling piece while the Andantino is noteworthy for its fluid melodic line. The lyricism of Contemplazione contrasts with Il Mattino, a single-movement symphony divided into several clearly distinguishable sections.
Bertali: Two-Violin Sonata in G (8:25)
Antonio Bertali was born in 1605 in Verona. In 1624 he moved to Vienna, where he was hired as a violinist and composer at the Habsburg Court. King Ferdinand III appointed Bertali Kappellmeister, a post which he held until his death in 1669. Bertali was a prolific composer of both sacred and secular music, ranging from oratorios and operas to instrumental sonatas, but few of his works were published and almost none survive. Nearly all of Bertali’s extant instrumental compositions (including twelve of the thirteen found in this recording) come from manuscript copies now located in libraries.
New Release of the Week
Porpora: Semiramide: Come nave in ria tempesta (5:14); Polifemo: Placidetti zefiretti (2:53) (with Cecilia Bartoli)
Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor; Venice Baroque Orchestra / Andrea Marcon
Philippe Jaroussky’s new album features opera arias written for the most famous castrato of all, Farinelli. The composer Nicola Porpora was Farinelli’s mentor and teacher, and despite a lesser-known status in modern times was a celebrated composer in his day, writing over 50 operas. This recording highlights 11 of his finest arias – 9 of which are appearing for the first time on CD – including 2 duets with famed mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli.