Vieuxtemps: Cello Concerto No 2 in B minor, Op 50 (21:54)
Alban Gerhardt, cello; Royal Flemish Philharmonic / Josep Caballé-Domenech
Hyperion’s Romantic Cello Concerto series welcomes back German virtuoso Alban Gerhardt for this sixth volume. Henri Vieuxtemps and Eugène Ysaÿe are best known for their pyrotechnics on the violin, but each one also wrote two works—little known today—for cello and orchestra. The two Vieuxtemps Concertos contain all the elements familiar from their famous violin counterparts—long-arched melodies alongside moments of extreme virtuoso demands. The Ysaÿe works are shorter and make ideal companions.
New Release of the Week
Beethoven: Cello Sonata No 3 in A major, Op 69 (26:11)
Matt Haimovitz, cello; Christopher O’Riley, fortepiano
This release journeys back to the birth of the cello/piano genre with Beethoven’s complete sonatas and variations, recorded on period instruments. Matt Haimovitz plays his own Goffriller cello, crafted in Venice in 1710 and set up with gut strings also from Italy and an early 19th-century rosewood tailpiece. Haimovitz uses a Dominique Peccatte bow of the same era. Joining him is a frequent collaborator, Christopher O’Riley, who plays on an original Broadwood fortepiano made in 1823.
Elgar: Symphony No 1 in A-flat major, Op 55: III, Adagio (11:48); IV, Lento – Allegro (11:28)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Vasily Petrenko
Vasily Petrenko is recognized as one of the leading Elgarians of our time. This recording features Petrenko leading the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in the first release of a series for Onyx that will contain the two completed symphonies, as well as other major orchestral works (including the Enigma Variations) and some of the delightful miniatures. Here, the Symphony No 1 is preceded by the sparkling concert overture Cockaigne.
Bach: English Suite No 5 in E minor, BWV 810 (20:27)
Piotr Anderszewski, piano
“The wonderful thing is that the modern piano can suggest so many instruments. Playing Bach on the piano, it’s really all about suggestion,” says Piotr Anderszewski. More than ten years since the release of his first recording of Bach’s English Suites, these interpretations of Suites 1, 3 and 5 join the Warners Classics catalog. Anderszewski’s concert performances of Bach in 2013 prompted the New York Times to write: “He revels in the full range of timbres afforded by the modern piano.”
Cavalieri: Rappresentatione di Anima et di Corpo: Excerpts (12:17)
Soloists; Berlin Staatsoper Chorus; Concerto Vocale; Berlin Academy of Ancient Music / René Jacobs
Composed at a time when neither oratorio nor opera existed, Cavalieri’s Rappresentatione (premiered in 1600) is a magisterial musical drama. Set as a dialogue between Soul and Body – an emblematic theme of the Counter-Reformation – it employs singers, chorus and a large orchestra whose varied timbres both accompany and characterize the soloists. At the dawn of the Baroque revolution, song, stage action, dance, and instrumental music combine in perfect harmony. The extensive booklet includes notes on the work and on performance practice by René Jacobs and a full libretto.
Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine: Deus in adiutorium (2:04); Dixit Dominus (7:08)
The Sixteen / Harry Christophers
The Sixteen and Harry Christophers perform a work often classed as one of the most significant collections of sacred music ever written: Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610. Christophers writes: “Its variety alone makes it unique – thrilling psalm settings with virtuosic writing for both multi-part choir and instrumentalists to exotic and sensual settings of texts from the Song of Songs for solo voices. Every movement is full of luscious harmonies, drama and an evocative musical language which is so beautifully constructed.”
New Release of the Week
Vivaldi: (Lute) Concerto in D major, R 93 (9:22)
Avi Avital, mandolin; Venice Baroque Orchestra
Avi Avital re-imagines the sounds of Venice in this vivid homage to the most beloved composer of the Italian Baroque, Antonio Vivaldi. After his introduction with Bach and the colorful exploration of world music on ‘Between Worlds,’ Avital presents four popular Vivaldi concertos on this album with the Venice Baroque Orchestra, as well as an 18th-century Venetian gondolier song with tenor Juan Diego Flórez.
Bach, arr Brahms: (Violin) Partita No 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: Chaconne (11:48)
Jean Rondeau, harpsichord
‘Imagine’ is the first Erato release from the dynamic young French harpsichordist Jean Rondeau, who sees it as “an exploration of all the possibilities that lie in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and in the harpsichord.” The album features one of Bach’s most celebrated harpsichord works, the Italian Concerto, but it mainly comprises transcriptions of music that Bach conceived for other instruments: violin, lute and flute.
Fiala: English Horn Concerto in C major (12:00)
Albrecht Mayer, English horn; Potsdam Chamber Academy
Albrecht Mayer presents rare oboe concertos from the 18th century which he discovered in music archives in Thuringia and Saxony. With his unmistakable sound, Mayer breathes new life into these long-lost jewels of German high classicism. The four concertos are direct predecessors to Mozart. There is even evidence Mozart knew and studied these works, and may even have had a hand in the composition of the work of Kozeluch.
Newman: Family Album (10:31)
Gloria Cheng, piano
The six composers featured on pianist Gloria Cheng’s album ‘Montage’ are among today’s most sought-after creators of film music – composers that have amply demonstrated their skill at creating mood and propelling action. However, when working away from the movie screen, what melodies, harmonies and cadences haunt their private dreams? Cheng offers an answer to those questions with compelling first recordings of their works for solo piano, a medium that can often reveal a composer’s truest voice.