Parry: Hear my words, ye people (14:42)
Douglas Tang, organ; Choir of King’s College, Cambridge / Stephen Cleobury
This release from the Choir Of King’s College, Cambridge, is the first to show the choir doing what they do on a daily basis: keeping the Anglican choral tradition alive, at the very highest standards. The repertoire is English hymn-anthems – a subset of the music they sing in services every day. The album represents a continuation of the choir’s commitment to original research expanding the popular understanding of the repertoire through recording, and includes a solo from the internationally renowned trumpeter Alison Balsom.
Bach/Busoni: Solo Violin Partita No 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: Chaconne (15:37)
Anna Shelest, piano
Sorel Classics is a new non-profit label devoted to highlighting the talent and achievements of singers, instrumentalists and composers. For its inaugural album, Sorel introduces Anna Shelest, a native of Ukraine who now resides in New York. She has been described as an artist of “fiery sensibility and warm touch” by the New York Times. Shelest came to the attention of Sorel after a Carnegie Hall performance as first prize winner of the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition.
Bach, orch Sitkovetsky: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Aria, Variations 1-12 (23:42)
Britten Sinfonia / Thomas Gould
The Britten Sinfonia performs Dmitry Sitkovetsky’s beautifully realized arrangement for strings of Bach’s great keyboard work, the Goldberg Variations. Sitkovetsky’s arrangement (first conceived for string trio and later expanded for string orchestra) was made in 1985 on the 300th anniversary of Bach’s birth. He dedicated the string trio version to Glenn Gould, and it’s clear from much of the written-out ornamentation that Gould’s recordings of the Goldbergs were Sitkovetsky’s passport into the music.
Schumann: Violin Concerto in D minor: First movement (15:11)
Isabelle Faust, violin; Freiburg Baroque Orchestra / Pablo Heras-Casado
This first volume in a trilogy comprising the complete concertos and piano trios of Schumann brings together two late works. The instigators of the project, Isabelle Faust, Alexandre Melnikov and Jean-Guihen Queyras, champion their cause with a choice of period instruments that restore the delicate transparency and subtlety of the music. Faust says, “As passionate admirers of the composer, we conceived the desire to place his works for piano, violin and cello in a broader context and to illuminate them mutually in order to allow listeners to gain a deeper understanding of his music.”
Szulc: Clair de lune (3:14)
Debussy: Clair de lune (3:10)
Chabrier: Air de Fisch-Ton-Kan (2:34)
Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor; Jérôme Ducros, piano; Ebène Quartet
Philippe Jaroussky’s new album, ‘Green,’ is a collection of song settings of the poems of Paul Verlaine, one of the most influential figures of the fin de siècle. Verlaine’s life was in turns full of love and loss, promise and disappointment, vitality and addiction, and his ground-breaking symbolist poetry inspired a generation of creative minds. The composers Debussy, Chausson, Fauré and Hahn are just a handful of the many spurred on to set his poetry during a golden age of French music.
New Release of the Week
Kern: Yesterdays (2:13)
Holiday/Herzog: God Bless the Child (3:29)
Rodgers: Blue Moon (1:16)
Ronell: Willow Weep for Me (3:37)
Lara Downes, piano
When Lara Downes was 8 years old, she wrote in her diary that her favorite song was Billie Holiday’s I Cover the Waterfront. Ever since, says the pianist, she has been enthralled with “the startlingly distinctive qualities of mood and phrasing, line and color” heard in Holiday’s singing. Downes celebrates the centenary of the legendary singer with an album of songs that Holiday made famous, arranged by New York-based composer and pianist Jed Distler.
Paine: Symphony No 2 in A major, Op 34, In the Spring: Finale (11:11)
Ulster Orchestra / JoAnn Falletta
The late 19th century witnessed unprecedented musical growth in the United States, and it is impossible to imagine a Copland, an Ives or even a Gershwin without the pioneering groundwork of the ‘Boston Six,’ of whom John Knowles Paine was the senior member. Favorite among his own works, Paine’s Second Symphony was described at its New York premiere as “a serious, important and totally beautiful work.” His Prelude to the tragic play Oedipus Tyrannus was an immediate hit, while An Ocean Fantasy was his last orchestral piece.
Vivaldi: L’Estro Armonico: Four-Violin Concerto in D major, Op 3 No 1 (7:33)
Brecon Baroque / Rachel Podger, violin
Following the success of Vivaldi’s La Stravaganza and La Cetra collections on Channel Classics, Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque have recorded Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico Concertos for 1, 2 and 4 violins. Written by Vivaldi in 1711, scholar Michael Talbot describes the works as “perhaps the most influential collection of instrumental music to appear during the whole of the eighteenth century.”
Valentini: Sonata in G minor (5:02); Sonata in C major (3:04)
Acronym’s latest release is the first recording devoted entirely to the instrumental music of Giovanni Valentini (1582/3-1649), who for more than twenty years was Hofkapellmeister of the Holy Roman Empire before fading into obscurity. ‘Oddities & Trifles’ pairs selections from Valentini’s published 1609 canzonas with nearly all of his extant manuscript sonatas (many of them containing strange chromaticism and metric eccentricities), and it consists almost entirely of premiere recordings.
Mozart: Piano Sonata in F major, K 280 (21:48)
Grigory Sokolov, piano
Deutsche Grammophon has a history of signing exclusive contracts with pianists who cultivate enigmatic reputations, such as Martha Argerich, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Vladimir Horowitz, and now Grigory Sokolov. For years Sokolov has refused to affiliate himself with a record company, enter a recording studio, or play a concerto. For their first project, Sokolov sanctioned the release of his July 30, 2008 Salzburg Festival recital, and it reveals the pianist’s extraordinary finesse in music of Mozart and Chopin.