Laks: Piano Quintet on Popular Polish Themes (20:15)
The Canadian ARC Ensemble presents Volume 3 in its “Music in Exile” series, dedicated to the chamber music of Szymon Laks. Born in Warsaw in 1901, Laks studied in Paris before being deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. He soon joined and conducted the Auschwitz orchestra. Although the trauma of his imprisonment left him alienated and reclusive, few of his works refer specifically to the Holocaust. A rather subtle, colorful and sometimes contrapuntal style emerges in his writing.
Rachmaninoff: Piano Sonata No 2 in B-flat minor, Op 36 (23:42)
Rustem Hayroudinoff, piano
Pianist Rustem Hayroudinoff makes his Onyx Classics debut with an all-Rachmaninoff program featuring the two sonatas and a transcription of a Tchaikovsky lullaby. Hayroudinoff’s earlier recording of the complete Rachmaninoff Preludes was selected by Classic FM magazine as part of its ‘Essential Rachmaninoff Collection’ alongside the recordings of Artur Rubinstein and André Previn.
Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Variations à travers les siècles, Op 71 (10:45)
Xavier Jara, guitar
American guitarist Xavier Jara has won numerous international competitions. This release stands out not only for the sheer musicality and technical brilliance of the performer, but for his imaginatively structured and adventurous program. It balances the poetic beauty of John Dowland and Alan Rawthorne with the broad appeal of Castelnuovo-Tedesco, technically challenging works by Dušan Bogdanović, as well as intriguing discoveries.
Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No 1 in A minor, Op 33 (19:04)
Leonard Elschenbroich, cello; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Stefan Blunier
Leonard Elschenbroich is one of today’s most exciting cellists. On this fascinating program, he explores a century of French music for cello. Concertos from Dutilleux and Saint-Saëns, composed 100 years apart, frame Debussy’s late Cello Sonata, Ravel’s Habanera and movement five of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time.
Falla: Seven Popular Spanish Songs (13:52)
Joo Yeon Sir, violin; Irina Andrievsky, piano
Korean-born British violinist Joo Yeon Sir is winner of the Royal College of Music’s President’s Award presented by HRH The Prince of Wales. Her dazzling debut recording is a program of suites and fantasies by composers you rarely see on the same album – Schnittke, Falla, Britten, Milhaud and Gershwin.
Ravel: La valse (11:55)
Yekwon Sunwoo, piano
On June 10, the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition crowned its 2017 gold medalist in Fort Worth, Texas: Yekwon Sunwoo of South Korea. Decca Gold has released highlights from Sunwoo’s performances throughout the stages of the competition, including music of Ravel, Haydn, Rachmaninoff, and Marc-André Hamelin.
Wagner: Tannhäuser: Overture (15:11)
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra / Andris Nelsons
Pairing Bruckner’s Symphony No 3 with Wagner’s Tannhäuser Overture, this album launches Deutsche Grammophon’s new Bruckner Symphony cycle featuring Grammy-winning conductor Andris Nelsons and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. To highlight not only Wagner’s influence on Bruckner, but also the differences between the two composers, selected works by Wagner will be included in each release in the cycle.
Beethoven: Missa solemnis: Gloria (15:41)
Leipzig Radio Choir; Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra / Marek Janowski
Marek Janowski and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra continue their critically acclaimed collaboration with Pentatone in a magnificent reading of Beethoven’s monumental Missa solemnis, recorded live in September 2016. Considered by many to be among his finest works, Beethoven’s masterpiece updated the choral traditions of Handel and Bach with his own ineffable style to create a startlingly original and dramatic large scale work.
Fauré: Cello Sonata No 2 in G minor, Op 117 (18:03)
Andreas Brantelid, cello; Bengt Forsberg, piano
This recording contains all of Gabriel Fauré’s music for cello and piano, including the much-loved Élégie and Sicilienne – pieces with qualities that caused Debussy to dub the composer ”the master of charms.” But interspersed with this lighter fare are the two sonatas from Fauré’s later period when, suffering from increasing deafness, he developed a more pared-down style.
Dvořák: String Quartet No 12 in F major, Op 96, American (26:28)
The Dragon String Quartet, formed in 2012, is an ensemble of four celebrated young Chinese musicians. The group performs around the world, presenting masterworks of the quartet repertoire next to contemporary compositions. On their new album, the quartet brings together two favorite works: Schubert’s Death and the Maiden and Dvořák’s American.