‘Rachmaninoff: Études-Tableaux, Op 33 (22:54)
Shen Lu, piano
A native of Jiangsu, China, pianist Shen Lu has performed concerts around the world. His gold prize at the 2014 Hilton Head International Piano competition led to his debut recording on Steinway & Sons. On the theme of watercolors, Shen Lu performs contemporary Chinese repertoire by Chen Peixun and Tan Dun and showcases his passion for French and Russian piano music of the 20th century with works by Ravel and Rachmaninoff.
Rossini, arr Mangani: La Cenerentola: Overture (8:00)
European Wind Soloists / Patrick De Ritis
Musical transcription has a long history, and Michele Mangani’s arrangements follow a tradition of recreating popular operatic tunes for small groups of oboes, clarinets, flutes and horns, supplemented on this recording by double bass. These works span some 77 years of Italian opera, from Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri to Puccini’s Tosca, taking in the verismo of Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana and the bel canto tragedy of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor on the way.
Donizetti: Don Pasquale: Duet, Son nov’ore…Ah! Un foco insolito (9:15)
Paolo Bordogna, baritone (sings both roles); Arturo Toscanini Philharmonic / Francesco Lanzillotta
This album celebrates the first operatic recital for the buffo baritone role in the history of Decca. Paolo Bordogna performs a recital spanning two centuries of arias, ranging from Cimarosa and Mozart to Nino Rota. This all-Italian production highlights the importance of the buffo baritone vocal category, which encompasses purely comic characters to more complex ones such as Don Pasquale and Falstaff.
Bach: Four Organ Duets (11:08)
Caterina Lichtenberg, mandolin; Mike Marshall, mandocello
Two of the greatest mandolinists in the world today, Caterina Lichtenberg and Mike Marshall join forces in a landmark collaboration. They play Bach’s Two-Part Inventions, Organ Duets and Canons from the Art of the Fugue arranged for mandolin and mandocello. Marshall and Lichtenberg create a beautiful tapestry of texture, sound and interplay between their string instruments on these keyboard pieces.
Adams: Absolute Jest (25:40)
St Lawrence String Quartet; San Francisco Symphony / Michael Tilson Thomas
Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony join forces with America’s most-performed living composer, John Adams, in a new album featuring two of his works. Hear Adams’ inspired and witty take on Beethoven’s spirited scherzos in this first-ever recording of his SFS-commissioned Absolute Jest. Also featured is Grand Pianola Music, with its tongue-in-cheek allusions to Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto, written for and premiered by the SFS.
New Release of the Week
Beethoven: Piano Trio in D major, Op 70 No 1, Ghost (26:23)
Julian Rachlin, violin; Mischa Maisky, cello; Martha Argerich, piano
The first release in Deutsche Grammophon’s new partnership with the Verbier Festival, this album documents a concert when Martha Argerich was given ‘carte blanche’ to invite whoever she wanted, to play whatever she and they chose at her Verbier Festival concert on July 27, 2007. Argerich’s artistic partners are Yuri Bashmet, Renaud Capuçon, Lang Lang, Mischa Maisky, Gabriela Montero and Julian Rachlin.
Fritz: Symphony in B-flat major, Op 6 No 1 (21:48)
Gaspard Fritz (1716-1783) was born and died in Geneva. During his lifetime, he was considered an important composer and violin pedagogue. His music, at the threshold between the Baroque and the early Classical period, is characterized by beautiful melodic writing, virtuosity, depth and diversity. Fritz’s Op 6 symphonies were published in Paris in the early 1770s.
New Release of the Week
Mendelssohn: Songs without Words, Op 30 (17:40)
Christoph Eschenbach, piano
Conductor Christoph Eschenbach began his international career as a pianist with a range of recordings on Deutsche Grammophon, including Beethoven, Mozart and chamber music. This box set highlights his zeal for Romantic repertoire and features the complete Mendelssohn Songs without Words cycle, recorded in 1975 and previously available only in Japan.
Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No 2 in G minor, Op 22 (23:50)
Vadym Kholodenko, piano; Norwegian Radio Orchestra / Miguel Harth-Bedoya
2013 Van Cliburn Competition Gold Medalist Vadym Kholodenko is the featured piano soloist in this recording of the Grieg Concerto in A minor and the Saint-Saëns Concerto No 2 with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra under the baton of Miguel Harth-Bedoya. “Kholodenko matches his impressive keyboard prowess with probing emotional depth and daring individuality.” (San Diego Story)
Anonymous: Maiden in the mor lay (5:01); Ye have so longe kepe schepe (4:22); Wyth ryth al my herte (4:29)
Dufay Collective & Voice / William Lyons
During the 14th and 15th centuries, England witnessed an explosion of written poetic output in the vernacular, the lyrics of which were intimately bound to music. Sadly, only a handful of poems have survived intact. In the spirit of reconstruction, the Dufay Collective joins forces with Voice to perform extant songs and instrumental adaptations, as well as poetry set to adapted/original melodies by director William Lyons.