Lully: Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme: Suite (18:12)
Tempesta di Mare
This is Volume 1 of Tempesta di Mare’s two-disc project of late 17th-century French instrumental music. Suites were often compiled from stage works that were performed at the time and presented in the form of instrumental excerpts and dances. These suites contain some of the most tuneful, appealing and striking music of the period, with works by Lully, Marais and Rebel.
Bach: Solo Violin Partita No 3 in E major, BWV 1006 (16:48)
Gil Shaham, violin
Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin are considered by many as the pinnacle of musical achievement, arguably the composer’s most demanding and emotionally penetrating works. After living with, reading about, listening to and playing these seminal pieces for over 30 years, Gil Shaham offers a vital new perspective on these works, recorded in the summer of 2014, as part of his residency with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No 6 in F major, Op 10 No 2 (15:56)
Jonathan Biss, piano
Jonathan Biss engages with Beethoven as a concert pianist, a teacher and a recording artist. Biss has undertaken a nine-disc recording project of the entire Beethoven sonata cycle. The fourth volume includes the Sonatas Nos 1, 6, 19 and 23 (Appassionata). This year, Biss will relaunch his popular online course ‘Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas,’ designed to help both novices and experts understand the composer’s piano music.
Lasser: Piano Concerto, The Circle and the Child: I, Poco Allegro (11:43)
Simone Dinnerstein, piano; MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra / Kristjan Järvi
Simone Dinnerstein celebrates the time-honored link between France and America through three different composers – Maurice Ravel, George Gershwin and Philip Lasser. Her album features the world-premiere recording of the Piano Concerto, The Circle and the Child, by Lasser, who wrote the work for Dinnerstein in 2012. The concerto is an amalgam of both French and American musical sound worlds.
Firsova: Stabat Mater (8:32)
The Sixteen / Harry Christophers
‘Spirit Strength and Sorrow’ is the fascinating result of The Sixteen’s third major collaboration with the Genesis Foundation and features three new works by contemporary composers, all settings of the Stabat Mater text: Alissa Firsova, Tõnu Kõrvits and Matthew Martin. The Stabat Mater is, in conductor Harry Christophers’ view, without doubt the most powerful poem of the liturgy and one which has inspired composers through the ages.
Bruckner: Symphony No 4 in E-flat major, Romantic: I, Bewegt, nicht zu schnell (18:29)
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra / Manfred Honeck
Anton Bruckner is known as a deeply religious composer whose Catholic spirituality is prominent in his music, particularly his later symphonies. However, his Symphony No 4 is one of his most secular, influenced by nature. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Manfred Honeck offer a new interpretation of this great work, presenting the version that was used for the symphony’s premiere in 1881.
New Release of the Week
Verdi: Les Vêpres siciliennes: Ô jour de peine et de souffrance (9:58)
Bryan Hymel, tenor; Prague Philharmonia / Emmanuel Villaume
‘Héroïque’ is tenor Bryan Hymel’s first studio recording for Warner Classics. Its imaginatively conceived program showcases him in repertoire that he has made his own on stages such as the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden and the Bavarian State Opera: opera in French that demands a thrilling heroism in both voice and style. The music also requires a top register of outstanding brilliance, since the album offers a grand total of 19 high C’s.
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.