Gál: Symphony No 2 in F, Op 53: I, Introduction (Andante – Adagio) (7:44); II, Allegro energico – Molto moderato (8:21)
Orchestra of the Swan / Kenneth Woods
The first two volumes of this intriguing series, featuring the four symphonies of Hans Gál and Robert Schumann, have shed new light on these often misunderstood composers and won wide critical acclaim. Volume 3 pairs Gál’s lyrical and deeply moving Second Symphony, written in the aftermath of family tragedy, with Schumann’s groundbreaking Fourth, which Gál described as the composer’s ‘most ingenious experiment in form.’
Beethoven: String Quartet No 6 in B-flat major, Op 18, No 6 (24:08)
During the past ten years, the Cremona Quartet has grown into a quartet of international renown, combining the Italian culture of string playing with an awareness of historical performance practice. The first volume of their series of the complete Beethoven quartets comprises three distinctive works from the composer’s early, middle and late periods.
Ljova: Culai: Love Potion, Expired (3:55); Funeral Doina (for Culai) (5:04)
Brooklyn Rider has joined the Mercury Classics label in an exclusive partnership. The first album – ‘A Walking Fire’ – reflects the artistic independence and enterprising mix of classic quartet literature and new works that have earned the foursome of violinist Johnny Gandelsman, violinist Colin Jacobsen, violist Nicholas Cords and cellist Eric Jacobsen such wide acclaim. ‘A Walking Fire’ features a string quartet by Béla Bartók alongside new works by contemporary Russian-American composer Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin and Brooklyn Rider’s own Colin Jacobsen.
New Release of the Week
Britten: Songs from the Chinese, Op 58 (9:05)
Ian Bostridge, tenor; Xuefei Yang, guitar
English composer Benjamin Britten was one of the most prolific song composers of the 20th century. His song cycles were an important part of his body of work. In celebration of Britten’s 100th birthday anniversary, Ian Bostridge releases a recital disc devoted to the composer’s lieder. Supporting Bostridge in this recording are pianist Antonio Pappano and guitarist Xuefei Yang.
Brahms: Ballade in D major, Op 10, No 2 (6:48); Ballade in G minor, Op 118, No 3 (3:10); Intermezzo in B-flat minor, Op 117, No 2 (3:45); Rhapsody in E-flat major, Op 119, No 4 (5:08)
Barry Douglas, piano
This is Volume 2 in a series devoted to the works for solo piano by Johannes Brahms, with the acclaimed pianist Barry Douglas. Since winning the Gold
Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow, Douglas has established a major international career, and his reputation as a pianist and conductor continues to grow.
A Scarlatti: Dixit Dominus (24:11)
Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano; Sally Bruce-Payne, mezzo-soprano; Guy Cutting, tenor; Matthew Brook, bass; Choir of Queen’s College, Oxford; Brook Street Band / Owen Rees
Following five critically acclaimed and popular recordings for Avie, the Brook Street Band embarks on their most ambitious project to date: a recording with the Choir of the Queen’s College, Oxford, that pairs — for the first time ever — the two settings of the Dixit Dominus written by Alessandro Scarlatti and George Frideric Handel. On this recording, the massed forces are joined by five of Britain’s brightest young singers.
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No 24 in F-sharp major, Op 78 (9:42)
Jonathan Biss, piano
On this second volume in his complete cycle of Beethoven’s 32 sonatas, Jonathan Biss has chosen the the early Op 7 from 1796 to open the recital. This sonata is exceeded in length and grandeur only by the Hammerklavier. He follows this with another early sonata, the famous Moonlight, and the fascinating Fantasy Op 77, concluding with one of the composer’s own favorites, the delightful Op 78, which may have been intended as a companion work to the Fantasy.
Schubert: String Quintet in C major, D 956: I, Allegro ma non troppo (19:39)
Janine Jansen & Boris Brovtsyn, violins; Amihai Grosz, viola; Torleif Thedéen & Jens Peter Maintz, cellos
Schubert’s last and greatest chamber work, the String Quintet in C major, is contrasted with the young Schoenberg’s earliest masterpiece, Verklärte Nacht. For this recording, derived from live performances given in Dortmund in May 2012, Janine Jansen is joined by a group of exceptional young musicians who are all fellow members of Spectrum Concerts Berlin, the prestigious German chamber music group with whom Jansen has played since 1998.
Monteverdi: Selva morale e spirituale: Magnificat (12:07)
The Sixteen / Harry Christophers
This recording is the last of three volumes of The Sixteen’s series devoted to Monteverdi’s Selva morale e spirituale. Monteverdi was the among the greatest of the early Baroque composers. He revolutionized the music of the theater and the church by his dramatic and imaginative use of voices and instruments and by his daring harmonies and rhythms. Next to his Vespers of 1610, the Selva morale e spirituale of 1641 is his most significant and virtuosic collection of sacred music.
New Release of the Week
Sanjuán: Una leyenda (5:22)
Cassadó: Catalanesca (3:06)
Mompou: Canción y Danza (3:49)
Roberto Moronn Pérez, guitar
The genesis for this project is a collection of pieces recovered in 2001 at Andrés Segovia’s home in Spain. These pieces were dedicated to Segovia or commissioned by him, involving composers from eight countries. They were subsequently published as “The Segovia Archive Series.” Guitarist Roberto Moronn Pérez researched these newly recovered works and found that some pieces had never been recorded. He has now started a series of albums organized around the nationalities of the composers in the archive. The Spanish composers recorded here are the first in the series.