Mozart: Piano Concerto No 23 in A major, K 488 (27:02)
Ingrid Jacoby, piano; Academy of St Martin in the Fields / Sir Neville Marriner
Praised by The New York Times for her ‘clear articulation…unequivocal phrasing…and expressivity,’ Ingrid Jacoby’s new recording features Mozart’s Concertos Nos 21 and 23, along with the Rondo, K 386. Accompanied by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields conducted by Sir Neville Marriner, Jacoby’s latest album follows her previous recording dedicated to Mozart’s Concertos Nos 14 and 17, which received excellent reviews.
Bloch: Poems of the Sea (11:10)
Janice Weber, piano
The sea has always been a powerful inspiration for composers and musicians. ‘Seascapes’ is a collection of some of the most interesting pieces in piano literature influenced by or written for the ocean. Each piece evokes a different sense of the sea’s limitless moods. From peaceful meditations, dramatic reflections of violent waves, to a depiction of marine luminescence, the pieces in ‘Seascapes’ and Janice Weber’s playing truly encompass the vast possibilities for creation that the sea can inspire.
Rodgers: Little Girl Blue (5:35)
Sonia Wieder-Atherton, cello; Bruno Fontaine, piano
Cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton continues her journey down the road less traveled with an album showcasing her gifts for bringing together disparate influences and genres. On ‘Little Girl Blue,’ she pays homage to Nina Simone, performing arrangements of some of the jazz legend’s songs with pianist Bruno Fontaine and percussionist Laurent Kraif.
Purcell: The Indian Queen: Act I (12:05)
The Sixteen / Harry Christophers
Harry Christophers writes, “Henry Purcell was a brilliant music dramatist and in The Indian Queen there is a plethora of detail, color and characterization to be explored in every symphony, air and dance. Purcell’s instrumental writing leaps off the page with string writing that is second to none and a wealth of variety capped by exquisite writing for trumpet, oboes and recorders. Based on John Dryden’s play, Purcell’s music from The Indian Queen deals with the conflict between the Mexicans and Peruvians and principally with Queen Zempoalla.”
Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op 115: Finale (10:13)
Brahms/Borzó: Hungarian Dance No 1 in G minor (5:26)
Andreas Ottensamer, clarinet; Leonidas Kavakos & Christoph Koncz, violins; Antoine Tamestit, viola; Stephan Koncz, cello; Ödön Rácz, double bass; Oszkár Ökrös, cimbalom
Austrian clarinetist Andreas Ottensamer presents a new album which explores the connections Brahms had to Hungarian folk music. Joined by a virtuoso ensemble of musicians, Ottensamer plays Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet combined with his Hungarian dances and waltzes. All the music is newly arranged to include additional material from Brahms’ original musical sources, with an authentic folk twist.
Sor: Variations on a Scottish Theme, Op 40 (9:04)
Villa-Lobos: Schottish Chôro (4:07)
Christoph Denoth, guitar
Swiss Guitarist Christoph Denoth explores musical ‘homages’ for the classical guitar. He says, “Homages and dedications have often a veiled mystique: the relationship between the composer and somebody else; a story and emotional experience hidden in the music. Homages are created from the heart, and reach out and engage the heart of the listener. To whom they are dedicated is not always easy to fathom, but they can speak and bloom as though they were only written for oneself, creating a poetry and beauty which fills our heart.”
Saint-Saëns: Symphony No 3 in C minor, Op 78, Organ: Finale (15:33)
Carl Adam Landström, organ; Malmö Symphony Orchestra / Marc Soustrot
Inspired by Liszt, to whose memory the work is dedicated, Camille Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No 3 is ground-breaking in its inclusion of organ and piano. For the composer this represented ‘the progress made in modern instrumentation’ and the result is a work both spectacular and grandiose. By contrast the Symphony in A, his first completed symphony, is a youthful piece, fully revealing his admiration for Mozart. Le rouet d’Omphale, dating from the 1870s, is an impressively atmospheric tone poem.
Zemlinsky: Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid): II, Sehr bewegt (17:16)
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra / John Storgårds
The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra under John Storgårds offer a fascinating program of two major orchestral works by Alexander Zemlinsky (1871-1942). Die Seejungfrau (Mermaid) is a powerful 3-movement symphonic “fantasy” on a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen written in 1902. This release is the first recording of a new critical version based on the original score. The Sinfonietta, Op 34, is an excellent example of his late orchestral writing and stylistic evolution.
Handel: Keyboard Suite No 5 in E major (13:32)
Philip Edward Fisher, piano
Although Handel is not known for his keyboard music today, he was a gifted performer who astonished his contemporaries with his mastery of the instrument. First published in 1720, the ‘eight great suites’ contain some of Handel’s most beautiful music and were immensely popular in their time. These final four suites illuminate not only his melodic gifts and dramatic flair, but his ability to unify a variety of forms and styles into a complete and magnificent whole.
Dowland: Can she excuse my wrongs (2:15); Flow my tears (4:25); Now, O now I needs must part/Frog Galliard (5:20)
Iestyn Davies, countertenor; Thomas Dunford, lute; Jonathan Manson, viol
Celebrated for the crystalline beauty of his voice and the daring of his artistry, Iestyn Davies visited London’s Wigmore Hall in July 2013 to voyage through the world of late Tudor and Stuart lute songs and a new work by Nico Muhly. Recorded live, this program exhibits the poetic eloquence which runs through the work of John Danyel, Thomas Campion, Robert Johnson and, above all, John Dowland.