Wagner, arr. Josef Rubinstein: Siegfried Idyll (19:31)
David Deveau, piano
David Deveau’s latest offering explores the interconnectedness of the lives and careers of three musical titans – Wagner, Liszt, and Brahms. The disc includes the rarely recorded solo piano arrangement of Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll. The New York Times declared one of Deveau’s recent recitals as, “one of those musical events that linger long in the memory – not for grandeur of effect and not for dazzlement, but for lyric expression that goes straight to the heart of the matter.”
Brahms: Piano Concerto No 2 in B-flat major, Op 83: I, Allegro non troppo (18:41)
Daniel Barenboim, piano; Berlin Staatskapelle / Gustavo Dudamel
Daniel Barenboim has recorded the Brahms piano concertos on several previous occasions – and always with partners who have meant a lot to him. His latest recording was taken from performances in Berlin in September 2014. His partner was conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Barenboim said of their collaboration, “Whenever I had to play myself, I was able to count on him completely. And when I didn’t have to play, it was a joy to see how well he works with the orchestra.”
Trad Yemeni: Dror Yikra (4:16)
Anon: Te lucis ante terminum (1:42); Nunc dimittis (2:48)
Timna Brauer, vocals; Elias Meiri Ensemble; Cistercian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz
After their 2008 global hit ‘Chant,’ the Cistercian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz return with a new album. ‘Chant for Peace’ mixes the brothers’ ancient plainchant with the Hasidic and Yemeni vocals of Timna Brauer, who represented Austria in the Eurovision Song Contest. For Brauer, the secret to their collaboration is that they are singing from the same hymn sheet: “The Jewish Yemeni and Hasidic music comes from Old Testament psalms, just like the Gregorian chants.”
Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Aria, Variations 1–7 (14:51)
Lars Vogt, piano
Pianist Lars Vogt presents one of the classic works of the Baroque repertoire. Originally written for the harpsichord, the Goldberg Variations, published in 1741, embody an Aria with 30 variations and a coda. Vogt believes that “one has to ‘de-sanctify’ the work. One has to take a step back and simply take it as a piece that Bach thought out at that time. He didn’t necessarily want to leave a last will and testament. I believe that he simply took delight in the experiment of constructing canons around these variations, of experimenting structurally.”
Bach, arr. Joe Chindamo: Goldberg Variations BWV 988: Variations 8–14 (14:21)
Zoë Black, violin: Joe Chindamo, piano
A feature of Baroque counterpoint is that it allows composers to include many layers without compromising the underlying architecture. Thus a version of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, in which the piano part remains unaltered but an extra violin line is added, can represent an exciting and daring venture consistent with the characteristics of the style. Such an undertaking requires great harmonic knowledge and a refined sense of melody. Happily, composer and pianist Joe Chindamo displays such sensitivity in his new arrangement.
Haydn: Symphony No 101 in D major, The Clock (26:50)
Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Robin Ticciati
This recording is the first of two which sees Robin Ticciati and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra present an overview of Haydn’s symphonic repertoire. From Haydn’s early period, the Baroque-influenced Horn Signal has highly contrapuntal elements. Comparatively, the first of Haydn’s famous London Symphonies, the Clock, has its focus firmly on the future. Ticciati’s approach takes the best elements of authenticity present in period performances, but with the dynamic range, space and color that modern performance practice brings.
Tsintsadze: Five Pieces on Folk Themes (15:16)
Amit Peled, cello; Noreen Cassidy-Polera, piano
From the United States to Europe to the Middle East and Asia, Israeli cellist Amit Peled is acclaimed as one of the most exciting instrumentalists on the concert stage today. For his fourth Centaur Records release, Peled and pianist Noreen Cassidy-Polera play Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata, David Popper’s Tarantella, and a mid-20th century sonata by the Georgian composer Sulkhan Tsintsadze.
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op 43 (24:56)
Daniil Trifonov, piano; Philadelphia Orchestra / Yannick Nézet-Séguin
One of today’s most popular and critically-acclaimed pianists, Daniil Trifonov presents an album of variations by Rachmaninoff. It includes performances of the solo works Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Variations on a Theme of Chopin and Trifonov’s own Rachmaniana. Also included is the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini for which Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra join.
Santoliquido: I canti della sera (10:09)
Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano; Antonio Pappano, piano
Joyce DiDonato and Antonio Pappano opened the 2014-15 season at London’s Wigmore Hall with a dazzling program devoted to the duo’s American and Italian connections. The first item was Haydn’s dramatic cantata Arianna a Naxos. Then came songs by Rossini, who has played a defining role in DiDonato’s operatic career, and four late-Romantic numbers written in 1908 by the little-known Neapolitan composer Francesco Santoliquido. In the second half, the pair shifted gears effortlessly for a set from the Great American Songbook.
Debussy: Reflets dans l’eau (5:02)
Gao Ping: Love Song of Kangdin (3:40)
Frederic Chiu, piano
Pianist Frederic Chiu is an acclaimed artist who has pushed boundaries in the world of classical music – from performance protocols and recording, to teaching and technology. Chiu’s first recording of Debussy features ten selections by the composer that are among the most beloved in the piano repertoire, interspersed with six pieces by Szechuan-born pianist/composer Gao Ping.