Saint-Saëns: Danse macabre, Op 40 (7:23)
Ives: Hallowe’en (2:31)
Dvořák: The Noon Witch, Op 108 (14:55)
Montreal Symphony Orchestra / Kent Nagano
In time for Halloween, ‘Danse Macabre’ presents a program of rare and familiar music to celebrate Halloween, with works by Dukas, Dvořák, Mussorgsky, Balakirev, Saint-Saëns, and Ives. This is the second recording to be released in Decca’s newly revived association with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Music Director Kent Nagano.
Brahms: String Quartet No 3 in B-flat major, Op 67 (35:11)
Based in Berlin, the Kuss Quartet, celebrated for their exciting programs as well as their captivating interpretations, are regular guests at renowned international concert halls and the most prestigious festivals. On their latest album, the group pairs Brahms’ last quartet with Schoenberg’s second quartet, which features a soprano joining the ensemble in the last two movements.
Debussy: Images pour orchestre: Ibéria (20:42)
San Francisco Symphony / Michael Tilson Thomas
Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony release an all-Debussy album illustrating the composer’s mastery with orchestration: Images pour orchestre, Jeux, and La plus que lente. Thomas comments, “Right from the start of my musical life, Debussy’s music captivated me. His orchestral music, especially the later works like those on this album, presents some of the greatest challenges in the whole repertory for both conductor and instrumentalists.”
Tallis: Spem in alium (10:22)
The Cardinall’s Musick / Andrew Carwood
Since 1989, The Cardinall’s Musick has been a highly successful and innovative ensemble. Taking its name from the 16th-century English cardinal Thomas Wolsey, the group’s reputation grew through its extensive study of music from the English Renaissance. Their exploration of Thomas Tallis’ sacred music comes to a close with both versions of the great forty-part motet: Spem in alium, and Sing and glorify, the less familiar English version.
Liszt: Transcendental Etudes: No 11, Harmonies du soir (9:29); No 12, Chasse-neige (5:52)
Daniil Trifonov, piano
Daniil Trifonov is one of the few pianists to have recorded Liszt’s concert Etudes in one concentrated period and the first to record them complete for Deutsche Grammophon. Trifonov’s approach to Liszt is informed by the legacy of the Russian school of piano playing in which he was raised. “Liszt’s technical virtuosity is just a means to evoke extremes of emotion,” observes Trifonov. “His compositions can be described as dynamic depictions of the spiritual experiences of a Romantic soul.”
Horner: First in Flight: Kitty Hawk (10:06)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / David Arnold
Collage is the last finished work by Oscar-winning composer James Horner, premiered and recorded under his personal supervision just weeks before his tragic accident in June 2015. Scored for four horns and full orchestra, it features Horner’s signature lush orchestrations and wide ranging melodic lines. The album is completed with new recordings of some of his most beloved film music.
Chopin: Introduction and Rondo in E-flat major, Op 16 (10:35)
Charles Richard-Hamelin, piano
Silver medalist and laureate of the Krystian Zimerman award of the best sonata at the International Chopin Piano Competition in 2015, Charles Richard-Hamelin stands out as one of the most important pianists of his generation. This recital of works by Beethoven, Enescu and Chopin was recorded in May 2016 in Quebec City.
Robert Ramsey: How are the mighty fallen (6:48)
William Harris: Bring us, O Lord God (3:34)
Choir of Clare College, Cambridge / Graham Ross
Graham Ross directs the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge in a wide-ranging and moving sequence of music for remembrance, including John Tavener’s Song for Athene, settings of the text When David heard by two of England’s foremost 16th-century composers, Thomas Tomkins and Thomas Weelkes, and Durufle’s 1948 setting of the Requiem Mass.
Schubert: Nocturne in E-flat major, D 897 (9:38)
Andreas Staier, fortepiano; Daniel Sepec, violin; Roel Dieltiens, cello
“One glance at Schubert’s trio, and the miserable hustle and bustle of human existence vanishes, the world takes on fresh luster,” wrote Robert Schumann in 1836 of Schubert’s Piano Trio, D 898. He was equally admiring of Schubert’s other great trio, D 929. Here, three peerless interpreters bring out every nuance of these endlessly fascinating works on period instruments, including a splendid copy of an 1827 Viennese fortepiano.
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor, Op 18 (34:52)
Alexandre Tharaud, piano; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Alexander Vedernikov
Alexandre Tharaud’s recorded catalog is large and eclectic, but this is the first time he has devoted an entire album to Russian repertoire – specifically to the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff. “I was still quite young when I first played this concerto,” explains Tharaud. “I adored it … Rachmaninoff’s virtuosity really appeals to young pianists. Today, of course I’m still enthralled by the concerto’s virtuosity, but now I’m more interested in its dark shadows: the sense of despair, of staring into the abyss. My interpretation of Rachmaninoff has changed a lot over the years.”