Steinberg: Passion Week: Alleluia; Behold, the Bridegroom Comes; Thy Bridal Chamber (10:13)
Clarion Choir / Steven Fox
Passion Week is a long-lost choral masterpiece composed by Rimsky-Korsakov’s favorite student, heir apparent and son-in-law, Maximilian Steinberg. A product of his interest in the sacred and mystical, it is a tour de force of the systematic use of medieval Church Slavonic chant melodies and shares with Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil the colorful use of choral textures. Steinberg’s settings are complex and rich, with a diverse and sometimes daring harmonic palette.
Ravel: Boléro (15:59)
Vienna Philharmonic / Semyon Bychkov
Sony Classical has released the Summer Night Concert 2016 with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Seymon Bychkov and featuring guest pianists Katia and Marielle Labéque. This annual open-air event has been held since 2008 on the park grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. Recorded live on May 26, 2016, the program focuses entirely on French composers covering the period between Romanticism and Neoclassicism with pieces by Bizet, Berlioz, Poulenc and Ravel.
Liszt: Venezia e Napoli (17:51)
Benjamin Grosvenor, piano
British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor explores works by composers paying tribute to their predecessors. Among these works, Mendelssohn looks back to the Prelude & Fugue form of Bach; and Franck does likewise (adding a Chorale as a central section). Busoni transforms Bach’s great solo violin Chaconne; Chopin breathes new life into the Barcarolle, followed by Liszt’s tribute to Italian folk song, Venezia e Napoli.
Dyens: Tango en Skaï (2:51)
Tárrega: Capricho árabe (5:05)
Jacob Cordover, guitar
Following his previous Cala album Blackwattle Caprices, Jacob Cordover presents a new disc featuring some of the most well-known and best-loved guitar repertoire, particularly featuring the great composers of the Spanish guitar and their Latin American counterparts. He also includes some arrangements of modern popular songs.
Puts: Symphony No 2 (21:39)
Peabody Symphony Orchestra / Marin Alsop
Awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2012, Kevin Puts now stands in the forefront of contemporary American composers. His powerfully conceived Symphony No 2 is a musical illustration of the events of 9/11 and traces a movement from unsuspecting bliss and rhapsody through violent upheaval to a reflective epilogue that contains both uncertainty and hope. Inspired by thoughts of the Mississippi, River’s Rush employs novel harmonies, while elegant transparency distinguishes the refined beauty of the Flute Concerto.
Moszkowski, orch. Scharwenka: Spanish Dances, Op 12
San Francisco Ballet Orchestra / Martin West
Moritz Moszkowski (1854-1925) is best known for his piano works. He also composed an opera, a full-length ballet, three orchestra suites, a symphony, songs, concertos and chamber music – almost all of which remain neglected or forgotten. The San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and Martin West have assembled an intriguing program of largely first recordings of Moszkowski’s most memorable orchestral compositions.
Tchaikovsky: Souvenir d’un lieu cher, Op 42 (18:55)
Jennifer Koh, violin; Odense Symphony Orchestra / Alexander Vedernikov
Tchaikovsky’s works for violin and orchestra, though few in number and written within just three years, contain the hallmarks of his language. Violinist Jennifer Koh brings them together on one album, with a conductor and orchestra with whom she developed close bonds early in her career: Russian conductor Alexander Vedernikov and Denmark’s Odense Symphony Orchestra.
Sibelius: Symphony No 3 in C major, Op 52 (29:50)
Minnesota Orchestra / Osmo Vänskä
This is the much-anticipated final release in the Minnesota Orchestra’s survey of Sibelius’ complete symphonies. Recorded at Orchestra Hall in May and June 2015, the album features Music Director Osmo Vänskä leading the Orchestra in Sibelius’ lean and beautiful Third Symphony, the mysterious Sixth and his majestic, one-movement Seventh Symphony, a crowning achievement of the Finnish composer’s life and work.
Sor: Six Little Pieces, Op 32 (12:35)
Jeffrey McFadden, guitar
Fernando Sor was not only one of the great guitarists of his era but a major composer for the instrument, described by a contemporary critic as “the Beethoven of the guitar.” The 24 Progressive Lessons offer a panoramic lexicon for the student, moving from a simple waltz to perpetual motion, while the charming Six Little Pieces further explore technical efficiency and musical expressiveness.
Balakirev: Tamara (19:36)
London Symphony Orchestra / Valery Gergiev
The London Symphony Orchestra has received widespread acclaim for its exploration of Rachmaninoff’s symphonies. With music director Valery Gergiev, the LSO completes the cycle with an engrossing performance of Symphony No 1, coupled alongside another Russian masterpiece, Balakirev’s Tamara.