Halvorsen: Violin Concerto, Op 28 (21:43)
Henning Kraggerud, violin; Malmö Symphony Orchestra / Bjarte Engeset
Johan Halvorsen was one of Norway’s most talented violinists and an internationally renowned conductor and composer. With its beautifully lyrical themes and Norwegian character, his Violin Concerto was performed to great acclaim in 1909. It was considered lost, only to be rediscovered in 2015 in the archive of its original soloist. Nielsen’s Violin Concerto combines emotive power with a delightfully pastoral character.
Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No 1 in F minor, Op 1 (6:52)
Ilya Yakushev, piano
Russian pianist Ilya Yakushev, with many awards and honors to his credit, continues to astound and mesmerize audiences at major venues on three continents. He continues his survey of Sergei Prokofiev’s complete piano sonatas with Volume 2, playing the First, Second and Ninth sonatas.
Strauss, arr. Ochoa: Ariadne auf Naxos Suite: Excerpts (15:18)
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra / JoAnn Falletta
Richard Strauss’ Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme was one of his own favorite scores, a jewel of incidental music that combines the composer’s romanticism with his love of Baroque music. D. Wilson Ochoa has created a new symphonic suite from Strauss’ opera Ariadne auf Naxos, enabling the orchestra to revel in the composer’s incomparable blend of poignancy, humor and melodic richness.
Liszt: Paraphrase on a Waltz from Gounod’s Faust (10:57)
Gábor Farkas, piano
Hungarian virtuoso Gábor Farkas performs a stunning recital of opera and song by Verdi, Wagner, Gounod, Chopin and Schumann in formidable arrangements by Franz Liszt for solo piano. This is Farkas’s debut album on the Steinway label. It comes after his recent win of the New York Concert Artists Award in 2015.
Debussy: Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp (17:00)
The trio Hat Trick performs the recently published Carl Fischer edition of Debussy’s Sonata. The edition honors all of Debussy’s original indications, many of which were omitted during the work’s previous editions. Hat Trick also performs works by Dubois, Takemitsu and Gubaidulina, and gives the world premiere recording of Miguel del Aguila’s Submerged, composed for the trio.
Ewazen: Canticum Honoris Amicorum (6:09)
American Brass Quintet
Internationally recognized as one of the premier chamber music ensembles of our time, the American Brass Quintet is celebrated for peerless leadership in the brass world. With this new album of four commissions, the ensemble continues its tradition of championing new works by distinguished American composers.
Hillborg: The Strand Settings: Dark Harbor XI (5:41)
Renée Fleming, soprano; Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra / Sakari Oramo
Soprano Renée Fleming returns with a new recital of songs. Her selections include Samuel Barber’s famous Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and The Strand Settings, a four-song cycle by Anders Hillborg which was commissioned by Carnegie Hall and is dedicated to Fleming. The recital finishes with three new arrangements of songs by Icelandic singer Björk.
Bolcom: The Graceful Ghost Rag (4:35); Glad Rag (3:46)
Spencer Myer, piano
Ragtime, the syncopated, dance-like genre made popular in the late 19th century by composers like Scott Joplin, experienced a renaissance in the mid 20th century, spurred in part by the works of William Bolcom. He describes his original rags as “picking up a dropped thread of our emerging American tradition.” American pianist Spencer Myer picks up that same thread with his latest recording.
J Strauss, Jr: Tausend und eine Nacht Waltz, Op 346 (8:32); Tik-Tak Polka, Op 365 (2:42)
Vienna Philharmonic / Gustavo Dudamel
The New Year’s Concert in Vienna can trace its origins to December 31, 1939. The concert initially took place on the last day of the year. By 1941, however, it was being held on January 1, when the Vienna Philharmonic established a tradition that continues to flourish to this day. The 2017 New Year’s Concert was directed by Gustavo Dudamel, the youngest ever conductor to lead this event.
Schubert: Der Sänger (6:24)
Nicholas Phan, tenor; Myra Huang, piano
Fulfilling a life-long fascination with myths and legends, tenor Nicholas Phan pairs with pianist Myra Huang for “Gods & Monsters.” They explore great Austrian and German Romantic composers’ meditations on the title subjects and their fellow fantastical creatures such as witches, knights and kings.