Bruckner: Symphony No 9 in D minor: I, Feierlich (27:31)
London Symphony Orchestra / Bernard Haitink
Bernard Haitink is internationally renowned for his interpretations of Bruckner’s symphonies, which are often described as ‘Gothic cathedrals in sound’ – an apt description considering the composer’s devout faith and early vocation as an organist. He died before he could finish his Symphony No 9, but within its three movements can be found some of his most complete music, imbued with a sense of deep solace and resolution.
Augusta Read Thomas: Carillon Sky (8:20)
Baird Dodge, violin; Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNOW Ensemble / Oliver Knussen
This release is the first in a series presenting the music of the eminent American composer Augusta Read Thomas, and contains the following performances:
- Aureole for orchestra – DePaul University Symphony, Cliff Colnot conducting
- Words of the Sea for orchestra – Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Boulez conducting
- In My Sky at Twilight for soprano and ensemble – Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNOW Ensemble with soprano Christine Brandes, Pierre Boulez conducting
- Carillon Sky for solo violin and chamber ensemble – Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNOW Ensemble with violinist Baird Dodge, Oliver Knussen conducting
- Terpsichore’s Dream for chamber orchestra – ART Chamber Orchestra, Cliff Colnot conducting
- Silver Chants the Litanies for French horn and 18 players – Southern Methodist University Wind Ensemble with Greg Heustis on horn, Jack Delaney conducting
Handel: Harp Concerto in B-flat major, Op 4 No 6 (13:10)
Valérie Milot, harp; Les Violons du Roy / Bernard Labadie
The three concertos on this recording were all composed during eras in which the harp had yet to be brought to its full technical potential. However, Handel, Mozart and Boieldieu’s concertos all remain central works of the harp repertoire. Valérie Milot’s powerful and colorful playing highlights three important moments in the history of a fascinating instrument.
C.P.E. Bach: Magnificat: Excerpts (11:47)
Soloists; RIAS Chamber Choir; Berlin Academy of Ancient Music / Hans-Christoph Rademann
On April 9, 1786, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach conducted a charity concert in Hamburg featuring three of his finest and most representative works: the Symphony Wq 183/1, the Magnificat (written in 1749 in the hope of succeeding his father as Cantor in Leipzig) and Heilig ist Gott for double choir, of which he wrote, “It will be my swan song of this kind, and will serve to ensure that I shall not soon be forgotten after my death.” Released to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the composer’s birth, this recording recreating the program of that historic concert confirms the prophetic nature of the composer’s words.
Catalani: Il Mattino ‘Sinfonia romantica’ (14:44)
Rome Symphony Orchestra / Francesco La Vecchia
Alfredo Catalani is best known today for his opera La Wally, but he also experimented with a number of orchestral works, including three symphonies. Ero e Leandro, Catalani’s last orchestral work, evokes the dramatic tragedy of the Greek mythological lovers Hero and Leander. The brief Scherzo is a sparkling piece while the Andantino is noteworthy for its fluid melodic line. The lyricism of Contemplazione contrasts with Il Mattino, a single-movement symphony divided into several clearly distinguishable sections.
Bertali: Two-Violin Sonata in G (8:25)
Antonio Bertali was born in 1605 in Verona. In 1624 he moved to Vienna, where he was hired as a violinist and composer at the Habsburg Court. King Ferdinand III appointed Bertali Kappellmeister, a post which he held until his death in 1669. Bertali was a prolific composer of both sacred and secular music, ranging from oratorios and operas to instrumental sonatas, but few of his works were published and almost none survive. Nearly all of Bertali’s extant instrumental compositions (including twelve of the thirteen found in this recording) come from manuscript copies now located in libraries.
New Release of the Week
Porpora: Semiramide: Come nave in ria tempesta (5:14); Polifemo: Placidetti zefiretti (2:53) (with Cecilia Bartoli)
Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor; Venice Baroque Orchestra / Andrea Marcon
Philippe Jaroussky’s new album features opera arias written for the most famous castrato of all, Farinelli. The composer Nicola Porpora was Farinelli’s mentor and teacher, and despite a lesser-known status in modern times was a celebrated composer in his day, writing over 50 operas. This recording highlights 11 of his finest arias – 9 of which are appearing for the first time on CD – including 2 duets with famed mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli.
Vivaldi: String Concerto in B-flat major, R 166 (5:45)
Concerto Italiano / Rinaldo Alessandrini
The concertos for strings are a very special genre in Vivaldi’s output. Contrary to the concertos for solo instruments, those offer a real balance and amazing range of colors between all the intruments concerned. Following a successful first volume, released in 2004, Rinaldo Alessandrini and Concerto Italiano offer a new milestone recording in Vivaldi’s instrumental music, full of colors and refinement.
Czerny: Etude No 31 in A minor (1:14); Etude No 4 in B-flat major (2:18); Etude No 12 in D minor (1:35)
Chopin: Scherzo No 1 in B minor, Op 20 (8:29)
Dmitry Paperno, piano
Cedille Records’ inaugural artist, Dmitry Paperno, a major Soviet-era pianist and one of the “last living musical giants” (Bloomsbury Review) of a golden age of Russian concert artists, is heard on this comprehensive retrospective playlist in honor of this 85th birthday. The first ten tracks, comprising works by Scarlatti, Czerny and Moszkowki, were formerly owned by Moscow Radio and have never before been released in the West. The remaining tracks come from each of his 7 Cedille CDs, released between 1989 and 2004.
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 3 in C minor, Op 37 (35:03)
Vienna Philharmonic / Rudolf Buchbinder, piano
This 3-CD set features Rudolf Buchbinder as both soloist and conductor with the Vienna Philharmonic and is a live recording of concerts held in May 2011 at the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein. The performance was also released as a 2-DVD set in 2012. Buchbinder’s interpretations of Beethoven have been described as “channeling the music from some cosmic beyond” by The New York Times.