Bach: English Suite No 5 in E minor, BWV 810 (20:27)
Piotr Anderszewski, piano
“The wonderful thing is that the modern piano can suggest so many instruments. Playing Bach on the piano, it’s really all about suggestion,” says Piotr Anderszewski. More than ten years since the release of his first recording of Bach’s English Suites, these interpretations of Suites 1, 3 and 5 join the Warners Classics catalog. Anderszewski’s concert performances of Bach in 2013 prompted the New York Times to write: “He revels in the full range of timbres afforded by the modern piano.”
Cavalieri: Rappresentatione di Anima et di Corpo: Excerpts (12:17)
Soloists; Berlin Staatsoper Chorus; Concerto Vocale; Berlin Academy of Ancient Music / René Jacobs
Composed at a time when neither oratorio nor opera existed, Cavalieri’s Rappresentatione (premiered in 1600) is a magisterial musical drama. Set as a dialogue between Soul and Body – an emblematic theme of the Counter-Reformation – it employs singers, chorus and a large orchestra whose varied timbres both accompany and characterize the soloists. At the dawn of the Baroque revolution, song, stage action, dance, and instrumental music combine in perfect harmony. The extensive booklet includes notes on the work and on performance practice by René Jacobs and a full libretto.
Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine: Deus in adiutorium (2:04); Dixit Dominus (7:08)
The Sixteen / Harry Christophers
The Sixteen and Harry Christophers perform a work often classed as one of the most significant collections of sacred music ever written: Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610. Christophers writes: “Its variety alone makes it unique – thrilling psalm settings with virtuosic writing for both multi-part choir and instrumentalists to exotic and sensual settings of texts from the Song of Songs for solo voices. Every movement is full of luscious harmonies, drama and an evocative musical language which is so beautifully constructed.”
New Release of the Week
Vivaldi: (Lute) Concerto in D major, R 93 (9:22)
Avi Avital, mandolin; Venice Baroque Orchestra
Avi Avital re-imagines the sounds of Venice in this vivid homage to the most beloved composer of the Italian Baroque, Antonio Vivaldi. After his introduction with Bach and the colorful exploration of world music on ‘Between Worlds,’ Avital presents four popular Vivaldi concertos on this album with the Venice Baroque Orchestra, as well as an 18th-century Venetian gondolier song with tenor Juan Diego Flórez.
Bach, arr Brahms: (Violin) Partita No 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: Chaconne (11:48)
Jean Rondeau, harpsichord
‘Imagine’ is the first Erato release from the dynamic young French harpsichordist Jean Rondeau, who sees it as “an exploration of all the possibilities that lie in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and in the harpsichord.” The album features one of Bach’s most celebrated harpsichord works, the Italian Concerto, but it mainly comprises transcriptions of music that Bach conceived for other instruments: violin, lute and flute.
Fiala: English Horn Concerto in C major (12:00)
Albrecht Mayer, English horn; Potsdam Chamber Academy
Albrecht Mayer presents rare oboe concertos from the 18th century which he discovered in music archives in Thuringia and Saxony. With his unmistakable sound, Mayer breathes new life into these long-lost jewels of German high classicism. The four concertos are direct predecessors to Mozart. There is even evidence Mozart knew and studied these works, and may even have had a hand in the composition of the work of Kozeluch.
Newman: Family Album (10:31)
Gloria Cheng, piano
The six composers featured on pianist Gloria Cheng’s album ‘Montage’ are among today’s most sought-after creators of film music – composers that have amply demonstrated their skill at creating mood and propelling action. However, when working away from the movie screen, what melodies, harmonies and cadences haunt their private dreams? Cheng offers an answer to those questions with compelling first recordings of their works for solo piano, a medium that can often reveal a composer’s truest voice.
Nielsen: Havet omkring Danmark (2:42); I solen går jeg bag min plov (2:32); Nu skal det åbenbares (3:20); Nu lyser løv i lunde (2:28)
Ars Nova Copenhagen / Michael Bojesen
“It is strange that when I write these simple melodies, it is as if I am not the composer – it is people from my childhood or the Danish people who want something through me.” Thus said Carl Nielsen, who was devoted to renewing the Danish song tradition and whose melodies are still at the heart of Danish community song today. On this recording, Ars Nova Copenhagen presents a selection of Nielsen’s most popular songs under conductor Michael Bojesen.
Nielsen: Symphony No 5, Op 50 (36:57)
New York Philharmonic / Alan Gilbert
Denmark’s great symphonist and national composer Carl Nielsen sought out new musical paths until the end of his life. His last two symphonies, Nos 5 and 6, complete the picture of the composer’s artistic development, which was always ahead of his surroundings. This recording by the New York Philharmonic and its music director Alan Gilbert sheds new light on the originally conceived, momentous struggle of the Fifth Symphony as well as the Sixth Symphony’s irony, which was difficult to understand in its time but supplied succeeding generations of composers with symphonic fuel.
Vivaldi: Bassoon Concerto in B-flat major, R 504 (11:59)
Daniel Smith, bassoon; Zagreb Soloists / Tonko Ninić
The most remarkable thing about Vivaldi’s concertos for bassoon is their sheer number – thirty-nine, including two incomplete works. No other composer has produced more than a handful. Daniel Smith was the first bassoonist to record all of Vivaldi’s concertos for the instrument, and this pioneering and acclaimed survey is now presented as a complete set on Decca.