Robert Kyr: The Cloud of Unknowing: Part II, Songs of Dawn (12:13)
Estelí Gomez, soprano; David Farwig, baritone; Conspirare; Victoria Bach Festival Orchestra / Craig Hella Johnson
Craig Hella Johnson conducts this first recording of three choral works by Robert Kyr. Exploring the relationship between human and divine love, his cantatas The Cloud of Unknowing and Songs of the Soul transfixed audiences and critics alike when Conspirare premiered them. The texts are by the 16th-century Spanish mystics St Teresa of Ávila and St John of the Cross, some sung in Spanish, some in English translation. Kyr’s choral music is distinguished by a warmly compelling lyricism, as well as by a contrapuntal mastery that arises from his love of early music, especially the work of Dufay, Josquin Des Prez, and above all, Bach.
New Release of the Week
Tchaikovsky: The Seasons, Op 37b: July – October (13:47)
Pavel Kolesnikov, piano
Since becoming Prize Laureate of the Honens Prize for Piano in 2012, Pavel Kolesnikov has been winning acclaim around the world. A live recording of his performances, released on the Honens Label, was praised by BBC Music Magazine, who hailed its ‘tremendous clarity, unfailing musicality and considerable beauty.’ For his debut on Hyperion, Kolesnikov plays music of Tchaikovsky, including The Seasons, a cycle which takes listeners on a journey through the months of the year.
Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op 16: I, Allegro molto moderato (12:17)
Stewart Goodyear, piano; Czech National Symphony / Stanislav Bogunia
This album marks Stewart Goodyear’s debut on Steinway & Sons and is the first orchestral recording released on the label. The Canadian pianist is a notable concert soloist and has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among many. In 2013, Goodyear gave a series of marathon performances in the U.S. of the Beethoven Piano Sonatas, playing the complete cycle in a single, eleven-hour concert at each venue.
Glinka, arr Balakirev: The Lark (5:09)
Aminollah Hossein: Prelude No 1, Homage to Omar Khayyam (6:11)
Tara Kamangar, piano
Russia’s centuries-old geographic proximity to Muslim regions – historically regarded as part of the “Orient” – has resulted in considerable cultural and artistic cross-fertilization, particularly in the realm of music. Most Russian composers during (and since) the Romantic era have incorporated elements of what one could call “oriental exoticism” into their compositions. Pianist Tara Kamangar – an American of Iranian descent – has made it her musical mission to explore such musical connections, specifically as they apply to the traditions of Iran and Russia.
Falla: Cuatro Piezas Españolas (15:42)
Brazilian Guitar Quartet
In this, the 2011 Latin Grammy–winning Brazilian Guitar Quartet’s sixth album on Delos, the ensemble pays homage to its rich and varied heritage as exemplified by the music of Spain – which, in turn, gave rise to Latin American music. The album’s eighteen selections – mostly dances – are derived primarily from piano works by six of the best–known 20th–century Spanish composers: Albéniz, Falla, Granados, Rodrigo, Mompou and Turina.
Strauss: Salome: Dance of the Seven Veils (9:46)
Suisse Romande Orchestra / Kazuki Yamada
Kazuki Yamada is the Principal Guest Conductor of the Suisse Romande Orchestra. This is their second recording from the Pentatone label on the theme of dance, with waltzes, polkas, mazurkas and gavottes weaving through the album. The program of 19th- and 20th-century music includes works by Liszt, Strauss, Korngold, Busoni and Schreker.
Gluck: Orphée et Eurydice: J’ai perdu mon Eurydice (4:20); Le cinesi: Son lungi e non mi brami (7:06)
Daniel Behle, tenor; Armonia Atenea / George Petrou
Celebrating the 300th anniversary of Gluck’s birth, Daniel Behle presents this album of Gluck’s lesser-known opera arias. Showcasing their rich variety of styles, he illustrates that these works are primed for revival. Behle is accompanied by one of Europe’s leading Baroque orchestras, Armonia Atenea, conducted by George Petrou. Four world premiere recordings are featured in a program which includes arias from ten different Gluck operas.
New Release of the Week
Previn: Violin Sonata No 2 (18:44)
Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin; Lambert Orkis, piano
With this special 2-CD collection – including world-premiere recordings of works by Previn and Penderecki and new recordings of Ravel and Massenet – Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lambert Orkis mark 25 years of “a level of artistic partnership that is rare, even in the highest echelons of concert performance” (Seattle Times). It was in December 1988 that the two gave their first joint recitals in the U.S. and immediately sensed that they shared a mutually sympathetic way of thinking about music. Ever since then, they have explored the musical worlds of many different composers in a wonderful artistic partnership.
Larsson: Music for Orchestra, Op 40 (23:00)
Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra / Andrew Manze
Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986) continues to be among the most popular composers in Sweden. Andrew Manze has launched a new series of recordings for CPO with Larsson’s most important symphonic works as performed by the Helsingborg Orchestra, where Manze is Principal Conductor. One of Larsson’s three symphonies forms the focus of each of the three volumes in this series.
Tallis: Te lucis ante terminum (3:18) with Christian Forshaw, saxophone
Williams: Hymn to the Fallen (4:43)
Hawes: Reflexionem (3:28) with Matthew Sharp, cello
One of Britain’s most exciting and versatile vocal ensembles makes its debut on Decca with the release of “Eventide.” Voces8 features eight young singers who form one perfectly-blended sound. Their program, which explores the magical space between day and night, ranges from medieval plainchant to works by important contemporary choral composers.