Fauré: Violin Sonata No 1 in A major, Op 13 (26:39)
Itzhak Perlman, violin; Emanuel Ax, piano
Itzhak Perlman celebrates his 70th birthday (August 31) with a new release on Deutsche Grammophon – his first new solo album in 16 years. This project brings Perlman together with his longtime friend and collaborator, Emanuel Ax, for performances of sonatas by Gabriel Fauré and Richard Strauss, two works new to Perlman’s discography.
López: Perú Negro (17:08)
Norwegian Radio Orchestra / Miguel Harth-Bedoya
Award-winning composer Jimmy López was recently hailed by the Chicago Sun-Times as “one of the most interesting young composers working anywhere today.” On this release from Harmonia Mundi, Miguel Harth-Bedoya leads the Norwegian Radio Orchestra in América Salvaje, Synesthésie, Perú Negro and Lord of the Air, a 2012 cello concerto featuring Jesús Castro-Balbi. All four works are being commercially released for the first time.
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No 1 in F-sharp minor, Op 1 (26:05)
Denis Matsuev, piano; Mariinsky Orchestra / Valery Gergiev
Denis Matsuev showcases works for piano and orchestra by three of Russia’s greatest composers – Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky and Shchedrin. Renowned for interpretations of music from his homeland, Matsuev’s previous releases on the Mariinsky Label, including Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No 3 and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, have received widespread acclaim.
Kapustin: Eight Concert Etudes, Op 40: Prelude (2:05); Reverie (3:12); Toccatina (2:10)
Alexandre Pirojenko, piano
“Alexandre Pirojenko has the technical skills to do anything he wants with a piano; better yet, what he wants to do is sensitive, original, and brilliant,” wrote the Washington Post after Pirojenko’s debut at the Kennedy Center. The pianist performs both as a recitalist and soloist with orchestras in many European countries and the U.S. His new album showcases works of virtuosity and intricacy by Debussy, Ravel and Kapustin.
Debussy: String Quartet in G minor, Op 10 (25:12)
Avalon String Quartet
The Avalon String Quartet makes its Cedille Records debut with a program of works by Claude Debussy, Benjamin Britten, Osvaldo Golijov, and rising American composer Stacy Garrop. The ensemble presents the world-premiere recording of Garrop’s String Quartet No 4, Illuminations, which is modeled on Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. The new work is a musical tour of illustrations from an ornate medieval manuscript.
Czerny: Rondoletto concertant in F major, Op 149 (10:04)
Kazunori Seo, flute; Makoto Ueno, piano
Virtuoso pianist Carl Czerny was a pupil and friend of Beethoven in Vienna. His prodigious output as a composer included numerous sets of variations on operatic themes, both with orchestra and in the form of chamber music. This album of works for flute and piano features pieces on themes of Rossini and Bellini, along with concerto-style compositions and other works showing Czerny’s elegance and refined artistry.
Compère: Mes pensées ne me lessent une heure (11:41)
The Orlando Consort’s third recording for Hyperion turns to the music of Loyset Compère, a composer the group first investigated some twenty years ago. In the intervening decades, the music world has learned more about this composer who’s considered something of a trailblazer. The wonderfully complex Magnificat recorded here is now thought to predate the masterworks of Josquin by some fifteen years. A gorgeous selection of motets and chansons further charts this period of radical musical experimentation.
New Release of the Week
Bach: Harpsichord Concerto No 1 in D minor, BWV 1052 (22:59)
Andreas Staier, harpsichord; Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
Bach’s seven inventive concertos for solo harpsichord and orchestra mark a key stage in the history of the concerto form. The set was compiled during Bach’s Leipzig years, when he directed the city’s Collegium Musicum, and requires unfailing virtuosity and imagination from its performers. In the interpretations of Andreas Staier and the Freiburger Barockorchester, these works come alive again in joyful readings that are sure to delight.
Herz: Grande fantaisie militaire sur La fille du régiment, Op 163 (12:55)
Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra / Howard Shelley, piano
Henri Herz was a piano phenomenon in 1830s Paris and later in the United States, but by the 1880s, his music had fallen out of style. As part of the ongoing series ‘The Romantic Piano Concerto,’ pianist Howard Shelley and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra reacquaint us with the music of Herz, performing one of his eight piano concertos and three other works for piano and orchestra.
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No 24 in F-sharp major, Op 78 (11:29)
Angela Hewitt, piano
Angela Hewitt has been much praised in her earlier recordings of Beethoven’s piano sonatas—displaying ‘exquisite taste’—and now turns her ‘uncluttered clarity of thought and inspired structural pacing’ to four more works spanning the composer’s career. As ever, Hewitt’s accompanying notes provide fascinating insights into both the music and her performances.