Hildegard von Bingen: O ignis spiritus paracliti (8:37)
A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra
‘Dreams & Prayers’ century-hops over a millennium of music, juxtaposing A Far Cry’s own arrangements of music by Hildegard von Bingen and Ludwig van Beethoven with recent works by Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol (created for and premiered by the ensemble) and Osvaldo Golijov (an arrangement receiving its first recording).
Pärt: Peace upon you, Jerusalem (5:09); Summa (5:10)
Polyphony / Stephen Layton
Stephen Layton and Polyphony have a long and fruitful relationship with the music of Arvo Pärt. Their recording of Triodion and other choral works won a Gramophone Award. This third Pärt album reaches back to the composer’s early modernist phase and spans nearly five decades in the process. It reflects a broad spread of languages and sources in Pärt’s chosen texts. Latin, German and English are joined here by Church Slavonic and Spanish. A range of biblical texts are set alongside ancient prayers.
Bruch: Scottish Fantasy in E-flat major, Op 46 (31:00)
Jack Liebeck, violin; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Martyn Brabbins
Violinist Jack Liebeck has released the first of three albums devoted to the music of Max Bruch. This program presents one of Bruch’s most popular pieces, the Scottish Fantasy, alongside one of his least known, the Violin Concerto No 3 in D minor, Op 58. It was written for Joseph Joachim who gave the premiere in Düsseldorf and subsequently played the concerto in other German cities and in London.
CPE Bach: Variations on Les Folies d’Espagne (8:29)
Ana-Marija Markovina, piano
Ana-Marija Markovina has worked with the music of CPE Bach for over ten years and is thoroughly versed in his style. Markovina chose to play a modern Concert Grand (Bösendorfer) for this project—an instrument that can truly realize all the subtle dynamic shadings and delicacies of these extraordinary works. This is the first recording of the complete piano works by CPE Bach.
New Release of the Week
Bach: Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041 (13:09)
Academy of St Martin in the Fields / Joshua Bell, violin
Following last year’s acclaimed all-Beethoven recording, violinist Joshua Bell continues as Music Director and Conductor of the world-renowned Academy of St Martin in the Fields. On their new collaboration, this time with Bell also as a soloist, he conducts ASMF mostly from the concertmaster’s chair in an all-Bach program. Bell is the first American and first person to hold the title of Music Director since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958.
Thile/Meyer: It’s Dark in Here (5:40)
Chris Thile, mandolin; Edgar Meyer, double bass
‘Bass & Mandolin’ is the second recording collaboration by bassist Edgar Meyer and mandolinist Chris Thile. The album features ten original compositions by the two artists, who have been performing together sporadically for more than a decade and made their recording debut as a duo in 2008, which the Washington Post praised, saying “Thile and Meyer are most enthralling when they pass a melody back and forth, fingers flying.”
Haydn: Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat major, Hob I/105 (20:47)
Lucas Macías Navarro, oboe; Gregory Ahss, violin; Konstantin Pfiz, cello; Guilhaume Santana, bassoon; Orchestra Mozart / Claudio Abbado
The Swiss label Claves pays tribute to conductor Claudio Abbado, who died in January 2014. The importance of working with and learning from young people was one of Abbado’s main legacies. In 2004, he founded Orchestra Mozart as a meeting-place for young musicians from many countries. This recording is one of their last with Abbado; it features members of the orchestra as soloists in works by Mozart and Haydn.
Dvořák: Dumka & Furiant, Op 12 (8:56)
Lada Valešová, piano
Lada Valešová explores the Slavic musical soul through the dumka, the musical genre to which numerous composers turned to conjure their own aural imagery. In the music of Dvořák, Suk, Liszt, Balakirev, Tchaikovsky, Lysenko and Martinů, she says, “My aim is to take listeners on a journey through different Slavic landscapes, to evoke moods and memories, and to pique the curiosity about this compact word dumka and what lies behind it.”
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique: March to the Scaffold (6:51); Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath (9:54)
London Symphony Orchestra / Valery Gergiev
Berlioz let his imagination run wild in his music, finding inspiration in all manner of sources, including his own turbulent personal life. His experience of powerful, unrequited love finds its expression in the Symphonie Fantastique, the story of an artist’s ‘hopeless love’, complete with waltzes, witches and a hallucinogenic nightmare. As well as SACD, this recording by the London Symphony Orchestra will be released for the first time on the orchestra’s label on Pure Audio Blu-ray, which includes bonus HD video footage.
Mason Bates: Violin Concerto (2012) (25:02)
Anne Akiko Meyers, violin; London Symphony Orchestra / Leonard Slatkin
‘The American Masters’ explores deep connections between the composers and the performers. It features two world-premiere recordings: a violin concerto written for Anne Akiko Meyers by Mason Bates and the Lullaby for Natalie by John Corigliano, composed on the occasion of the birth of Meyers’ first child. Also included is Samuel Barber’s seminal Violin Concerto, a work with which Meyers made her recording debut at the age of 18. The musical DNA of Samuel Barber flows deeply throughout the entire program. Barber was Corigliano’s mentor and Corigliano mentored Mason Bates.