Saint-Saëns: Introduction et rondo capriccioso, Op 28 (10:01); La jota aragonese, Op 64 (3:50)
Alexandre Da Costa, violin; Oviedo Philharmonic / Marzio Conti
Canadian violinist Alexandre Da Costa was a prodigious talent on the violin and piano. The many prizes he has won include a Juno Award in 2012 and the Sylva Gelber Foundation Award from the Canada Council for the Arts. Marzio Conti has been music director of the Oviedo Philharmonic since 2011. Their album features works of Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No 3, Introduction & Rondo capriccioso and his most popular orchestral work, the ‘Organ’ Symphony.
Wagner/Gould/Williams: Götterdämmerung: Siegfried’s Rhine Journey (13:22)
Llŷr Williams, piano
Pianist Llyr Williams explores Richard Wagner’s rich and evocative sound world from a less well-known angle. Featuring insightful arrangements of Wagner’s operas by Franz Liszt and Glenn Gould (as well as Williams’ own arrangement of music from Parsifal), at the center of the program is a selection of Wagner’s own piano pieces – many of which were written earlier in his compositional career, hinting at the grand operatic masterworks which were yet to come.
New Release of the Week
Pacini: Stella di Napoli: Ove t’aggiri, o barbaro (4:29)
Donizetti: Maria Stuarda: Deh! Tu di un’umile preghiera (8:04)
Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano; Lyon National Opera Chorus & Orchestra / Riccardo Minasi
On her new album, Joyce DiDonato breathes new life into little-known arias by Mercadante, Michele Carafa (a student of Cherubini and close friend of Rossini), Carlo Valentini and the prolific opera composer Giovanni Pacini, whose Stella di Napoli gives the album its title. DiDonato worked closely with Italian conductor Riccardo Minasi to bring three neglected arias to light in new editions and world premiere recordings. Alongside these little-known gems, she presents music by the three bel canto greats — Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti.
Nielsen: Symphony No 1 in G minor, Op 7 (33:18)
New York Philharmonic / Alan Gilbert
Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic continue their highly praised Nielsen Project with the release of two great symphonies. This is the second recording in the series, drawn from the March 2014 performance featuring Symphonies Nos 1 and 4. The First was never previously performed by the New York Philharmonic. The Fourth, known as the “Inextinguishable,” is a powerful, intense and dramatic work of the composer’s maturity. Of this series, the New York Times stated “Music directors should have personal passions and it is heartening to see Mr. Gilbert turning one of his into a major statement.”
Scarlatti: Sonata in D major, K 96 (3:51); Sonata in E major, K 381 (2:43); Sonata in D major, K 119 (4:17)
Igor Kamenz, piano
The biography of Igor Kamenz is the story of a man for whom only music has ever counted. As a child prodigy, he gave widely admired piano recitals in the Soviet Union and conducted major orchestras at an early age. After his emigration to Germany in 1978, he maintained a career as a concert pianist. In 2013, a CD featuring his playing came into the hands of the Naïve label, who were immediately captivated by his talent. For his new recording, Kamenz has assembled sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti into what he calls a ‘suite in eighteen movements.’
Bach: Violin & Oboe Concerto in C minor, BWV 1060R (12:10)
Lisa Batiashvili, violin; François Leleux, oboe; Bavarian Radio Symphony Chamber Orchestra
Lisa Batiashvili presents a varied selection of chamber and orchestral music by Bach, including a first-ever recording of the famous aria Erbarme Dich in a transcription for violin, oboe and orchestra. On the double concerto for violin and oboe, BWV 1060, Batiashvili collaborates with her husband, the oboist Francois Leleux. For CPE Bach’s Trio Sonata in B-flat minor, she teams up with flutist Emmanuel Pahud of the Berlin Philharmonic.
New Release of the Week
Rózsa: Ben Hur: Love Theme (3:03)
Daniel Hope, violin; Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra / Alexander Shelley
Heymann: Ein blonder Traum: Irgendwo auf der Welt (3:23)
Daniel Hope, violin; Quintet of the Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin
Hupfeld: As Time Goes By (2:51)
Daniel Hope, violin
In his latest album, Daniel Hope shines a new light on Hollywood scores, seeking out the echoes of exiled European composers such as Miklós Rózsa, Franz Waxman, Hanns Eisler, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, and more. The centerpiece is the famous Violin Concerto by Korngold. The album also contains contemporary soundtrack classics such as Schindler’s List, American Beauty, and Cinema Paradiso to reflect on the strong musical influence the exile-composer had and still has on contemporary film composers.
Ilya Levinson: Urban Night Suite: Different colors of the night (10:11)
Ian Maksin, cello
Cellist and composer Ian Maksin has gained international acclaim for his distinctive style, taking the cello outside its conventional scope. “Soul Companion” is a compilation of Maksin’s original music for solo cello inspired by jazz, blues, folk music from around the world as well as by music of Sting. The album also includes several works Maksin has commissioned from award-winning New-York-based composer Paul Yeon Lee and Chicago’s own Ilya Levinson and Seth Boustead.
Granados: Valses poéticos (9:51)
Benjamin Grosvenor, piano
For his second solo album on Decca, Benjamin Grosvenor has assembled a typically imaginative and appealing program of piano music inspired by the dance form. The album is a virtuosic display of solo works for piano from Bach, Chopin, Granados, Albéniz, Scriabin and others. The recording was inspired by a letter from the great pianist-composer Ferruccio Busoni to his pupil Egon Petri proposing a “dance program” as a theme for Petri’s recitals, a concept Grosvenor expanded on for his Queen Elizabeth Hall debut recital in 2012.
Vaughan Williams: Dona nobis pacem: Dirge for Two Veterans (10:02)
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus / Robert Spano
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 4 in F minor: I, Allegro (8:51)
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra / Robert Spano
World War I had not only a profound and deep impact on the world, but on Ralph Vaughan Williams as well. Robert Spano and the Grammy Award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus delve into three pieces that reflect the composer’s view on the war and the time itself. The program features the cantata Dona nobis pacem (with soprano Jessica Rivera and baritone Brett Polegato), Symphony No 4 and The Lark Ascending (with violinist David Coucheron).