Byrd: Emendemus in melius (3:58)
Pärt: The Woman with the Alabaster Box (6:12)
The Sixteen / Harry Christophers
While coming from very different eras, William Byrd and Arvo Pärt are both considered masters of sacred music despite having faced considerable persecution for their work. This program presents six of Byrd’s works from the Cantiones Sacrae. The three works by Arvo Pärt speak in his unmistakable voice, with its unique blend of ancient and modern, and include his mesmerising Nunc dimittis which is crafted in his bell-like ‘tinitinnabuli’ style.
New Release of the Week
Beethoven: Symphony No 4 in B-flat major, Op 60 (33:29)
Berlin Philharmonic / Sir Simon Rattle
It is always a milestone in the artistic work of the Berlin Philharmonic when, together with their chief conductor, they play the complete symphonies of Beethoven. Under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle, the cycle was performed at the end of 2015 – in Berlin, Paris, Vienna and New York. The recording of the Berlin performances is now available in an exclusive hardcover edition which includes the cycle on CD as well as in HD video and high-resolution audio on Blu-ray. This beautifully produced edition includes many extras, including a video introduction with Sir Simon Rattle and a documentary about the making of the recordings.
Mendelssohn: Ruy Blas Overture, Op 95 (8:20)
Winterthur Collegium / Douglas Boyd
The Winterthur Collegium concludes its highly acclaimed Mendelssohn series under Douglas Boyd. The program opens with three overtures: Ruy Blas, The Fair Melusine and The Hebrides. They are followed by Mendelssohn’s secular cantata The First Walpugis Night, based on a poem by Goethe telling of the attempts of Druids to practice their pagan rituals in the face of new and dominating Christian forces.
Brahms: Viola Sonata in E-flat major, Op 120 No 2 (21:06)
Paul Neubauer, viola; Gilbert Kalish, piano
Music@Menlo Live has released performances by the acclaimed violist Paul Neubauer from 2011 and 2015 at the Menlo chamber music festival. The program includes works by Schubert, Brahms, Schulenburg, and Valdez. Artists featured in collaboration with Neubauer are pianists Gilbert Kalish, Juho Pohjonen, and Wu Han, and mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke.
Prokofiev: Sinfonia Concertante in E minor, Op 125: II, Allegro giusto (18:34)
Zuill Bailey, cello; North Carolina Symphony Orchestra / Grant Llewellyn
For his latest recording, Zuill Bailey has chosen two of Sergei Prokofiev’s mature and majestic works, both written for the great cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. The Sinfonia Concertante is one of the most difficult and exciting works for cello and orchestra. It’s paired with the Cello Sonata. Bailey performs here with pianist Natasha Paremski and the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra conducted by Grant Llewellyn.
Vivaldi: Sinfonia in D major, R 125 (6:40); Ascende laeta, R 635: Allegro (4:13)
Johannette Zomer, soprano; Tulipa Consort
Dutch soprano Johannette Zomer leads the ensemble she founded several years ago – the Tulipa Consort – in a program of rarely performed sacred works by Antonio Vivaldi. Only since the 1950s have the forgotten scores of Vivaldi’s church music been coming back to life. This recording features a fine anthology with Laudate pueri, Ascende laeta and other works.
Field: Nocturne No 10 in E major (6:25)
Elizabeth Joy Roe, piano
Following her critically acclaimed coupling of the Britten and Barber Piano Concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra, Elizabeth Joy Roe explores the extraordinary world of John Field. Field, an Irish composer, is regarded as the “Father of the Nocturne” who predates Chopin. This release is the first recording of all 18 Nocturnes on a single album.
New Release of the Week
Satie: Gnossienne No 5 (3:51); Jack in the Box (5:43)
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
Satie: Aperçus désagréables: Fugue (2:41)
Pascal Rogé & Jean-Philippe Collard, piano
2016 marks 150 years since the birth of the world’s first minimalist composer, Erik Satie. This indefinable fixture of the avant-garde landscape of Paris in the early 20th century influenced composers as diverse as Igor Stravinsky, Philip Glass and Claude Debussy. Decca’s 6-CD set presents Satie’s complete works for solo piano performed by Jean-Yves Thibaudet with a bonus CD featuring four-hand piano music performed by Pascal Rogé and Jean-Philippe Collard.
Scriabin: Symphony No 2 in C minor, Op 29: Movements III, IV, V (25:18)
London Symphony Orchestra / Valery Gergiev
Valery Gergiev continues his survey of Scriabin’s symphonies. Epic in scope, the highly original First Symphony was composed at the turn of the 20th century. The ambitious work consists of six movements, the last of which features a chorus and two vocal soloists. Premiered two years after the First, the Second Symphony contains echoes of Strauss, Tchaikovsky and Wagner, alongside Scriabin’s deeply personal sound.
Howells: Collegium Regale: Jubilate (3:29); Magnificat (5:16); Nunc dimittis (4:12)
Choir of Trinity College Cambridge / Stephen Layton; Eleanor Kornas, organ
Howells’ Collegium Regale is one of the glories of the Anglican repertoire—a relative outsider to the church providing one of its greatest adornments of the twentieth century. Stephen Layton and his award-winning Trinity College Choir took the trip to Coventry Cathedral for this recording. The program also features a selection of other choral works including two of the composer’s psalm settings.