Schumann: Four Piano Pieces, Op 32 (8:36)
Cédric Pescia, piano
The Swiss label Claves continues it survey of the complete works for piano by Robert Schumman. Cédric Pescia is a dual citizen of France and Switzerland. He won First Prize at the 2002 Gina Bachauer Competition. His 2-CD set presents Schumann’s Kreisleriana alongside lesser-known works, offering a cross-section of the composer’s piano output.
Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op 34 (45:01)
Menahem Pressler, piano; Pacifica Quartet
The Grammy Award-winning Pacifica Quartet joins forces with legendary pianist Menahem Pressler of the Beaux Arts Trio for Brahms’ Piano Quintet, a pillar of German Romanticism. While Pressler has performed the work for the past 50 years, this is his first recording of it. The album also offers Schumann’s String Quartet in A Minor, Op 41 No 1, which the Pacifica has been performing since early in its career.
Caldara: Sinfonia in C major (15:00)
La Serenissima / Adrian Chandler
Adrian Chandler and his period-instrument ensemble La Serenissima present “The Italian Job,” a feast of instrumental music by some of the finest composers of the Italian Baroque. The music on this recording comes from four cities with a rich musical heritage: Venice, Bologna, Padua and Rome.
Rimsky-Korsakov: Sadko: Song of India (3:20)
Trad Tatar: Allüki (3:42)
Aida Garifullina, soprano; ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra, Vienna / Cornelius Meister
Soprano Aida Garifullina’s debut album is one of the most eagerly awaited operatic events of the year. Since her triumphant win at Plácido Domingo’s Operalia 2013, the young soprano has performed around the world. Her recording includes a generous selection of Russian arias and songs, reflecting her life and musical tastes as well as her Tatar ancestry.
Chopin: Three Mazurkas, Op 56 (11:40)
Ian Hobson, piano
Zephyr Records has released Volume 13, entitled “Parnassus,” of acclaimed pianist Ian Hobson’s 16-CD set of the complete works of Chopin. As in earlier recordings in the series, the program is organized to suggest a varied Chopin recital rather than a chronological presentation of works in specific genres.
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons: Violin Concerto in E major, Spring (9:18)
Daniel Hope, violin; Zurich Chamber Orchestra
Violinist Daniel Hope presents a personal celebration of the seasons on this new album. His first recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is complemented by 12 pieces linked to the months of the year, ranging from Bach and Rameau to Aphex Twin and Chilly Gonzales, and conveying the feelings and emotions associated with the changing seasons.
Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Excerpts (22:26)
Beatrice Rana, piano
For her second Warner Classics release, Italian pianist Beatrice Rana turns to a pinnacle of the solo keyboard repertoire and a composer she has described as “my first love” — Johann Sebastian Bach. Her interpretation of his Goldberg Variations bears out Le Monde’s assessment that “Rana certainly has nothing left to prove when it comes to technique, but what makes an impression are her calm maturity and her sense of architecture.”
Elgar: Grania and Diarmid, Op 42 (11:51)
Madeleine Shaw, mezzo-soprano; Hallé Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder
This latest album in the Hallé Orchestra’s award-winning series of recordings of works by Elgar couples his last great choral work, The Spirit of England, with other works which similarly remember the departed. Grania and Diarmid was a play based on tales of Irish mythology. Elgar’s music for the play, a story of tragic entangled love, was described by playwright W.B. Yeats as “wonderful in its heroic melancholy.”
Carl Stamitz: Clarinet Concerto No 7 in E-flat major (20:16)
Andreas Ottensamer, clarinet; Potsdam Chamber Academy
Clarinetist Andreas Ottensamer presents a dazzling selection of the clarinet’s early repertoire from 18th Century Mannheim, with works by Johann and Carl Stamitz, Mozart and Danzi. The album also features duets with Albrecht Mayer and Emmanuel Pahud, two of the great wind soloists of our time and Ottensamer’s colleagues at the Berlin Philharmonic.
Dorothy Howell: Piano Concerto in D minor (19:33)
Danny Driver, piano; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Rebecca Miller
March 8th is International Women’s Day, and in honor of this, Volume 70 in Hyperion’s Romantic Piano Concerto series champions three female composers: Dorothy Howell, Cécile Chaminade and Amy Beach. Each of these works, performed by pianist Danny Driver, has a distinctive style that makes them worthy of our attention.