Schumann: Violin Concerto in D minor: First movement (15:11)
Isabelle Faust, violin; Freiburg Baroque Orchestra / Pablo Heras-Casado
This first volume in a trilogy comprising the complete concertos and piano trios of Schumann brings together two late works. The instigators of the project, Isabelle Faust, Alexandre Melnikov and Jean-Guihen Queyras, champion their cause with a choice of period instruments that restore the delicate transparency and subtlety of the music. Faust says, “As passionate admirers of the composer, we conceived the desire to place his works for piano, violin and cello in a broader context and to illuminate them mutually in order to allow listeners to gain a deeper understanding of his music.”
Szulc: Clair de lune (3:14)
Debussy: Clair de lune (3:10)
Chabrier: Air de Fisch-Ton-Kan (2:34)
Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor; Jérôme Ducros, piano; Ebène Quartet
Philippe Jaroussky’s new album, ‘Green,’ is a collection of song settings of the poems of Paul Verlaine, one of the most influential figures of the fin de siècle. Verlaine’s life was in turns full of love and loss, promise and disappointment, vitality and addiction, and his ground-breaking symbolist poetry inspired a generation of creative minds. The composers Debussy, Chausson, Fauré and Hahn are just a handful of the many spurred on to set his poetry during a golden age of French music.
New Release of the Week
Kern: Yesterdays (2:13)
Holiday/Herzog: God Bless the Child (3:29)
Rodgers: Blue Moon (1:16)
Ronell: Willow Weep for Me (3:37)
Lara Downes, piano
When Lara Downes was 8 years old, she wrote in her diary that her favorite song was Billie Holiday’s I Cover the Waterfront. Ever since, says the pianist, she has been enthralled with “the startlingly distinctive qualities of mood and phrasing, line and color” heard in Holiday’s singing. Downes celebrates the centenary of the legendary singer with an album of songs that Holiday made famous, arranged by New York-based composer and pianist Jed Distler.
Paine: Symphony No 2 in A major, Op 34, In the Spring: Finale (11:11)
Ulster Orchestra / JoAnn Falletta
The late 19th century witnessed unprecedented musical growth in the United States, and it is impossible to imagine a Copland, an Ives or even a Gershwin without the pioneering groundwork of the ‘Boston Six,’ of whom John Knowles Paine was the senior member. Favorite among his own works, Paine’s Second Symphony was described at its New York premiere as “a serious, important and totally beautiful work.” His Prelude to the tragic play Oedipus Tyrannus was an immediate hit, while An Ocean Fantasy was his last orchestral piece.
Vivaldi: L’Estro Armonico: Four-Violin Concerto in D major, Op 3 No 1 (7:33)
Brecon Baroque / Rachel Podger, violin
Following the success of Vivaldi’s La Stravaganza and La Cetra collections on Channel Classics, Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque have recorded Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico Concertos for 1, 2 and 4 violins. Written by Vivaldi in 1711, scholar Michael Talbot describes the works as “perhaps the most influential collection of instrumental music to appear during the whole of the eighteenth century.”
Valentini: Sonata in G minor (5:02); Sonata in C major (3:04)
Acronym’s latest release is the first recording devoted entirely to the instrumental music of Giovanni Valentini (1582/3-1649), who for more than twenty years was Hofkapellmeister of the Holy Roman Empire before fading into obscurity. ‘Oddities & Trifles’ pairs selections from Valentini’s published 1609 canzonas with nearly all of his extant manuscript sonatas (many of them containing strange chromaticism and metric eccentricities), and it consists almost entirely of premiere recordings.
Mozart: Piano Sonata in F major, K 280 (21:48)
Grigory Sokolov, piano
Deutsche Grammophon has a history of signing exclusive contracts with pianists who cultivate enigmatic reputations, such as Martha Argerich, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Vladimir Horowitz, and now Grigory Sokolov. For years Sokolov has refused to affiliate himself with a record company, enter a recording studio, or play a concerto. For their first project, Sokolov sanctioned the release of his July 30, 2008 Salzburg Festival recital, and it reveals the pianist’s extraordinary finesse in music of Mozart and Chopin.
New Release of the Week
Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil, Op 37: Glory to God in the highest (3:19); Praise the name of the Lord (2:45); Blessed art Thou, O Lord (7:21)
Phoenix Chorale, Kansas City Chorale / Charles Bruffy
The Phoenix Chorale and Kansas City Chorale are regarded as among the finest professional choral ensembles in the world. Their recordings have earned a combined total of ten Grammy Award nominations and four wins. Charles Bruffy’s two choirs join forces for the first time since 2009 to sing the pinnacle of Russian sacred music, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil. The release this month marks the 100th anniversary of the world premiere of the work given by the Moscow Synodal Choir on March 10, 1915.
Dvořák: String Sextet in A major, Op 48 (30:23)
Arnaud Sussmann, Nicolas Dautricourt, violins; Paul Neubauer, Yura Lee, violas; Narek Hakhnazaryan, David Finckel, cellos
This collection of 9 CDs features live recordings from the acclaimed Music@Menlo festival’s twelfth season, Around Dvořák, which celebrated the timeless work of the Czech Romantic master Antonín Dvořák, one of the most universally beloved musical voices of his generation. The recordings feature works by Dvořák alongside those by composers including Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Bartók, Janáček, Kodály and more.
Bruckner: Symphony No 7 in E major: III, Scherzo (9:35); IV, Finale (12:07)
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra / Mariss Jansons
Ever since the tenure of its chief conductor Willem Mengelberg, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has cherished one of the greatest Bruckner symphonic traditions in the world. With this release of Bruckner’s Sixth and Seventh Symphonies, Mariss Jansons and his Amsterdam-based orchestra add a new chapter to the RCO’s impressive performance and recording history of Anton Bruckner’s works.