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 Coming Soon, Berlioz from Rattle and Davis and other forthcoming highlights

Damnation de FaustForthcoming highlights include a live recording of the first-ever performance of Donizetti’s L’Ange de Nisida conducted by Sir Mark Elder and starring Joyce El-Khoury in the title-role, contributions to this year’s Berlioz anniversary from Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Andrew Davis, Bach violin concertos from Isabelle Faust and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, and concertos by Giovanni Giornovich (an Italian-born virtuoso violinist believed to be of Croatian descent) from Bojan Čičić and the Illyria Consort.

Bryan Hymel, Karen Cargill, Christopher Purves, London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Sir Simon Rattle

Recorded live at the Barbican as part of the This is Rattle series in September 2017, this performance of Berlioz’s ‘dramatic legend’ attracted praise for Hymel’s ‘huge yet malleable’ voice and Cargill’s ‘beautifully centred, silky-sounding singing’ from The Guardian, and the ‘rich, detailed, physically immediate’ playing of the LSO from the Evening Standard. Released 8th March.

Available Format: 2 SACDs

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Sir Andrew Davis

Davis’s performances of Berlioz’s Christmas oratorio in Melbourne last year (scheduled rather unseasonably in June!) marked the work’s first outing in the city for five decades; his interpretation was described by Limelight Magazine as ‘empathetic, efficient…full of panache’, whilst the Sydney Morning Herald had particular praise for tenor Andrew Staples’s ‘finely-shaded and clear’ narration. Released 1st March.

Available Format: 2 SACDs

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Robin Ticciati

Ticciati’s only previous Bruckner recording (the Mass No. 3 with the Bamberger Symphoniker, back in 2014) prompted Gramophone to observe that his ‘feel for Bruckner’s intricate structures...runneth over with instinctive wisdom’; for his third recording with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, he tackles a symphony which he describes as ‘wild, daring and risky’. Released 15th March.

Available Format: CD

Budapest Festival Orchestra, Iván Fischer

Since the Hungarian conductor revealed to Limelight Magazine a couple of years ago that he ‘will never conduct [the Eighth Symphony] because I feel I have no key to it’, this release is the final instalment in a Mahler cycle which has been described as ‘essential for further enlightenment’ (BBC Music Magazine), ‘provocative, iconoclastic, and highly recommended’ (The Guardian), and ‘gripping and very special’ (The Observer). Released 15th March.

Available Format: SACD

Hallé, Sir Mark Elder

Reviewing the live performance last January from which this recording was taken, Northern Soul observed that ‘the power and the glory that was Shostakovich was adeptly displayed for all the world to hear’ in the symphony; British bass James Platt (recently a spine-chilling ghost on Elder’s award-winning Semiramide) joins for the Pushkin settings, composed shortly before Shostakovich’s ‘response to justified criticism’. Released 1st March.

Available Format: CD

Isabelle Faust (violin), Xenia Loeffler (oboe), Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

Faust’s recording of Bach’s sonatas for violin and harpsichord with Kristian Bezuidenhout last year was praised as ‘typically probing and intelligent’ (The Guardian) and ‘relaxed and luminous’ (The Strad); now she tackles the concertos for the first time on disc, interspersed with the Trio Sonatas BWV527 and 529, the Orchestral Suite in B minor, and sinfonias from two cantatas. Released 15th March.

Available Format: 2 CDs

Bojan Čičić (violin), The Illyria Consort

Following their sensational debut recording of Sonate da Camera by Giovanni Carbonelli (one of our 2017 Recordings of the Year), the Croatian-born baroque violinist and his ensemble turn to music by one of his compatriots (also known as Ivan Mane Jarnović, among other variants) – concertos which he composed during his time in London in the 1790s, where his friends included Joseph Haydn. Released 29th March.

Available Format: CD

Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor), Artaserse

The French countertenor (who guested on Christina Pluhar’s Cavalli album L’amore innamorato four years ago) performs arias from operas including La Calisto, Eliogabalo, Ercole amante and L’Ormindo, and the eponymous serenade to a plane-tree from Il Xerse, which pre-dates Handel’s setting by 84 years. Released 8th March.

Available Format: CD

Joyce El-Khoury, David Junghoon Kim, Laurent Naouri, Vito Priante; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Sir Mark Elder

Though some of its music was incorporated into La Favorite, Donizetti’s 1839 opera didn’t see the light of day in its own right until last year, when two concert-performances (from which this live recording is taken) were mounted at Covent Garden; The Telegraph observed that ‘there is a body of truly splendid music here’, whilst The Stage described the score as ‘an interesting work whose genuine value is amply demonstrated in this remarkable act of reclamation.’ Released 22nd March.

Available Format: 2 CDs

BBC Philharmonia, Juanjo Mena

Mena describes Falla’s short but powerful 1913 opera about a gypsy-girl who gate-crashes her duplicitous lover’s wedding as ‘the highpoint of Spanish opera and a fundamental work in our repertoire’; though Fritz Kreisler’s arrangement of the wedding-music as ‘Danse espagnole’ is a favourite with violinists, recordings of the complete opera are relatively rare. Released 1st March.

Available Format: CD

Karina Gauvin (Olimpie), Kate Aldrich (Statira), Mathias Vidal, Josef Wagner, Philippe Souvage; Le Cercle de l'Harmonie, Jérémie Rhorer

Based on a drama by Voltaire and premiered in Paris in 1819 under the baton of the composer and violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer, Spontini’s three-act opera centring on the daughter of Alexander the Great hugely impressed Berlioz (who described it as ‘un ouvrage sublime’), and was one of his inspirations for his own Classical epic Les Troyens some four decades later. Released 29th March.

Available Formats: 2 CDs + Book, MP3, CD Quality FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC