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 New Release Round-up, New Release Round-Up - 8th March 2019

New Releases 8th March 2019Plenty of Berlioz this week to mark the 150th anniversary of the composer’s death today (including Les Nuits d’étés from Ian Bostridge and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and Stéphanie d’Oustrac and Pascal Jourdan, plus one new Damnation de Faust and another from the archives). Clarinettist Andreas Ottensamer and horn-player Richard Watkins both explore Romantic repertoire on new recital-albums, and Yo-Yo Ma premieres the Cello Concerto which Esa-Pekka Salonen composed for him several years ago.

Bryan Hymel (Faust), Karen Cargill (Marguerite), Christopher Purves (Méphistophélès); London Symphony Orchestra and 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.

Available Formats: 2 SACDs, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen

Premiered in Chicago in March 2017, Salonen’s third concerto was written for Ma (with whom he has regularly performed concertos by Shostakovich, Lutosławski and others) and was described by the Chicago Tribune as ‘as much a showpiece for his stupendous instrumental gift as it is a study in opposing forces’, whilst the LA Times hailed it as ‘a radiant and surprisingly hopeful new work’.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Andreas Ottensamer (clarinet), Yuja Wang (piano), Berliner Philharmoniker, Mariss Jansons

Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 1 is the centrepiece of this album exploring what Ottensamer describes as ‘time of day just after the sun has set, or just before it rises’ (stay tuned for David’s interview with him next week to find out more), flanked by transcriptions of Brahms’s Intermezzo No. 2 Op. 118, a selection of Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words, and Weber’s Grand Duo Concertant with Yuja Wang.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Richard Watkins (horn), Julius Drake (piano)

Beethoven’s Horn Sonata is the mainstay of Watkins and Drake’s programme, which also includes Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro, Vintner’s Hunter’s Moon, Dukas’s Villanelle, Poulenc’s Élégie (composed as a tribute to the great horn virtuoso Dennis Brain after his early death in 1957) and music by Scriabin, Franz and Richard Strauss, and Glazunov.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Ophélie Gaillard (cello), Pulcinella Orchestra

The cello concerto was one of the genres with which Boccherini was most closely associated, and two fine examples (Nos. 6 and 9) feature on this programme, which also includes some of his purely orchestral and chamber music; Sandrine Piau joins for the Stabat Mater for string quintet and soprano.

Available Formats: 2 CDs, MP3, FLAC

Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin

Slatkin couples Copland’s best-known ballet suite with an earlier, far less frequently-performed one-act ballet which dates from his student years in Paris and was composed under the tutelage of Nadia Boulanger (who gave the work its first performance with the composer in a version for piano four hands): Grohg was inspired by the 1922 Expressionist horror-film Nosferatu, and was premiered in 1992, two years after the composer’s death.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Ian Bostridge (tenor), Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Ludovic Morlot

Hot on the heels of Stéphane Degout’s recording of Les Nuits d’été in January, a very different male singer takes on Berlioz’s great song-cycle of love and loss alongside another French work that’s usually associated with female voices: Ravel’s Shéhérazade. The programme also includes John Adams’s orchestration of four of Debussy’s Baudelaire settings.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Stéphanie d'Oustrac (mezzo), Pascal Jourdan (piano)

Les Nuits d’été also features on this French mezzo’s debut recital on Harmonia Mundi in its original incarnation for voice and piano, alongside Berlioz’s Mort d’Ophélie, Wagner’s Wesendonck-Lieder, and a selection of Liszt songs including Die Loreley, Freudvoll und leidvoll, Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh, and Es war ein König in Thule.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Ensemble Aedes, Les Siècles, Mathieu Romano, Mathieu Dubroca, Sébastien Richaud, Roxane Chalard

Romano and Les Siècles present Fauré’s Requiem in its original 1893 orchestration, with a prominent role for the organ; their programme also includes Poulenc’s Figure humaine and Debussy’s Trois chansons de Charles d’Orléans - one of his few works for unaccompanied choir.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Stéphanie d'Oustrac (Lazuli), Christophe Mortagne (King Ouf), Hélène Guilmette (Princess Laoula), Jérôme Varnier (Siroco), Julie Boulianne (Aloès)

Filmed in Amsterdam in 2014, Laurent Pelly’s deliciously surreal production of Chabrier’s 1877 opéra bouffe about a pedlar-lad and a king whose lives become intertwined thanks to a blunder by an incompetent astrologer was praised by BachTrack for its ‘absurd silliness and poetry’; Poulenc’s great-niece Stéphanie d'Oustrac (whose Berlioz, Wagner and Liszt recital is also released today) is endearingly cocky in the central trouser-role of Lazuli.

Available Format: DVD Video

Stéphanie d'Oustrac (Lazuli), Christophe Mortagne (King Ouf), Hélène Guilmette (Princess Laoula), Jérôme Varnier (Siroco), Julie Boulianne (Aloès)

16: 9 PCM Stereo

DTS-HD Master Audio 5.0

Available Format: Blu-ray

Richard Verreau (tenor), Consuelo Rubio (soprano), Michel Roux (bass), Pierre Mollet (baritone); Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux, Igor Markevitch

Presented on 2 CDs and one Blu-ray audio, this studio recording of Berlioz’s légende dramatique was made in 1959 and described by Gramophone as ‘unusually satisfying and exciting’; it also received a Building a Library recommendation last February.

Available Formats: 2 CDs + Blu-ray Audio, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC, Hi-Res+ FLAC