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 New Release Round-up, New Release Round-Up - 29th March 2019

Today’s new releases include a rare Spontini opera from Le Cercle de l'Harmonie and Jérémie Rhorer, violin concertos by a volatile friend of Mozart and Haydn from Bojan Čičić and the Illyria Consort, late Beethoven from Yevgeny Sudbin, and Elgar from Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Howard Shelley (piano & conductor), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

The centrepiece (and the only true concerto) on this album is by Clara Schumann, whose bicentenary falls this year; she composed the work whilst still in her teens, and performed it with the Gewandhausorchester under Felix Mendelssohn in 1835. The album also features shorter works by Friedrich Kalkbrenner, Ferdinand Hiller, and Henri Herz.

Available Format: CD

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko

Petrenko’s previous Elgar recordings with his Liverpool orchestra have attracted praise for their ‘sumptuous array of textures’ and ‘crisp and incisive ensemble’ (Gramophone on Symphony No. 2) and ‘well-honed emotion and springy muscle’ (The Telegraph on Symphony No. 1); here they present the composer’s tribute to his ‘friends pictured within’ with In the South and the Serenade for Strings.

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

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, John Wilson

The third instalment of Wilson’s exploration of the music of his late friend and mentor (whose 83rd birthday would have been today) includes the Symphony No. 1 from 1965, Zodiac (composed for Elisabeth Lutyens) and Reflections on a Sixteenth-Century Tune, dedicated to Wilson in 1999. Dame Sarah Connolly is the soloist in A History of the ‘Thé Dansant, which sets poems by the composer’s sister Meg Peacocke.

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

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.

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

Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Yan Pascal Tortelier

Gounod composed his two symphonies in the mid-1850s, and both works are heavily influenced by Mendelssohn, who encouraged him to focus his energies on orchestral music rather than on his plans for an opera based on Goethe’s Faust (which eventually premiered several years later and became the composer’s best-known work!).

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

Sudbin’s Beethoven concertos with Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Symphony (also released on BIS) won praise for his ‘aristocratic mien and stylistic assurance’ (Financial Times) and ‘delectably light-fingered brilliance and virtuosity’ (Gramophone); for his first solo recording of the composer’s music, he begins at the end with the monumental last two piano sonatas.

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

Guy Cutting (tenor), Emma Tring (soprano), Choir of Merton College, Oxford, Benjamin Nicholas

Recorded in Merton College Chapel in Oxford last summer, this is the world premiere recording of Jackson’s Passion, commissioned for the college’s 750th anniversary and first performed in 2014; Choir & Organ described it as ‘a rewarding work, deeply sincere, immediately accessible and deserving of much wider exposure.’

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC

Éric Le Sage (piano)

Fauré features very prominently in the elegant French pianist’s discography, which includes a Gramophone Award-nominated account of the piano quintets with Quatuor Ébène, the Flute Sonata with Emmanuel Pahud, and the violin sonatas with Daishin Kashimoto; this is his first solo album of the composer’s music.

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

Karina Gauvin (Olimpie), Kate Aldrich (Statira), Mathias Vidal (Cassandre), Flemish Radio Choir & 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.

Available Format: 2 CDs + Book

Sarah Lamb (Manon), Vadim Muntagirov (Des Grieux), Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Martin Yates

This revival of Nicholas Georgiadis’s opulent production of MacMillan’s 1974 ballet was filmed at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden last spring to mark the 25th anniversary of the great choreographer’s death, and was broadcast into cinemas around the world’; The British Theatre Guide described the production as ‘so alive with hustle and bustle that more than one visit is called for to take it all in…Not to be missed’.

Available Format: DVD Video

Sarah Lamb (Manon), Vadim Muntagirov (Des Grieux), Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Martin Yates

Available Format: Blu-ray