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 Coming Soon, Lise Davidsen's Decca debut and other forthcoming highlights

Lise DavidsenLate spring highlights include an astonishing debut album from one of today’s greatest emerging dramatic voices, late Beethoven from Steven Osborne, Francesco Piemontesi’s second instalment of Liszt’s Années de Pèlerinage, and first recitals on Pentatone from Michael Fabiano and Magdalena Kožená.

Lise Davidsen (soprano), Philharmonia Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen

The astonishing Norwegian lyric-dramatic soprano begins her partnership with Decca with Strauss’s Four Last Songs and orchestral lieder including Cäcilie and Morgen!, plus excerpts from Ariadne auf Naxos and Tannhäuser; Davidsen sang Ariadne at Glyndebourne to rapturous reviews in 2017, and will make her Bayreuth debut in Tannhäuser this summer. We’ve already enjoyed a preview of the album, and it’s very special indeed. Released 31st May.

Available Format: CD

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Andris Nelsons

The fourth instalment of Nelsons’s widely acclaimed Bruckner cycle includes Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll and the Prelude to Act One of Parsifal as well as the two symphonies; reviewing a live account of the Ninth shortly after this recording was made, Boston Classical Review observed that Nelsons ‘led [the performance] as if he were taking listeners on a tour through a spacious cathedral'. Released 3rd May.

Available Format: 2 CDs

Rowan Pierce (soprano), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrew Manze

The final volume in a cycle which has been praised for its ‘clarity of orchestral sound’ (Gramophone), 'glowing intensity and accuracy’ (The Observer), and ‘expressive and atmospheric playing’ (BBC Music Magazine) features Timothy West as narrator in the Sinfonia Antartica. Released 10th May.

Available Format: CD

It’s almost twenty years since Podger recorded the solo sonatas and partitas for violin on Channel, and she acknowledges that she hesitated before setting down these transcriptions of the Cello Suites on disc – but gradually came to feel that ‘what I was doing also seemed very much in keeping with Bach’s own habit of recycling his own compositions for different instruments and different uses.’

Available Format: 2 SACDs

Osborne’s previous Beethoven recordings have attracted praise for their ‘potency and lucidity’ (The Daily Telegraph), ‘rhythmically incisive brilliance’ (The Observer), and ‘exquisitely polished pianism’ (International Record Review); Pianist Magazine have already declared these accounts of the late sonatas to be ‘a distinguished release that should be on any shortlist of recommendations’. Released 3rd May.

Available Format: CD

Following a magnificently evocative journey through Switzerland last year, the Swiss pianist embarks on the second leg of Liszt’s ‘years of pilgrimage’, coupled with the second of the Légendes, depicting St Francis of Assisi’s sermon to the birds. Like its predecessor, the recording is accompanied by a video travelogue with the pianist, filmed this time around by Roberta Pedrini.

Available Format: CD + DVD Video

Gabrieli. Paul McCreesh

McCreesh mixes and matches music from the coronations of Edward VII, George V, George VI and Elizabeth II into one composite ceremony (spoken liturgy and all), recorded in Ely Cathedral and featuring Simon Russell Beale as the Archbishop of Canterbury. Look out for David’s in-depth interview with him about the project next month. Released 3rd May.

Available Format: 2 CDs

Michael Fabiano (tenor). London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Voices, Enrique Mazzola

The American lyric tenor makes his debut on Pentatone with a collection of arias from two composers who have played a central role in his career to date; the programme includes excerpts from Lucia di Lammermoor, Poliuto, Maria di Rohan, Luisa Miller, Ernani, Oberto and Rigoletto, and a rarely-recorded scene from the original St Petersburg version of La forza del destino. Released 17th May.

Available Format: CD

Magdalena Kožená (mezzo), Collegium 1704, Václav Luks

Also making her first appearance on Pentatone is Czech mezzo Magdalena Kožená, who returns to her baroque roots with a programme of scenes from cantatas including Gasparini’s Atalia, Leonardo Leo’s Angelica e Medoro, Handel’s Agrippina condotta a morire, and Benedetto Marcello’s Arianna abbandonata. Released 17th May.

Available Format: CD

Sandrine Piau (soprano), Le Concert de la Loge, Julien Chauvin

The French soprano’s previous album of mélodies on Alpha, Chimère, won a Diapason d’Or award and was described by Gramophone as ‘one of the most fascinating, satisfying and moving recital discs to have come my way for some time’; this sequel with orchestra includes songs by Saint-Saëns, Massenet, Berlioz, Benjamin Godard, Théodore Dubois, Charles Bordes and Louis Vierne. Released 31st May.

Available Format: CD