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 New Release Round-up, New Release Round-Up - 31st May 2019

NRs 31st May 2019Today’s new releases include Mozart from Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Liszt from Francesco Piemontesi, Beethoven from Angela Hewitt, Schubert from Barry Douglas, and a film noir-ish staging of Samuel Barber’s opera Vanessa from last year’s Glyndebourne Festival.

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Edward Gardner

The fifth instalment of a series that’s been described as ‘highly satisfying’ (BBC Music Magazine) and ‘thoroughly committed and scholarly’ (International Record Review) comprises the overtures to Paulus, Die schöne Melusine, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Athalie, as well as previously-released accounts of The Hebrides, Meeresstill und glückliche Fahrt and Ruy Blas.

Available Format: SACD

Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, Sakari Oramo

Four Russian works from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, all of which involve transformation in some way: 15 of Prokofiev’s Visions fugitives arranged for orchestra by Rudolf Barshai, 13 Scriabin Preludes in transcriptions by Jouni Kaipainen, a set of Variations by Arensky on a theme of Tchaikovsky (originally for string quartet), and the original version of Tchaikovsky’s Elegy for Strings, more commonly heard in its later incarnations.

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

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano), Manchester Camerata

Previous volumes in this series (begun in 2016) have seen the French pianist described as an ‘mercurially imaginative and technically audacious Mozartian’ (BBC Music Magazine) and ‘primus inter pares’ (International Piano); this fourth instalment sandwiches the Overture to Don Giovanni between concertos Nos. 21 and 20.

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

The penultimate release in a series that’s been praised for Hewitt’s ‘customary intelligence and scrupulous attention to detail’ (BBC Music Magazine), ‘suave execution…, meticulous voice-leading and dynamic shading’ (Gramophone), and ‘featherweight fingers’ (The Times); the album was recorded in Berlin’s Jesus-Christus-Kirche last January, on a Fazioli piano.

Available Format: CD

The fourth instalment of the Irish pianist’s Schubert series (‘Celtic bard meeting Viennese poet…magisterial’ - Classical Source) features Piano Sonatas No. 4 in A minor (D537), No. 9 in B (D575), and No. 13 in A (D664). Douglas plays a Steinway Model D, and was recorded at the CIT Cork School of Music where Douglas is Artist-in-Residence.

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

Following a magnificently evocative journey through Switzerland last year (praised by BBC Music Magazine for his 'absolute technical facility' and 'special affinity with the lyrical directness in Liszt’s idiom'), 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.

Available Formats: CD + DVD Video, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Founded in 2007 and led by the violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann, the trio spent several years performing an existing arrangement of Bach’s mighty set of keyboard variations before becoming so ‘captivated by the original score and its innumerable beauties and details’ that they decided to devise their own version, which receives its world premiere recording here.

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

Leonard Elschenbroich (cello), Alexei Grynyuk (piano)

Elschenbroich and Grynyuk supplement the Cello Sonatas not with the Variations (a common coupling on disc) but with the composer’s own transcription of his Horn Sonata; the album was awarded an Editor’s Choice in the latest issue of Gramophone thanks to their ‘scrupulous attention to the composer’s markings in matters of dynamics and articulation’.

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

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.

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

Emma Bell, Virginie Verrez, Edgaras Montvidas, Rosalind Plowright; The Glyndebourne Chorus & London Philharmonic Orchestra, Jakub Hrůša, Keith Warner

The DVD/Blu-ray premiere of Barber’s 1958 opera (which sets a libretto by the composer’s life-partner Gian Carlo Menotti and centres on a Miss Havisham-esque heroine, her niece, and the son of her former lover) was filmed at Glyndebourne last summer in a production which was described as ‘probing and spectacular’ (The Stage) and ‘intelligent music theatre that proves consistently gripping’ (The Guardian).

Available Format: DVD Video

Emma Bell, Virginie Verrez, Edgaras Montvidas, Rosalind Plowright; The Glyndebourne Chorus & London Philharmonic Orchestra, Jakub Hrůša, Keith Warner

LPCM 2.0

5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

Available Format: Blu-ray

Mathias Vidal (Faust), Anna Caterina Antonacci (Marguerite), Nicolas Courjal (Méphistophélès), Thibault de Damas d’Anlezy (Brander), Les Siècles, Chœur Marguerite Louise, François-Xavier Roth

Roth and his period-instrument ensemble have just been awarded a Diapason d’Or for the first of their Berlioz anniversary releases (a superb Harold en Italie and Nuits d’été), and the leading lady in this concert-version of the légende dramatique has an impressive track-record as Cassandre in Les Troyens; the performance was filmed live at Versailles last November.

Available Format: DVD Video