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 New Release Round-up, New Release Round-Up - 21st June 2019

Today’s releases include a recital of late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century violin sonatas on a 1690 Stradivarius from Fabio Biondi, a celebration of gender-fluidity in baroque opera from mezzo Vivica Genaux and countertenor Lawrence Zazzo, and the little-known precursor to Donizetti’s ‘Tudor Trilogy’, available on CD, DVD and Blu-ray.

Fabio Biondi (violin), Antonio Fantinuoli (cello), Giangiacomo Pinardi (theorbo), Paola Poncet (harpsichord)

Originally made for the Florentine court of Ferdinando de Medici, the Antonio Stradivari instrument on this recording was loaned to Biondi by the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome; Biondi showcases its unique qualities in a programme of sonatas by Vivaldi, Corelli, Geminiani, Tartini and Locatelli, and a ciaccona by Veracini.

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

Christopher Jacobson (organ), Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Kazuki Yamada

The Organist of Duke University joins the Swiss orchestra for Saint-Saëns’s Organ Symphony and Poulenc’s Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani, rounded off by Widor’s evergreen Toccata from Symphony No. 5; the recording was made at Geneva’s Victoria Hall (where Widor himself christened the original organ in 1894), on a Van den Heuvel organ from the early 1990s.

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

Sinfonieorchester Basel, Ivor Bolton

The first volume of Secret Fauré (released last year) was praised by Gramophone for Bolton’s sensitivity to the composer’s ‘textural and emotional subtleties’; this second instalment focuses on orchestral and concertante works, and includes Masques et bergamasques, the Romance for violin and orchestra, the Ballade for piano and orchestra, and the ever-popular Pavane.

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

Elizabeth Kenny (theorbo)

Spanning five centuries of music, Kenny’s recital features two world premiere recordings – Nico Muhly’s Berceuse and Benjamin Oliver’s Extending from the inside - and also includes works by Piccinini, Kapsberger, Robert de Visée, and James MacMillan. The album was described as ‘hypnotic’ in a review from The Observer earlier this month.

Available Format: CD

Vivica Genaux (mezzo), Lawrence Zazzo (countertenor), Lautten Compagney, Wolfgang Katschner

Zazzo and Genaux explore gender fluidity in baroque opera, including well-known arias from Handel’s Alcina and Serse and Vivaldi’s Orlando furioso, and curiosities from works such as Hasse’s, Wagenseil’s, Traetta’s and Galuppi’s settings of Il Siroe Re di Persia, and Porpora’s and Lampugnani’s Semiramide riconosciuta.

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

Nuria Rial (soprano), Dima Orsho (soprano), Musica Alta Ripa

Catalan soprano Nuria Rial joins forces with Syrian soprano Dima Orsho for a programme exploring representations of motherhood in European and Arabic music, including two of Orsha’s own compositions (ISHTAR – The Greater Mother and Hidwa) plus arias from Handel’s Alcina, Solomon, Belshazzar, Il pastor fido and Israel in Egypt, and Telemann’s Germanicus.

Available Format: CD

Released to mark the centenary of the French violinist’s birth in August, this 4-CD collection of newly remastered recordings includes the Sibelius and Brahms concertos, Ravel’s Tzigane and Vocalise-étude en forme de habanera, Chausson’s Poème, Suk’s Four Pieces for Violin and Piano (with her brother Jean), and pieces by Falla, Scarlatescu, Dinicu and Chopin.

Available Formats: 4 CDs, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Jessica Pratt (Elisabetta), Carmela Remigio (Amelia), Xabier Anduaga (Leicester); Donizetti Opera, Riccardo Frizza

Recorded at the Donizetti Festival in Bergamo in 2018, this is the first commercial recording of Donizetti’s earliest Tudor opera – composed in 1829, it pre-dates Anna Bolena by just a year, and centres on Elizabeth I’s relationship with her favourite Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (who would reappear in Maria Stuarda six years later). The production was described by Opera Wire as ‘musically engaging, full of bel canto charm, with some wonderful melodies, and notwithstanding its formulaic format, dramatically convincing’.

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

Jessica Pratt (Elisabetta), Carmela Remigio (Amelia), Xabier Anduaga (Leicester); Donizetti Opera, Riccardo Frizza

Video Format/ Aspect ratio: NTSC – 16:9

Audio Format: PCM 2.0 – Dolby digital 5.1

Subtitles: Italian, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean

Region code: 0 – All regions

Available Format: DVD Video

Jessica Pratt (Elisabetta), Carmela Remigio (Amelia), Xabier Anduaga (Leicester); Donizetti Opera, Riccardo Frizza

Video Format/ Aspect ratio: 1080i60 – 1 BD 50 NTSC – 16:9

Audio Format: PCM STEREO 2.0 / DTS-HD MASTER AUDIO 5.1

Available Format: Blu-ray

Jessye Norman (soprano), Elizabeth Bainbridge (mezzo), BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis

The highlights from the 1969 concert include Elgar’s Cockaigne and Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1, plus traditional staples such as Parry’s Jerusalem and Sir Henry Wood’s Fantasia on British Sea Songs; the 1972 programme features Jessye Norman as the soloist in two of Wagner’s Wesendonck-Lieder. Davis’s speeches from 1969 and 1972 are included in full.

Available Formats: 2 CDs, MP3, FLAC