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 New Release Round-up, New Release Round-Up - 5th July 2019

New Releases 5th July 2019Today’s new releases include an operatic recital themed around Handel’s ‘rival queens’ Faustina Bordoni and Francesca Cuzzoni, symphonies by Copland and Chávez from The Orchestra of the Americas, Vivaldi arias and cantatas from French contralto Delphine Galou, and Yuval Sharon’s 2018 staging of Lohengrin with Piotr Beczała, Anja Harteros and Waltraud Meier from Bayreuth.

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Long Yu

Following their debut on Deutsche Grammophon with a spectacular concert from the Forbidden City, China’s oldest orchestra present Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances and two works by the Chinese-born French composer (and student of Messiaen) Chen Qigang: the violin concerto La Joie de la souffrance from 2017 and the five-movement suite Wu Xing (The Five Elements) from 1999.

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

Lucy Crowe, Mary Bevan (sopranos), London Early Opera, Bridget Cunningham

The two British sopranos go head-to-head as the Italian divas Faustina Bordoni and Francesca Cuzzoni, whose alleged rivalry provided much of the inspiration for Handel’s Alessandro; the album features arias from Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Scipione, Ottone and Alessandro, as well as music by Vivaldi, Porpora, Torri, Orlandini, and Faustina’s future husband Hasse.

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

BBC Philharmonic, Rumon Gamba

Born in 1924 in the former Dutch East Indies (where he now resides after spending most of his life in England and the US), Schurmann was a pupil of Alan Rawsthorne, who recommended him to Ealing Studios in the mid-50s as composer for the police drama The Long Arm. Schurmann went on to compose the scores for dozen of films, including The Gambler, Dr Syn alias The Scarecrow, Horrors of the Black Museum, and The Ceremony, all of which are featured here.

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

The Orchestra of the Americas, Carlos Miguel Prieto

The Orchestra of the Americas and their Mexican music director (recently named Conductor of the Year by Musical America) pair Copland’s Third Symphony with Carlos Chávez’s single-movement Sinfonía India, written in the mid-1930s while the composer was touring the United States for the first time and based on Native American melodies.

Available Format: CD

Rachel Roberts (viola), Leonore Piano Trio

Following on from their ‘fresh, intelligent and strikingly stylish’ (Gramophone) accounts of the First and Third Piano Trios earlier this year, the Leonore Trio fill in the gap with this recording of the Second Piano Trio, premiered in 1884; it’s coupled here with the 1879 Piano Quartet, which prompted The Times to describe Parry as ‘a musician who is not afraid to obey the dictates of his own inner consciousness’.

Available Format: CD

Delphine Galou (contralto), Accademia Bizantina, Ottavio Dantone

The French contralto’s previous recital of baroque cantatas, Agitate (which opened with Vivaldi’s Juditha triumphans), won the Recital Category at last year’s Gramophone Awards, and now she teams up with the same musicians for this programme of two solo cantatas (O mie porpore piu belle and Cessate, omai cessate (and arias from Tito Manlio, La verità in cimento, Il Giustino, La Candace, and Tieteberga.

Available Format: CD

Joan Sutherland, Marianne Schech, Otakar Kraus, Beryl Hatt, Kurt Böhme, Lloyd Strauss-Smith, Frans Vroons; Fritz Stiedry, BBC Symphony Orchestra

Recorded and broadcast shortly after Sutherland created the role of Jenifer in Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage (and four years before the London production of Lucia di Lammermoor which made her an overnight star), this was the great Australian soprano’s only assumption of the title-role in Weber’s rarely-staged opera, and comes courtesy of the archives of Richard Itter in remarkably good sound.

Available Formats: 2 CDs, MP3, FLAC

Roy Henderson (baritone), New English Symphony Orchestra and Choir

Issued to mark the label’s ninetieth birthday this year, this limited edition vinyl re-pressing of the label’s first release feature a ‘needle-drop’ flat transfer of the original 1929 recording from the Delius Festival on the A-side, and a cleaned-up version (refurbished using the latest technology at Abbey Road) on the B-side.

Available Format: Vinyl Record

Piotr Beczała, Anja Harteros, Waltraud Meier, Tomasz Konieczny, Georg Zeppenfeld; Bayreuther Festspiele, Christian Thielemann, Yuval Sharon

Featuring one of the finest casts possible to assemble for this opera today, this Lohengrin was filmed at last year’s Bayreuth Festival; The New York Times described Yuval Sharon’s contemporary production as having ‘something for everyone’ and boasting ‘breathtaking visuals and enthralling musicality’, whilst the Financial Times praised Harteros’s ‘glowing, full-throated, well-judged Elsa’, Beczała’s ‘refined, elegant, and beautiful’ Swan-Knight, and the ‘exceptional delicacy and considerable weight’ which Thielemann conjures from the orchestra.

Available Format: 2 DVD Videos

Piotr Beczała, Anja Harteros, Waltraud Meier, Tomasz Konieczny, Georg Zeppenfeld; Bayreuther Festspiele, Christian Thielemann, Yuval Sharon

Picture Format: 1080i High Definition 16:9 Sound Format: PCM Stereo DTS-HD Master Audio 5.0

Available Format: Blu-ray

Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan

Released to mark the thirtieth anniversary of Karajan’s death on 16th July, this re-issue of his 1975-1981 Bruckner cycle is presented on nine CDs and a Pure Audio Blu-ray disc, mastered at 24bit/96kHz from original analogue sources (Symphonies Nos. 1-3 were originally recorded in 16bit/44.1 kHz and upsampled for the Blu-ray).

Available Format: 9 CDs + Blu-ray Audio