Skip to main content

 New Release Round-up, New Release Round-Up - 9th August 2019

New Releases 9th August 2019Today’s new releases include a wonderfully-sung collection of Finzi from Trinity College Cambridge, new orchestral works by Airat Ichmouratov and Dan Locklair, a melodramatic Gounod rarity from Paris’s Opéra Comique, and newly remastered recordings from Erich Kleiber, Jean Martinon and Helen Watts.

Belarusian State Chamber Orchestra, Evgeny Bushkov

This trilogy of world premiere recordings of music by the Russian-Canadian composer (b. 1973) features the Concerto Grosso No. 1 from 2011, the Three Romances for viola, strings and harp from 2009, and the string octet ‘Letter from an Unknown Woman’ from 2017.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC

Trinity College Choir Cambridge, Stephen Layton

As well as the Seven Poems of Robert Bridges, Lo, the full, final sacrifice and several shorter works both sacred and secular, this album includes the Magnificat Op. 36 alongside David Bednall’s Nunc Dimittis, conceived as a companion-piece to Finzi’s work and premiered in 2016 at Gloucester Cathedral.

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

Slovak National Symphony Orchestra, Michael Rohác

Four world premiere recordings of recent works by the American composer, who turned seventy this year: his Symphony No. 2 ‘America’ (the three movements of which celebrate Independence Day, Memorial Day and Thanksgiving respectively), the ‘Festive Piece for Orchestra’ Hail the Coming Day, the 2010 Organ Concerto, and PHOENIX, initially conceived in the 1970s as a short fanfare and later expanded into a more substantial orchestral work.

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

Jory Vinikour (harpsichord), Chicago Philharmonic, Scott Speck

Vinikour (who makes imaginative contributions on Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s recent recording of Die Zauberflöte) premieres Ned Rorem’s neo-classical 1946 Concertino da Camera, in a programme which also includes Michael Nyman’s Concerto for Amplified Harpsichord and Strings, Walter Leigh’s slight but charming 1934 Concertino, and the concerto which Viktor Kalabis composed for his wife Zuzana Růžičkova in the 1970s.

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

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Erich Kleiber, Jean Martinon

Remastered by Mark Obert-Thorn, these recordings were originally made in Kingsway Hall in the late 1940s, and include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 and Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 (both conducted by Kleiber) and (from Martinon) music by Ravel, Chabrier, and Tchaikovsky. Several of the recordings here are new to CD.

Available Formats: 2 CDs, MP3, FLAC

Helen Watts (contralto), Geoffrey Parsons (piano)

This two-disc set brings together the Welsh contralto’s first two recorded song-recitals (initially released in 1963 and 1964), and includes complete performances of Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben and Gedichte der Königin Maria Stuart, Wolf’s Mignon-Lieder, and the Brahms Alto Rhapsody with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Ernest Ansermet.

Available Formats: 2 CDs, MP3, FLAC

SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Michael Gielen

Released in memory of the Austrian conductor (who died this March), this set features two performances of Mahler’s ‘Tragic’ Symphony, recorded over forty years apart: the first was made in Baden-Baden in May 1971, and the second in Salzburg in 2013. A short interview in which Gielen discusses Mahler’s religious convictions is included as a bonus-track.

Available Formats: 3 CDs, MP3, FLAC

Michael Spyres (Rodolphe), Vannina Santoni (Agnès), Marion Lebègue (La Nonne); Insula Orchestra, accentus Laurence Equilbey

Loosely based on Matthew Lewis’s scandalous 1796 Gothic novel The Monk, Gounod’s five-act opera was condemned as 'pareilles ordures' (‘utter filth’) by an outraged theatre-director shortly after its premiere, but this rare revival from the Opéra Comique last year was considerably better-received: Opera News praised Michael Spyres’s ‘caressing lyricism and firm heroism’ in the pivotal role of Rodolphe and described Gounod’s music as ‘a glorious display of melodic and harmonic invention’.

Available Format: DVD Video

Michael Spyres (Rodolphe), Vannina Santoni (Agnès), Marion Lebègue (La Nonne); Insula Orchestra, accentus Laurence Equilbey

HD 16:9

PCM Stereo and DTS-HD 5.1

Subtitles: French, English, German, Japanese and Korean.

Available Format: Blu-ray

Elia Fabbian (Guglielmo Wulf), Maria Teresa Leva (Anna), Leonardo Caimi (Roberto); Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Marco Angius, Francesco Saponaro

Premiered in 1884, Puccini’s first opera (the melodramatic tale of an unfaithful lover driven to madness by the ghost of the woman he abandoned) is a still a relative rarity; originally conceived as a one-acter, it’s given here in its more familiar two-act incarnation, filmed in Florence last October. The production was praised in the Italian press for its ‘essentiality, intelligence and youth’ and for Angius’s ‘fierce and passionate’ interpretation of the score (Gbopera.it).

Available Format: DVD Video

Elia Fabbian (Guglielmo Wulf), Maria Teresa Leva (Anna), Leonardo Caimi (Roberto); Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Marco Angius, Francesco Saponaro

PCM Stereo 2.0

DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Available Format: Blu-ray