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 Coming Soon, Quatuor Ébène's Beethoven odyssey and other forthcoming highlights

Ebene FuturesSeptember highlights include the first of a series of live Beethoven recordings from Quatuor Ébène, John Nelson’s memorial performance of Berlioz’s Requiem from St Paul’s Cathedral on the 150th anniversary of the composer’s death, the world premiere recordings of two concertos by Gabriel Prokofiev, and the original one-act version of Puccini’s first opera Le Willis, with Ermonela Jaho as the betrayed woman who goads her faithless lover into exhaustion and insanity from beyond the grave.

To mark the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth next year, the Ébènes will tour 21 countries with the Beethoven string quartets, making live recordings in Vienna, Philadelphia, Tokyo, São Paulo, Melbourne, Nairobi and Paris; this first instalment was captured at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, and a documentary of their journey will be released at the end of 2020. Released 27th September.

Available Format: CD

Michael Spyres (tenor), Philharmonia Orchestra & Chorus, London Philharmonic Choir, John Nelson

Recorded live at St Paul’s Cathedral to mark the 150th anniversary of Berlioz’s death on 8th March of this year, this performance was described by BachTrack as ‘a sublime memorial to one of France’s greatest sons’. You can watch Katherine’s video interview with Nelson (made several days before the recording) about his longstanding love of Berlioz and the challenges of recording this piece in this acoustic here. Released 20th September.

Available Format: CD + DVD Video

Branford Marsalis (saxophone), Joby Burgess (timpani), Ural Philharmonic Orchestra, Alexey Bogorad

The world premiere recordings of two works for instruments which only rarely feature as concerto soloists, both performed by their dedicatees: the Bass Drum Concerto for virtuoso percussionist Joby Burgess (composed in 2012), and the Saxophone Concerto for Branford Marsalis, first performed in Naples in 2016. Released 27th September.

Available Format: CD

Dong Hyek Lim (piano), Martha Argerich (piano), BBC Symphony Orchestra, Alexander Vedernikov

The South Korean pianist is joined by his mentor Martha Argerich for the composer’s own transcription of his Symphonic Dances for two pianos, and by the BBC Symphony Orchestra for a work which he describes as ‘a feast of continuation of overwhelmingly beautiful and heart-throbbing melodies’. Released 13th September.

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

London Symphony Orchestra, Sir John Eliot Gardiner

Recorded at the Barbican in March of last year, this first instalment of a projected Schumann cycle from Gardiner and the LSO prompted The Guardian to describe the conductor as ‘one of the great Schumann interpreters, wonderfully alert to the music’s volatility and rigour’; the album opens with the Overture to Genoveva. Released 20th September.

Available Format: CD

Marc-André Hamelin (piano), Takács Quartet

Following their critically-acclaimed accounts of piano quintets by Schumann, Franck and Shostakovich, Hamelin and the Hungarian quartet team up to explore the chamber music of Ernő Dohnányi, opening with the 1895 quintet which was composed whilst he was still in his teens, and piqued Brahms’s interest so much that he requested a private performance. Released 1st November.

Available Format: CD

The winner of the 2016 Sydney International Piano Competition makes his debut on Hyperion with an all-Shostakovich recital which sandwiches the complete Preludes Op. 34 between the two piano sonatas, rounded off by the two-minute Nocturne from The Limpid Stream. Released 27th September.

Available Format: CD

Marie-Nicole Lemieux (contralto), Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Paul Daniel

The Canadian contralto performs a triptych of late nineteenth-century works inspired by the sea: Elgar’s Sea Pictures, Chausson’s Poème de l'amour et de la mer, and the world premiere recording of Victorin Joncières’s ‘ode symphonique’ La mer on four poems by Édouard Guinand, whose work was also set by Chaminade and Debussy. Released 13th September.

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

Ermonela Jaho (Anna), Arsen Soghomonyan (Roberto), Brian Mulligan (Guglielmo) Opera Rara Chorus, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Mark Elder

Following her success as Leoncavallo’s Zazà last year, the Albanian soprano Jaho tackles a far more vengeful abandoned woman, Anna in Puccini’s early supernatural opera, given here in the original one-act version which the young composer submitted for a competition held by the music publisher Sonzogno in 1883. Look out for Katherine's exclusive interview with her about the role next month. Released 20th September.

Available Format: CD

Reinoud Van Mechelen (Hippolyte), Anna Prohaska (Aricie), Magdalena Kožená (Phèdre), Elsa Dreisig (Diane), Gyula Orendt (Thésée); Freiburg Baroque Orchestra & State Opera Choir, Simon Rattle

Directed by Aletta Collins and designed by Olafur Eliasson, this sci-fi-influenced 2018 production of Rameau’s first opera was the first-ever staging of any of the composer’s work at the Staatsoper Berlin; reviewing the live performance, The Guardian praised the cast’s ‘love and commitment to this music’ and observed the production ‘could persuade a new generation that Rameau’s music is for our time’. Released 20th September.

Available Format: 2 DVD Videos

Reinoud Van Mechelen (Hippolyte), Anna Prohaska (Aricie), Magdalena Kožená (Phèdre), Elsa Dreisig (Diane), Gyula Orendt (Thésée); Freiburg Baroque Orchestra & State Opera Choir, Simon Rattle

Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1

Available Format: Blu-ray