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 New Release Round-up, New Release Round-Up - 4th October 2019

This week’s releases include the complete Beethoven symphonies from Andris Nelsons and the Wiener Philharmoniker, Scarlatti sonatas from French pianist Lucas Debargue, Shostakovich from Gianandrea Noseda and the London Symphony Orchestra, and a tribute to Farinelli from Ann Hallenberg and Stile Galante.

Wiener Philharmoniker, Andris Nelsons

Recorded at the Musikverein’s Großer Saal between March 2017 and April 2019, and released in advance of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in 2020, this is Nelsons’s first complete Beethoven cycle on disc; Camilla Nylund, Gerhild Romberger, Klaus Florian Vogt and Georg Zeppenfeld are the soloists in the Ninth.

Available Formats: 5 CDs + 1 Blu-ray Audio, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

London Symphony Orchestra, Gianandrea Noseda

This is the second instalment of the LSO’s Shostakovich cycle with their principal guest conductor, following an account of Symphony No. 8 which was praised for ‘the orchestra’s intense and deeply felt playing’ (Gramophone); reviewing this live performance from the Barbican last November, BachTrack observed that ‘each note was throbbingly felt, and tuttis were played with immense volume’.

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

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Estonian National Male Choir, The Polytech Choir, Hannu Lintu

Real-life siblings Ville and Johanna Rusanen take the roles of the ill-fated hero and his estranged sister on this year's second recording of Sibelius's early symphonic suite based on texts from the epic poem Kalevala; Lintu and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra were shortlisted for a Gramophone Award for their 2017 recording of Tapiola, En Saga and songs in orchestrations by Aulis Sallinen.

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

Christophe Coin (cello), L'Onda Armonica

The first two volumes of Coin’s Vivaldi Cello Concertos in Naïve were described as ‘limpid and relaxed’ (Gramophone) and ‘intelligent yet engaging and tenderly expressive’ (BBC Music Magazine); after a hiatus of just over a decade he returns in partnership with L’Onda Armonica, the ensemble founded by bassoonist and conductor Sergio Azzolini, another stalwart of Naïve’s mammoth Vivaldi Edition.

Available Format: CD

Elsa Dreisig (soprano), Quatuor Arod

The ‘Mathilde’ of the title was the sister of Alexander Zemlinsky and the wife of Arnold Schoenberg; the album features the Second String Quartets by her brother and husband, preceded by Anton Webern’s Langsamer Satz. Like Quatuor Arod’s debut recording of Mendelssohn, the album features a guest singer from the Warner roster – in this case Elsa Dreisig, who joins for the Schoenberg.

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

Benjamin Baker (violin), Huw Watkins (piano), Kerenza Peacock (violin) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Hanke Brothers, Paul Bateman

As well as the eponymous short work for solo piano (played here by its dedicatee Huw Watkins), this collection includes Gemini for solo violin and strings, the Suite for piano and orchestra (also composed for Watkins), the 2018 ballet The Infinite Ocean, Inferno, and The Elements, written for the Hanke Brothers and scored for the unusual combination of piano, viol, tuba and recorder.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC

Lucas Debargue (piano)

The young French pianist chose four Scarlatti sonatas to open his debut solo album on Sony back in 2016, and now he tackles roughly 10% of the rest on this four-disc set; reviewing Debargue’s recent recital at Wigmore Hall, The Telegraph’s Ivan Hewitt observed that ‘caught the way Scarlatti’s fierceness can change to tenderness in the blink of an eye’.

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

Ann Hallenberg (mezzo), Stile Galante, Stefano Aresi

A month ahead of Cecilia Bartoli’s tribute to the great castrato Carlo Broschi, Swedish mezzo Hallenberg explores some of the music which Farinelli performed for the Spanish court during his long stay in Madrid, including arias by Niccolo Conforto, Gaetano Latilla, Giovanni Battista Mele and Geminiano Giacomelli.

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

Anna Prohaska (Aricie), Magdalena Kožená (Phèdre), Elsa Dreisig (Diane), Reinoud Van Mechelen (Hippolyte), Gyula Orendt (Thésée), Peter Rose (Pluto/Jupiter), Roman Trekel (Tisiphone) 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’.

Available Format: 2 DVD Videos

Anna Prohaska (Aricie), Magdalena Kožená (Phèdre), Elsa Dreisig (Diane), Reinoud Van Mechelen (Hippolyte), Gyula Orendt (Thésée), Peter Rose (Pluto/Jupiter), Roman Trekel (Tisiphone); Freiburg Baroque Orchestra & State Opera Choir, Simon Rattle

Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1

Available Format: Blu-ray

La Risonanza, Fabio Bonizzoni

Described by Gramophone as ‘Handel-singing, playing and direction of the absolute highest order’ and by The Sunday Times as ‘state-of-the-art Handel’, Bonizzoni’s series of chamber cantatas was recorded in the late 2000s, with soloists including Roberta Invernizzi, Raffaella Milanesi, Nuria Rial, Yetzabel Arias Fernández, and Romina Basso.

Available Formats: 7 CDs, MP3, FLAC