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 New Release Round-up, New Release Round-Up - 25th October 2019

Christopher PurvesToday’s new releases include three Strauss tone-poems from Vasily Petrenko and the Oslo Philharmonic, a formidable recital of Ravel and Stravinsky transcriptions from Italian pianist Beatrice Rana, Shostakovich from the Pavel Haas Quartet, and Handel’s Samson in a new performing edition from John Butt and the Dunedin Consort.

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko

Petrenko will stand down as chief conductor of the Norwegian orchestra at the end of this season, so this triptych of Strauss heroes and rogues may be among his last recordings with them; their previous volume of Strauss, which was released in April, impressed Gramophone with its ‘patient musicality and sense of coherence’, whilst the Sunday Times praised ‘the standards of orchestral virtuosity he has attained with this excellent band’.

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

Les Siècles, François-Xavier Roth

Roth first recorded Berlioz’s ‘episode in the life of an artist’ with his period-instrument orchestra Les Siècles back in 2010 (an account which was praised for its ‘raw, authentic energy’ in the Sunday Times), but for this 150th anniversary he’s returned to the composer’s autograph score and even incorporated the church-bells of his hometown, La Côte-Saint-André, in the final movement.

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

For her third release on Warner Classics, the Italian pianist presents Ravel’s Miroirs and La valse alongside Stravinsky’s The Firebird and Petrushka; reviewing her recital at Queen Elizabeth Hall earlier this year, Classical Source observed that Miroirs showcases her ‘facility and filigree virtuosity…and limitless supply of nuance’ and described her account of The Firebird as ‘eye-popping’.

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

Every single one of the Czech string quartet’s recordings on Supraphon over the past thirteen years has been a Gramophone Award finalist or winner (their Dvořák album in 2010 was Recording of the Year), so we’ve high hopes for their first recording of Shostakovich, especially in the wake of their ‘superbly considered and immaculately executed’ (The Times) broadcast of two of his works from Wigmore Hall earlier this year.

Available Format: CD

Kirill Gerstein (piano), Hagen Quartett

The Hagens first recorded Brahms back in the mid-1990s (the two String Quintets with viola-player Gérard Caussé on Deutsche Grammophon, now alas no longer available), and chose the Clarinet Quintet for their thirtieth anniversary release in 2012; this recording is their first of any of the string quartets, and also features their regular collaborator Kirill Gerstein in the Piano Quintet

Available Format: CD

Roderick Williams (baritone), James Gilchrist (tenor), Tim Horton (piano), Ensemble 360

Four world premiere recordings from the English composer Howard Skempton, whose setting of Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner for baritone Roderick Williams was shortlisted for a Gramophone Award last year: the DH Lawrence setting Man and Bat (commissioned by Presto’s founder Maurice Millward and premiered in 2017) was also written for Williams and was described by the singer as ‘yet another tour de force for the gleeful performer’.

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

Glen Dempsey (organ), Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge, Andrew Nethsingha

An Editor’s Choice in this month’s Gramophone (which praised the choir’s ‘extreme perception of blend (vowel and timbre), words and phrasing’), this collection of canticles features music by Stanford, Leighton, Sumsion, Gabriel Jackson, and Tippett (whose setting was composed in 1961 to mark the 450th anniversary of the college’s foundation).

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

Stile Antico

Alonso Lobo’s Missa Beata Dei genitrix Maria is interspersed with other Spanish music for Christmas and Epiphany, including Guerrero’s motet of the same name, Victoria’s O magnum mysterium, Cristóbal de Morales’s Cum natus esset Jesus, Pedro Rimonte’s De la piel de sus ovejas, and traditional villancicos such as Ríu ríu chíu.

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

Sophie Bevan, Fflur Wyn, Mary Bevan, Jess Dandy, Hugo Hymas, Matthew Brook, Vitali Rozynko Dunedin Consort, John Butt

Following their acclaimed recordings of Esther, Acis and Galatea and Ode for St Cecilia’s Day, Butt and the Dunedins present Samson in a new performing edition based on the work’s first set of performances in 1743, with the soloists joining a chorus which also includes boy trebles; reviewing their performance of the work at last year’s Edinburgh Festival, The Scotsman observed that ‘if [Butt] doesn’t already have national treasure status, then it’s time he did’.

Available Format: 3 CDs

Lise Davidsen (Agathe), Andreas Schager (Max), Sofia Fomina (Ännchen), Alan Held (Kaspar); Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Marek Janowski

Recorded in concert in Frankfurt last December, this performance of Weber’s supernatural opera features two stars of this year’s Bayreuth Festival: Austrian heldentenor Andreas Schager as the forester who inadvertently enters into a demonic bargain to win a shooting contest, and young Norwegian lyric-dramatic soprano Lise Davidsen as the woman he competes for. The dialogue is replaced by narration written by director Katharina Wagner and Daniel Weber.

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

This 24-CD set brings the French conductor’s complete recordings for Decca, Philips, Westminster and Decca/RCA together for the first time, and includes a bonus disc of previously-unreleased rehearsal-material of Beethoven and Ravel. The repertoire includes the complete Beethoven symphonies, Debussy’s Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien, Images and Nocturnes, and Stravinsky’s Petrushka, The Firebird and The Rite of Spring.

Available Format: 24 CDs

Jeanine de Bique (Rodelinda), Tim Mead (Bertarido), Benjamin Hulett (Grimoaldo), Avery Amereau (Eduige), Jakub Józef Orliński (Unulfo); Le Concert d'Astrée, Emmanuelle Haïm

Filmed at Opera de Lille last October, Jean Bellorini’s production views the action from the perspective of Rodelinda and Bertarido’s young son Flavio (a silent role); reviewing the opening night, BachTrack praised the Trinidadian soprano Jeanine de Bique (making her debut in the title-role) for her ‘bright top and bronzed middle voice’ and described Tim Mead’s countertenor as ‘sweet and angelic’ in the role of Bertarido.

Available Format: DVD Video

Jeanine de Bique (Rodelinda), Tim Mead (Bertarido), Benjamin Hulett (Grimoaldo), Avery Amereau (Eduige), Jakub Józef Orliński (Unulfo); Le Concert d'Astrée, Emmanuelle Haïm

Sound formats: LPCM Stereo / Dolby Digital 5.1 Picture format: 16:9

Available Format: Blu-ray