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 New Release Round-up, New Release Round-Up - 1st November 2019

Today’s new releases include Beethoven's Ninth Symphony from Bach Collegium Japan and Masaaki Suzuki, Ronald Brautigam's second cycle of the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos (this time on fortepiano and with a period-instrument orchestra), piano trios by Tchaikovsky and Babajanian from Vadim Gluzman, Johannes Moser and Yevgeny Sudbin, and Dohnányi from Marc-André Hamelin and the Takács Quartet.

Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki

Suzuki and the singers of Bach Collegium Japan recorded Beethoven’s final symphony back in 1998, in Wagner’s youthful arrangement of the work for piano, soloists and choir, prompting BBC Music Magazine to observe that ‘if a composer feels impelled to make a piano arrangement of a work so inherently orchestral in spirit, this is probably the best that could be done’; now they tackle the original in advance of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary next year.

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

Hallé, Sir Mark Elder

As well as the Nocturnes, this all-Debussy programme includes the Première rapsodie (with the Hallé’s principal clarinet Sergio Castelló López as soloist), the cantata La Damoiselle élue (with Sophie Bevan and Anna Stéphany), and the world premiere recording of Colin Matthew’s orchestration of Les soirs illuminés par l’ardeur du charbon, a tiny piano piece composed towards the end of Debussy’s life as a thank-you to his coal merchant and only discovered in 2001.

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

Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano), Die Kölner Akademie, Michael Alexander Willens

Brautigam recorded the complete Beethoven concertos with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra and Andrew Parrott around a decade ago, using a modern piano, in accounts which Gramophone praised for their ‘bounding energy and resilience’; in the wake of his recordings of the complete works for solo piano on fortepiano, he returns to them with the period instruments of the Kölner Akademie.

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

David Childs (euphonium), BBC Philharmonic, Ben Gernon

Childs's ‘warm honeyed tones’ impressed BBC Music Magazine when Volume One of The Symphonic Euphonium (featuring concertos by Horovitz, Wilby, Karl Jenkins and Alun Hoddinott) appeared in 2014; here the Vaughan Williams and Gregson Tuba Concertos receive their first outings in arrangements for euphonium, whilst the works by Paul Mealor and Michael Ball are both given their world premiere recordings and were commissioned by Childs.

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

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.

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

Vadim Gluzman (violin), Johannes Moser (cello), Yevgeny Sudbin (piano)

Three distinguished Tchaikovskians team up for the Piano Trio in A minor ‘In memory of a great artist’ (dedicated to Nikolai Rubinstein) and Babajanian’s late-Romantic trio from 1952; Sudbin’s own arrangement of the Tango from Schnittke’s 1992 opera Life with an Idiot completes the programme.

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

The Russian pianist’s first recording of Schubert (released in 2002 on Sony) was hailed by the Gramophone Guide as ‘irrefutable proof of Arcadi Volodos's genius and versatility’, demonstrating ‘an empathy with Schubert's spirit so total that it would be extraordinary in a pianist of any age, let alone one still in his twenties’; almost two decades on, this new album centres on a sonata which Volodos has now retired from his concert repertoire.

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

Dame Sarah Connolly (mezzo), James Platt (bass); BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Sir Andrew Davis

Premiered in 1951, Bliss’s The Enchantress sets a text based on the Second Idyll of Theocritus and was dedicated to the great English contralto Kathleen Ferrier; it’s followed here by the John Blow-inspired setting of Psalm XXIII from 1955, and the large-scale cantata Mary of Magdala, which received its first performance at the Three Choirs Festival in 1963.

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

The Tallis Scholars’s series of the complete Josquin masses (which began in the late 1980s and has accrued several Gramophone Awards along the way) is now approaching the finishing-line, and this penultimate volume pairs the Brumel-influenced Missa Mater Patris with the Missa Da pacem, now thought to be at least in part the work of Josquin’s compatriot Noel Bauldeweyn. Read David's interview with Peter Phillips about the recording here.

Available Format: CD

Ermonela Jaho (Violetta), Charles Castronovo (Alfredo), Placido Domingo (Germont); Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and Royal Opera Chorus, Antonella Manacorda, Richard Eyre (director)

Now 25 years old, Richard Eyre’s production is already available on DVD and Blu-ray with Renée Fleming, Joseph Calleja and Thomas Hampson, but the impetus for this new release was Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho’s staggering central performance in one of her signature-roles: The Times described her as ‘hugely affecting’, whilst Opera Today observed that ‘if a wrenching portrait of physical and psychological demise is what you’re after, this is a Traviata for you’. (You can read Katherine’s interview with Jaho about portraying another abandoned woman, Anna in Puccini’s first opera Le Willis, here).

Available Format: DVD Video

Ermonela Jaho (Violetta), Charles Castronovo (Alfredo), Placido Domingo (Germont); Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and Royal Opera Chorus, Antonella Manacorda, Richard Eyre (director)

Sound Formats: LPCM 2.0 & 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

Picture Format: 16:9

Available Format: Blu-ray

Prepared in partnership with the Beethoven-Haus Bonn, this 118-CD set includes three complete cycles of the symphonies, several world premieres and extensive editorial by leading Beethoven scholars as well as DVDs of Fidelio (Bernstein), Symphonies Nos. 4 & 7 (Kleiber) and three Blu-ray Audio discs of recordings by Karajan, Kempff and the Amadeus Quartet.

Available Format: 118 CDs + 2 DVD Videos + 3 Blu-ray Audios