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 New Release Round-up, New Release Round-Up - 20th December 2019

Christopher PurvesToday’s new releases include a third volume of symphonies by Czech composer Leopold Koželuch, the first recordings of two piano concertos by Hummel on period instruments, transcendental studies by Liszt and Lyapunov from Russian pianist Konstantin Scherbakov, and a three-part documentary on the history of the English organ from Fugue State Films and organist Daniel Moult.

Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice, Marek Štilec

The Czech orchestra continue their survey of their countryman’s symphonies, which were described as ‘vivid, well-argued and colourful’ by Gramophone shortly after the release of Volume One back in 2017; this third instalment features two named works, the Symphony in A 'à la française', and the Symphony in B flat 'L'irresoluto'.

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

Camerata Simón Bolivar, Alfonso Lopez Ch.

Though Glass trained as a flautist, he’s written for the instrument only occasionally; following a meeting with the composer in 2011, the Brazilian musicologist and flautist James Strauss was inspired to make his own arrangements of the Violin Concerto No. 1 and the Orphée Suite (originally for piano), which appear alongside transcriptions of music from The Hours and Glassworks and Metamorphosis 2 (the latter prepared in collaboration with the composer).

Available Format: CD

Zuill Bailey (cello), Philippe Quint (violin), Philharmonia Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, Robin O'Neill, Grant Llewellyn

Reviewing the central performance of the Brahms Double Concerto (recorded live at the tenth Wimbledon International Music Festival), BBC Music Magazine praised ‘the intimate rapport between Bailey and solo violinist Philippe Quint and the evident affection of all concerned’; as well as the Schumann concerto, the album also includes the Prayer from Bloch’s From Jewish Life, and Bruch’s Kol Nidrei.

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

Stefano Barneschi (violin), Alessandro Commellato (piano), La Galante, Didier Talpain

Seven years have elapsed since the first volume of this series of the complete Hummel piano concertos (the first to be recorded on period instruments) appeared on Brilliant Classics; this second instalment comprises the A major concerto and the Concerto for Violin and Piano, both written while the composer was still in his twenties and strongly influenced by Mozart, with whom the young Hummel lived and studied for two years.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC

Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)

The Russian pianist (described as ‘the Rachmaninov of today’ by the Lucerne Music Festival) couples Liszt’s twelve studies with the dozen works which Sergei Lyapunov composed as a companion-piece to the set – Liszt had intended to write 24 études in all keys, though as Scherbakov notes Lyapunov was too modest to describe the project as a completion. The album was nominated for an International Classical Music Award, and was praised as a’ fine addition to the catalogue’ in International Piano over the summer.

Available Formats: 2 CDs, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC, Hi-Res+ FLAC

Katie Mahan (piano)

American pianist Katie Mahan made an outstanding contribution to last year’s Bernstein centenary when she recorded his complete works for solo piano for Deutsche Grammophon, and now she turns to another American composer who blurred the lines between popular and classical music – the album is bookended by Rhapsody in Blue and the Second Rhapsody, and includes jazz standards such as Embraceable You, Fascinatin’ Rhythm and ’s Wonderful.

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

Yoonie Han (piano)

Though Hahn is perhaps best known for his mélodies, this set of 50-odd miniatures (composed between 1898 and 1910) shows him to be every bit as inventive and appealing when writing for solo piano; the South Korean pianist Yoonie Han describes the cycle as ‘exquisite’, and has a special affection for Hahn’s ‘effortless melodic fluidity, delicacy, and elegance’.

Available Formats: 2 CDs, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC, Hi-Res+ FLAC

Lori Laitman (piano), Andrew Rosenblum (piano) et al

49 world premieres of songs composed between 1997 and 2017 by the American composer and pianist (described by Fanfare as ‘one of the most talented and intriguing of living composers’), including settings of texts by Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop and Joyce Sutphen; the album also features two works for alto saxophone and piano, Lullaby (2014) and the ‘song without words’ Journey (2008).

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

Daniel Moult (organ)

Filmed in over forty locations and showcasing thirty-three instruments (including the organs of King’s College Cambridge, Brompton Oratory, the Palace of Westminster and Truro Cathedral), this three-part documentary traces the history and development of the organ and its music in England from around 1550 to the present; also includes eight hours of performance footage, with repertoire ranging from Byrd to contemporary works.

Available Format: 4 DVD Videos + 3 CDs