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 New Release Round-up, Ones that got away - Autumn/Winter 2019

New Release Round-UpAs it's a relatively quiet time of year for new releases, this week we've decided to round up a few of our bestselling titles from the past three months which haven't perhaps received the attention they deserve in the form of a newsletter, including a jaw-dropping Alkan recital from full-time barrister and part-time pianist Paul Wee, world premiere recordings of Shostakovich works for stage and screen from Mark Fitz-Gerald and the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, and Le Poème Harmonique's widely acclaimed twentieth-anniversary album of Italian Renaissance music.

Le Poème Harmonique, Vincent Dumestre

A nominee for this year’s International Classical Music Awards and Recording of the Month in the Awards Issue of Gramophone, Le Poème Harmonique’s twentieth-anniversary album explores the transformations of secular musical ideas into sacred works during the Italian Renaissance, and includes music by Monteverdi, Allegri, Rossi, Marazzoli, Mazzocchi and Abbatini.

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

The formidable technical demands of Alkan’s piano works are daunting enough for top-flight professionals, so it’s all the more remarkable that this exhilarating album comes from a supremely gifted amateur pianist – the Australian-born, Manhattan-trained barrister Paul Wee, whose interpretation of the Symphony was praised in Gramophone for ‘the precision of his attack, the clarity of the part-playing, the linear focus and structural grasp of each movement’.

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

London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle

Recorded live at the Barbican this January, this is the world premiere recording of a new Urtext Edition by German conductor and musicologist Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs; Classical Source described Rattle’s interpretation as ‘lucid and flowing, pointed up with hefty brass at all the right moments to give it the gravitas that seasoned Brucknerians would savour.’

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

Järvi succeeded Lionel Bringuier as Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Swiss orchestra only a few months ago, and their first recording together (released to coincide with his inaugural concerts in his new capacity) promises great things to come; the early Le tombeau resplendissant and late Un Sourire (composed just a couple of years before Messiaen’s death) are both comparative rarities on disc.

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

Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Mark Fitz-Gerald

World premiere recordings of Shostakovich’s score for the 1935 film (composed around the same time as the Fourth Symphony, and reconstructed here by Mark Fitz-Gerald using rough piano sketches and the film soundtrack itself) and his early incidental music for Vladimir Mayakovsky ‘s satire on Communism, premiered at the Meyerhold Theatre in 1929.

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

Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Olari Elts

Following the first instalment of Eller’s orchestral works on Ondine last year (which prompted BBC Music Magazine to describe the Estonian composer as ‘a wonderful orchestrator’), the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Elts focus on his early works – the symphonic poems Koit (Dawn), Videvik (Twilight), and Öö hüüded (Night Calls), and the suite Valge öö (White Nights) from 1939.

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

BBC Philharmonic, John Storgårds

For the third instalment of their widely-acclaimed Antheil series, Storgårds and the BBC Philharmonic present a programme which spans the American composer’s entire career, from the jazz- and ragtime-influenced First Symphony ‘Zingareska' (written in the early 1920s) to the 1950s ballet Capital of the World, inspired by Hemingway’s 1936 short story The Horns of the Bull; also includes the concert overture McKonkey’s Ferry and the premiere recording of Nocturne in Skyrockets,

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

Jennifer Pike (violin), Maria Forsström (mezzo), The Swedish Chamber Choir, Simon Phipps

The Swedish Chamber Choir open their debut album on Chandos with a generous helping of Vaughan Williams: Rest, Three Shakespeare Songs, and The Lark Ascending in a new arrangement for violin and chamber choir; also includes music by Swedish composers Wilhelm Stenhammar, Hugo Alfvén and David Wikander, and Clytus Gottwald’s sixteen-voice a cappella arrangement of Mahler’s Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen.

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

Víkingur Ólafsson (piano)

Described by The Observer as ‘an absolute must-have for any Bach-lover – or indeed any music-lover’, this expansion of the Icelandic pianist’s 2018 Bach album (which was BBC Music Magazine’s Recording of the Year and won an Opus Klassik Award) intersperses the original tracks with responses to Bach from composers including Peter Gregson, György Kurtág and Hildur Guðnadóttir.

Available Format: 2 CDs

Though the French Renaissance composer’s Lamentations of Jeremiah for Good Friday have been recorded and performed for many years in a heavily abbreviated form, this recording presents them complete after musicologist and conductor Laurie Stras discovered an additional seventeen verses hiding in plain sight in a sixteenth-century manuscript; you can read David’s extensive interview with Stras about the research process here.

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

Natalie Clein (cello), Truro Cathedral Choir, BBC Concert Orchestra, Joseph Wicks, Christopher Gray

The British-Bulgarian composer formed a partnership with the Truro Cathedral Choir in 2015, shortly after their introduction of girl choristers, and several of the works here are the fruits of that collaboration – including the Truro Canticles and Kynance Cove. Cellist Natalie Clein joins for On the South Downs, and Assistant Director of Music Joseph Wicks performs the solo organ work Diptych.

Available Format: CD

Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki

This limited-edition box brings together Suzuki’s acclaimed recordings of the secular cantatas, which were originally issued between 2004 and 2018 as a sequel to his series of the church cantatas with BCJ; soloists include Carolyn Sampson, Mojca Erdmann, Robin Blaze, Makoto Sakurada, Nicholas Phan and Roderick Williams. The set includes full texts and English translations and an introduction by Bach specialist Dr Klaus Hofmann.

Available Formats: 10 SACDs, MP3, FLAC