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 New Release Round-up, New Release Round-Up - 13th November 2020

Jaroussky et alToday's new releases include arias from rare baroque oratorios from Philippe Jaroussky and Artaserse, a Christmas album from Jonas Kaufmann, Beethoven’s Christ on the Mount of Olives from Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra, and the world premiere recording of Vladimir Martynov’s Utopia Symphony from Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Paavo Järvi

Järvi kicks off his projected Tchaikovsky series (a first on record for conductor and orchestra alike) with what he describes as ‘perhaps the finest of his symphonies’, coupled with the ‘symphonic fantasy after Dante’ from 1877; the recording is already receiving praise, with Gramophone observing that ‘this is a dry-eyed, disciplined account…but it certainly hits the emotional spot and marks an auspicious start to Järvi’s Tonhalle Tchaikovsky cycle’.

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

Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor), Artaserse

After the carnivalesque delights of his all-Cavalli album last year, the French countertenor turns to the rather more sombre world of Italian baroque oratorio, in a programme which takes its title from a work by Pietro Torri and also includes arias by Alessandro Scarlatti, Fortunato Chelleri, Johann Adolph Hasse, Nicola Fago, Antonio Caldara, Antonio Maria Bononcini, Benedetto Marcello, and Handel. Five arias are world premiere recordings.

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

Elsa Dreisig (soprano), Pavol Breslik (tenor), David Soar (bass-baritone) London Symphony Chorus

Recorded at the Barbican earlier this year as part of the LSO’s Beethoven anniversary celebrations, this account of the composer’s relatively neglected 1803 oratorio prompted the Financial Times to declare that ‘it is hard to imagine this performance being bettered’, whilst The Independent praised the ‘noble plangency’ of Slovakian tenor Pavol Breslik as Jesus.

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

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vladimir Jurowski

Made at Abbey Road last year in the presence of the composer, this is the world premiere recording of Martynov’s Utopia Symphony, which began life in 2005 as Singapore: A Geopolitical Utopia and sets text adapted from passages of the Tao Te Ching; the orchestra have history with the Russian composer’s music, having premiered his Dante-inspired opera-oratorio Vita Nuova in 2009.

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

Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Rory Macdonald

Macdonald and the RSNO began their survey of the symphonies of Scottish composer Thomas Wilson (1927–2001) last year with what The Arts Desk described as ‘a startling introduction to a very individual voice’; this second instalment features the Second Symphony from 1965, and the Fifth, which was commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for their twenty-fifth-anniversary season in 1998.

Available Format: CD

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta

As well as the title-work (which was conceived as a ballet but subsequently revised as a symphonic poem), this all-Schmitt programme includes the composer’s final ‘Orientalist’ work Oriane et le Prince d'Amour, Musique sur l'eau for soprano and orchestra, and Légende from 1918 – originally written for saxophone but given here in a version for violin.

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

Ian Bostridge (tenor), Saskia Giorgini (piano)

Following his third recording of Winterreise with Thomas Adès, Bostridge revisits Schubert’s lovelorn miller-lad with a new partner, Italian-Dutch pianist Saskia Giorgini, who impressed Gramophone last year with her ‘idiomatic virtuosity’ in solo works by Enescu. In a recent interview in the New York Times, the tenor described how his interpretation of the work has become less ‘naïve and untroubled’ in the twenty-five years since his breakthrough recording with Graham Johnson.

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

Avi Avital (mandolin)

On his first recording consisting exclusively of pieces originally written for his instrument, the Israeli mandolinist plays works by Antonio Vivaldi, Domenico Scarlatti, Ludwig van Beethoven, Paul Ben Haim, David Bruce, Giovanni Sollima , and Hans Werner Henze - several of which he commissioned and premiered. His guests include guitarist Sean Shibe and harpist Anneleen Lenaerts.

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

Harry Traksmann (violin), Marrit Gerretz-Traksmann (piano), Leho Karin (cello), Tanja Tetzlaff (cello); Signum Quartet

This first release in a series dedicated to the Estonian composer’s chamber music features the String Quartet No. 2 Lost Prayers, Synergie for violin and cello, and the piano trios Lichttürme and Fata Morgana; shortly after its premiere the Washington Post described the latter piece as ‘a work that, like the mirage it is named for, draws you in with shimmering, irresistible allure’.

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

Syntagma Amici, Vox Luminis

Marking Ricercar’s fortieth anniversary, this programme of sacred and secular seventeenth-century German music includes works by Samuel Scheidt, Heinrich Schütz, Johann Theile, Johann Rudolf Ahle, Daniel Speer, Philipp Friedrich Böddecker, Johann Vierdanck, Johann Hermann Schein, and Philipp Friedrich Buchner.

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

Jonas Kaufmann (tenor)

On one of the most hotly anticipated festive albums of the year, the German tenor is joined by the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg for traditional carols including O come, all ye faithful, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Stille Nacht and In dulci jubilo, and by the Cologne Studio Big Band for seasonal evergreens such as White Christmas, Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, Winter Wonderland, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Available Format: 2 CDs

Francesca Ascioti (Dori), Rupert Enticknap (Oronte), Federico Sacchi (Artaserse), Francesca Lombardi Mazzuli (Arsinoe), Emoke Barath (Tolomeo); Accademia Bizantina, Ottavio Dantone

The audio recording of this Innsbruck Festival production of Cesti’s Babylonian tragi-comedy was released earlier this year, and was described by Early Music Review’s Brian Robins as ‘one of the most musically and dramatically satisfying recordings of a Venetian opera available’; reviewing the production itself, Opera Wire applauded Stefano Vizioli’s ‘clearly constructed staging’ and noted that the Italian director ‘also was particularly successful in combining the comedy with the serious’.

Available Format: DVD Video

Francesca Ascioti (Dori), Rupert Enticknap (Oronte), Federico Sacchi (Artaserse), Francesca Lombardi Mazzuli (Arsinoe), Emoke Barath (Tolomeo); Accademia Bizantina, Ottavio Dantone

Picture format: HD 16:9

Sound format: PCM Stereo and DTS-MA 5.1

Available Format: Blu-ray

Stefan Kurt (General Wladimir Katschalow), Alma Sade (Tatjana), Vera-Lotte Boecker (Lydia Pawlowska), Dominik Koninger (Roderich Zirbitz), Tansel Akzeybek (Ito), Tino Lindenburg (Colonel Baltischew), Luca Schaub (Grand Duke Michailowitsch); Komische Opera Berlin, Jordan de Souza, Barrie Kosky

Premiered in 1933 with Richard Tauber in a leading role, Weinberger’s operetta was quickly cancelled by the Nazis, and the composer was forced to flee to America shortly afterwards. This 2020 production from the Komische Oper Berlin was the result of reconstruction work by German musicologist Norbert Biermann; reviewing the show on opening night, the Financial Times observed that ‘Jordan de Souza conducts with swing and polish, and the Komische Oper orchestra plays well for him’.

Available Format: 2 DVD Videos

Stefan Kurt (General Wladimir Katschalow), Alma Sade (Tatjana), Vera-Lotte Boecker (Lydia Pawlowska), Dominik Koninger (Roderich Zirbitz), Tansel Akzeybek (Ito), Tino Lindenburg (Colonel Baltischew), Luca Schaub (Grand Duke Michailowitsch); Komische Opera Berlin, Jordan de Souza, Barrie Kosky

Picture format: HD 16:9

Sound format: PCM Stereo and DTS-MA 5.1

Available Format: Blu-ray

The American Decca Recordings

In the wake of last week’s tribute to Nadia Boulanger, Dear Mademoiselle, Eloquence present the recordings which the composer, conductor, pianist and organist made for American Decca in the early 1950s, including music by Monteverdi, Josquin, Lassus, Charpentier, Rameau, and Brahms.

Available Format: 5 CDs