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 New Release Round-up, New Release Round-Up - 8th January 2021

New Releases 8th January 2021Today's new releases include Machaut from the Orlando Consort, Anton Reicha's mighty L’Art de varier from Ivan Ilić, Weinberg's String Quartets Nos. 2, 5 and 8 from the Arcadia Quartet, and an assured debut album of songs by Beethoven, Schubert, Mahler and Britten from baritone James Newby and Joseph Middleton.

Evelyn Glennie (percussion), Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Christian Lindberg

The Swedish composer, conductor and trombonist appears in all three of his capacities on this album, which takes its title from a work written in response to the 2016 US Election and described by Lindberg as ‘my testimony about a year when the world changed’; it’s preceded by Liverpool Lullabies (a concerto for percussion and trombone from the same year) and Waves of Wollongong, commissioned by The New Trombone Collective.

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

Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Christopher Ward

The mainstay of this second volume of music by Hans Rott from Köln is the Austrian composer’s sole completed symphony for full orchestra, composed between 1878 and 1880, but premiered only in 1989; it’s followed by the Symphony in A flat for Strings, and the world premiere recording of the Symphonic Movement in E major (which was eventually revised and incorporated into the Symphony, but met with derision when Rott submitted it for a composition competition as a student in Vienna).

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC

Jacob Kellermann (guitar), London Philharmonic Orchestra, Norrbotten NEO, Christian Karlsen

Inspired by Miles Davis’s legendary Sketches of Spain album from 1960, Kellermann and Karlsen’s album opens with Rodrigo’s evergreen concerto (the slow movement of which featured on Davis’s programme) and also includes two new concertante works inspired by Spain: Francisco Coll’s Turia and Pete Harden’s Solace and Shimmer. Falla’s Homenaje a Debussy and Karlsen’s arrangement of ‘Evocación’ from Albéniz’s Iberia are sandwiched between the two commissions.

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

The Polish-born Soviet composer Mieczysław Weinberg composed seventeen string quartets over the course of nearly half a century, three of which appear on this first instalment of a projected series: No. 2 (composed during his student days in Minsk), the Shostakovich-inspired No. 5 from 1945, and No. 8, which was written for the Borodin Quartet in 1959.

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

The Swedish pianist and neuroscientist began recording Kaikhosru Sorabji’s set of 100 Transcendental Studies (composed between 1940 and 1944 and running to eight hours in total) in 2005, and completes the cycle with this recording of Nos. 84-100. Reviewing the first volume, BBC Music Magazine declared that ‘Ullén… expounds Sorabji's studies with utter textural clarity and jaw-dropping virtuosity’, whilst Gramophone observed that ‘Ullén has the dexterity and finesse to do this music justice without making light of either its innate difficulty or its protean imagination.’

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

Ivan Ilić (piano)

On the third volume of his revelatory Reicha series, Ilić presents a single extraordinary work: L’Art de varier, a set of 57 variations composed in Vienna in 1802-3 and described by the pianist as the missing link between the Goldbergs and Diabellis; previous volumes have been praised as ‘wonderfully attuned to the style and content of the music’ (International Piano) and ‘the discovery of the year’ (Classical Ear).

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

An Editor’s Choice in the January edition of Gramophone, Namoradze’s debut recording on Hyperion prompted Jeremy Nicholas to describe him as ‘a terrific pianist…the kind of musician whose artistry is like a compelling novel where you can hardly wait for what comes next.’ The Georgian pianist’s account of the Op. 46 studies at Wigmore Hall last year was praised in The Independent as ‘riveting, each one being brought out like a rabbit from a conjuror’s hat’.

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

James Newby (baritone), Joseph Middleton (piano)

On his debut recording, the BBC New Generation Artist and his regular recital-partner perform Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte and ‘Adelaide’, Mahler’s ‘Revelge’, ‘Zu Strassburg auf der Schanz’ and ‘Urlicht’, a selection of Britten folksongs, and Schubert lieder including ‘Abendstern’, ‘Im Freien’, and ‘Der Wanderer’. Reviewing Newby's winning performance at the 2016 Kathleen Ferrier Awards, The Independent's Michael Church described his singing as 'intensely idiomatic' and 'exquisitely nuanced'.

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

Linda Richardson (soprano), Sinfonia of London, John Wilson

Italian repertoire has figured heavily in the British soprano’s career, and this recital includes arias from some of her favourite roles: Violetta in La traviata, Mimì in La bohème, Gilda in Rigoletto, and the title-roles in Madama Butterfly, Suor Angelica, Tosca, and Anna Bolena. Richardson’s performance of the latter at Longborough Festival last year was warmly received, with Classical Source observing that ‘coloratura fireworks are secure and intensely dramatic’.

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

The ‘lion’ of the title is King John II France, and the most substantial work on this album is the lai ‘En demantant et lamentant’, a lament on the occasion of his capture at the battle of Poitiers in 1356; the programme also includes later ballades on the theme of courtly love, including ‘Je puis trop bien ma dame comparer’, ‘Mes esperis se combat’, and ‘Dame, se vous m’estes lonteinne’.

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

Leigh Melrose (Ruprecht), Ewa Vesin (Renata), Anna Victorova (The Landlady), Mairam Sokolova (Fortune-teller/Mother Superior); Orchestra del Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Alejo Perez

Emma Dante’s 2019 production of Prokofiev’s 1927 opera (which remained unstaged during the composer’s lifetime) sets the action in the catacombs of Palermo, and was described by BachTrack as ‘a theatre of bodies, of physicality’; OperaWire praised Pérez’s ‘dramatically sensitive, well-balanced’ account of the score, Vesin’s ‘well-constructed, detailed phrasing and secure soaring lines’ in the taxing central role of Renata, and Melrose’s ‘detailed and intelligently crafted’ Ruprecht.

Available Format: DVD Video

Leigh Melrose (Ruprecht), Ewa Vesin (Renata), Anna Victorova (The Landlady), Mairam Sokolova (Fortune-teller/Mother Superior); Orchestra del Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Alejo Perez

Picture format: HD16:9

Sound format: PCM stereo & DTS-MA 5.1

Available Format: Blu-ray

Nathalie Paulin (Leonore), Jean-Michel Richer (Florestan), Stephen Hegedus (Rocco), Pascale Beaudin (Marzelline), Matthew Scollin (Pizarro), Keven Geddes (Jacquino), Alexandre Sylvestre (Don Fernando); Opera Lafayette Orchestra and Chorus, Ryan Brown

A rare outing on DVD for the original three-act version of Beethoven’s Leonore from 1805, filmed in New York last March as part of Opera Lafayette’s Leonore Project, which explored the genesis of Beethoven’s only opera by coupling this early incarnation of the work with Pierre Gaveaux’s Léonore, ou L’Amour conjugal. The performance includes the world premiere of Florestan’s Act Three aria with obbligato flute, reconstructed from Beethoven’s sketches by musicologist Will Crutchfield.

Available Format: DVD Video

Nathalie Paulin (Leonore), Jean-Michel Richer (Florestan), Stephen Hegedus (Rocco), Pascale Beaudin (Marzelline), Matthew Scollin (Pizarro), Keven Geddes (Jacquino), Alexandre Sylvestre (Don Fernando); Opera Lafayette Orchestra and Chorus, Ryan Brown

Picture format: 16:9

Sound format: PCM stereo

Available Format: Blu-ray

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