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 New Release Round-up, New Release Round-Up - 12th February 2021

NRs 12th February 2021Today's new releases include La Serenissima in baroque instrumental music from the Italian states, new orchestral works by Raymond Yiu, Bright Sheng and Martin Suckling, Igor Levit's 2007 recording debut in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1, and a rare outing for Luigi Rossi's extravagant 1647 opera L'Orfeo.

Tabea Debus (recorder), La Serenissima, Adrian Chandler

The Gramophone Award-winning ensemble explore baroque music from three areas of Italy - the Kingdom of Naples, the Republic of Venice, and the Papal States/Bologna - with sonatas by Alessandro Scarlatti, Abaco, Vandini, Mancini, Brescianello and Tartini, and Vivaldi's Flute Concerto in A minor, R108.

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

Andrew Watts (counter-tenor), Roderick Williams (baritone); BBC Symphony Orchestra, David Robertson, Sir Andrew Davis, Edward Gardner

Premiered at the Manchester International Festival in 2017, the title-work is a song-cycle for baritone and orchestra setting six poems by Anthony Burgess; the album also includes The London Citizen Exceedingly Injured (first performed in 2013 and praised by Classical Source for Yiu's 'impressive breadth of inspiration'), and the 2015 Symphony (written for the BBC Proms and setting texts by Donne, Cavafy, Gunn, and Whitman).

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

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Manfred Honeck

Recorded live at Heinz Hall in June 2019, Honeck's Beethoven Nine was awarded five stars by BachTrack, who described it as 'a performance of grand intensity that followed the arc of the music, from the quietude of the introduction to the grand finale some forty minutes later', singling out the brass and lower strings for particular praise. The vocal soloists are Christina Landshamer, Jennifer Johnson Cano, Werner Güra, and Shenyang.

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

Igor Levit (piano), Xiaohan Wang (piano), Kölner Kammerorchester, Helmut Müller-Brühl

Captured live at the Kölner Philharmonie in June 2007, this account of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 was the then-20-year-old Igor Levit's recording debut, and is to date the only commercially-available recording of the Russian-German pianist with orchestra. The Second Concerto is performed by Chinese pianist Xiaohan Wang, who was a semi-finalist at the Beethoven International Piano Competition and a prize-winner at the the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition 2005.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC

Dan Zhu (violin), Suzhou Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Bright Sheng

Dedicated to Gil Shaham, Sheng's Let Fly was premiered in 2013 and draws inspiration from Chinese folk-song as well as Western classical influences; it's followed here by the vivid astrological concerto for orchestra Zodiac Tales, and the Suzhou Overture, which the composer describes as 'reflecting Suzhou's continuous cultural creativity from the ancient to the present'.

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

Tamara Stefanovich (piano), Katherine Bryan (flute), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic,Ilan Volkov

This is the first full-length CD devoted to the music of Martin Suckling (b.1981), hailed by The Herald as 'probably the most important figure in Scotland's music since James MacMillan': the title-work (inspired by a phrase by Morton Feldman and premiered last year) was described by The Guardian as 'the aural equivalent of a vigorous massage'. The CD also includes the flute concerto The White Road, the 2016 Piano Concerto, and Release, a BBC commission from 2013.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC

Alexander Fiterstein (clarinet), English Chamber Orchestra, Chris Hopkins

Following his debut on Orchid Classics in music by Mozart, Finzi, John Corigliano and Carolina Heredia with the Tesla Quartet, Fiterstein returns to the label for an all-American programme: the album opens and closes with Copland (the Clarinet Concerto written for Benny Goodman and the composer's own 1980 transcription of his Violin Sonata), and also includes Bernstein's Clarinet Sonata from 1942 and Miklós Rózsa's Sonatina for clarinet solo from 1951.

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

Following his debut solo recording Liszt Transfigured (praised by The Guardian for its 'fire, flair and levity'), the Hong Kong-born pianist returns to Linn with Ferruccio Busoni's flamboyant arrangement of Bach's Goldberg Variations, followed by his own ‘composition etude’ on Variation 15, and Busoni's Sonatina 'in diem Nativitatis Christi MCMXVII' and transcription of the Chaconne from Bach's Partita No. 2 for Solo Violin.

Available Format: CD

Ensemble Aedes, Le Concert de la Loge, Julien Chauvin

Composed at the height of the ‘Sturm und Drang’ movement in 1767, Haydn's Stabat mater was one of the composer's most frequently-performed works during his lifetime, but has since been rather eclipsed by the sunnier Creation and Seasons; it's complemented here by Symphonies Nos. 84 'In Nomine Domini' and 86, both commissioned by the Chevalier de Saint-Georges for his Parisian orchestra in 1786.

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

Allabastrina, Elena Sartori

One of the first operas ever performed in France, Luigi Rossi's setting of the Orpheus myth was premiered at the Theatre du Palais-Royal in Paris in 1647 (four decades on from Monteverdi's towering work of the same name). The four-hour work has only been recorded once before, by William Christie and Les Arts Florissants in the early 90s, and this new version employs an all-Italian cast headed by sopranos Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli as Orfeo and Emanuela Galli as Euridice.

Available Formats: 3 CDs, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Seven of the eight recordings here (which were originally made for the Book-of-the-Month Club in 1954 and 1955) receive their CD premieres here, remastered and annotated by award-winning engineer Lani Spahr; the repertoire includes JS Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3, Strauss's Till Eulenspiegel, Brahms's Academic Festival Overture, Schumann's Symphony No. 4, and Stravinsky's The Firebird.

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

Wiener Philharmoniker, Riccardo Muti

The Arts Desk’s David Nice applauded the ‘aristocratic melancholy’ which the veteran Italian maestro brought to his sixth New Year’s Day appearance in Vienna, the concert taking place without an audience this year due to COVID restrictions. The programme features relative rarities including Grubenlichter waltz, Komzak’s Bad'ner Madl'n waltz and Millöcker’s In Saus und Braus, as well as old favourites such as the Radetzky March and An der schönen, blauen Donau.

Available Format: DVD Video

Wiener Philharmoniker, Riccardo Muti

Picture format: NTSC 16:9 / 1080i

Sound format: PCM Stereo / DTS-HD MA 5.1

Available Format: Blu-ray

Lisa Batiashvili (violin), Gautier Capuçon (cello), Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Recorded live at the Semperoper Dresden in 2016, this concert also includes Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture and Liszt's Les préludes, with Batiashvili and Capuçon giving the Zingaresca from Erwin Schulhoff's Duo for Violin and Cello as an encore after the Brahms. Reviewing the performance, the Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten declared that Thielemann and his orchestra 'mix different colours as if they were setting emeralds and rubies on precious metal'.

Available Format: DVD Video

Lisa Batiashvili (violin), Gautier Capuçon (cello), Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Picture format: NTSC 16:9 / 1080i

Sound format: PCM Stereo / DTS-HD MA 5.1

Available Format: Blu-ray

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