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 New Release Round-up, New Release Round-Up - 9th July 2021

New Releases 9th July 2021Today's new releases include the complete Beethoven piano concertos from Krystian Zimerman, Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra, early Haydn symphonies from Il Giardino Armonico and Giovanni Antonini, keyboard works by William Byrd and John Bull from American pianist Kit Armstrong, and highlights from Porgy & Bess from Marin Alsop and the Philadelphia Orchestra, with Angel Blue and Lester Lynch in the title-roles.

Krystian Zimerman (piano), London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle

Made under socially-distanced conditions at Jerwood Hall last summer, this is Zimerman’s second recording of the complete Beethoven concertos – in 1989 he began recording a cycle with Leonard Bernstein, directing the first two concertos from the keyboard after the conductor’s death the following year. Zimerman mused last year that ‘I had not played these pieces for a few years and I miss them. Some concertos you can play all your life and still feel hungry for them. To these concertos, Beethoven belongs.’

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

Il Giardino Armonico, Giovanni Antonini

This tenth instalment in Antonini’s mammoth Haydn 2032 series (set to cross the finishing-line for the composer’s tercentenary in eleven years’ time) features Symphonies Nos. 6, 7 and 8 aka ‘Le Matin’, ‘Le Midi’ and ‘Le Soir’, topped off with Mozart’s Serenata Notturna. Reviewing the recording last month, The Guardian noted that ‘the clarity of the orchestration is made transparent and gleaming by the soloists of Il Giardino Armonico, who also make the most of every joke or surprise’.

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

Michelle DeYoung (mezzo-soprano), Brian Jagde (tenor), Liping Zhang (soprano), Shenyang (bass-baritone); Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Long Yu

The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra’s second recording for Deutsche Grammophon couples Mahler’s song-cycle with the first recording of Song of the Earth by Chinese composer Ye Xiaogang (b.1955), inspired by the original Tang Dynasty poems which Mahler set in translation; premiered in Beijing in 2005, the work was praised by BachTrack for the composer’s ‘incredible ability to fuse Eastern and Western musical styles, along with antiquated and contemporary sounds’.

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

Igor Levit (piano), Wiener Philharmoniker, Daniel Harding

This year’s open-air concert from the Schönbrunn Palace Baroque park in Vienna featured the overture from Verdi’s I Vespri Siciliani, Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, and the Symphonic Dances from Bernstein’s West Side Story, plus shorter works by Beethoven, Elgar, Debussy, Sibelius and Holst, with Johann Strauss II’s Wiener Blut closing the programme. The DVD and Blu-ray versions will be released on 23rd July.

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

Emmanuel Lawler (tenor), RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Andrew Penny

This attractive programme of ‘Sullivan without Gilbert’ features the incidental music for The Merchant of Venice (1871), Henry VIII (1877), the Overture from the early unperformed opera The Sapphire Necklace (much of the music for which is now lost), and the Overture in C, composed in memory of Sullivan’s father in 1866 and premiered at the Norwich Festival later that year.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC

Daishin Kashimoto (violin), Emmanuel Pahud (flute), Eric Le Sage (piano) et al

Though perhaps best known for scoring iconic films by Fellini, Visconti and Zeffirelli, the Italian composer also wrote a substantial amount of chamber-works, five of which are featured here: the Clarinet Trio and Flute Trio (1973 and 1958), the Valzer sul nome Bach (1975), the Piccola Offerta Musicale for wind quintet (1943), and the Nonetto. Eric Le Sage rounds off the programme with two of the preludes for solo piano.

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

Emmanuel Pahud (flute), Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, François Leleux

As well as Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp and Sinfonia Concertante for winds (in which Pahud appropriates the clarinet part and is joined by colleagues from Les Vents Français), this album includes seven other works with Parisian connections: Saint-Saëns’s Romance, Tarantelle and Odelette, Fauré’s Fantaisie, Chaminade’s Concertino, Poulenc’s Flute Sonata (in Lennox Berkeley’s orchestration), and Philippe Hersant’s Dreamtime.

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

Isata Kanneh-Mason (piano)

For her second solo recording on Decca, Kanneh-Mason explores twentieth-century American piano repertoire, with Samuel Barber’s Piano Sonata (premiered in 1949 by Vladimir Horowitz) at the heart of a programme which also includes Amy Beach’s By the Still Waters, Earl Wild’s transcriptions of Gershwin’s Summertime and I Got Rhythm, Gershwin’s Three Preludes, Copland’s Scherzo humoristique: Le chat et la souris, three of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s transcriptions of spirituals, and the world premiere recording of his Impromptu No. 2 in B Minor.

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

The American pianist and composer makes his debut on Deutsche Grammophon with a fascinating programme of William Byrd and John Bull, both of whom he considers as hugely influential figures in the development of keyboard music in Europe (look out for our interview with Kit next week, in which he traces the ‘unbroken line of tradition’ which leads from these pieces to Bach’s Goldberg Variations). The programme includes music from Parthenia and the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book.

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

Thomas Albertus Irnberger (violin), David Geringas (cello), Barbara Moser (piano)

This programme of chamber works by female composers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries comprises Louise Farrenc’s Flute Trio No. 4 (transcribed for piano trio), Mel Bonis’s Soir and Matin, Amy Beach’s American folklore-inspired Piano Trio in A minor from 1938, Sonia Eckhardt-Gramatté's work Ein wenig Musik (‘A Piece of Music’), and Julia Frances Smith's Cornwall Trio from 1966.

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

Anita Rachvelishvili (mezzo), Vincenzo Scalera (piano)

Following her award-winning debut recording of opera arias in 2018, the Georgian dramatic mezzo’s second album on Sony focuses on song-repertoire, including Falla’s Siete Canciones populares españolas, Duparc’s La Vie antérieure, Chanson triste and Élégie, Tosti’s Non t'amo più!, Ideale and Tristezza, and works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and Rachvelishvili’s compatriot Taktakishvili.

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

Lorna Anderson, Isobel Buchanan (sopranos), Kitty Whately, Dame Sarah Connolly, Dame Ann Murray (mezzos), Iestyn Davies (countertenor), John Mark Ainsley (tenor), John Chest (baritone), Malcolm Martineau (piano)

This fourth volume of Martineau's Fauré series includes the cycles La Bonne Chanson (Whately) and L'horizon chimérique (Chest), plus 'Puisque j'ai ma levre', 'En prière', 'L'absent', 'Pleurs d'or', 'C'est la paix', and 'Prison'.

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

Lester Lynch (Porgy), Angel Blue (Bess/Clara/Serena), Chauncey Packer (Sportin’ Life) and Kevin Short (Crown/Jake); Philadelphia Orchestra, Morgan State University Choir Marin Alsop

Recorded live in concert at Verizon Hall Philadelphia last March, this hour-long selection of highlights from Gershwin’s opera was warmly reviewed by The Inquirer, who praised Blue’s ‘rich and powerful’ Bess and Chauncey Packer’s ‘vivid and nuanced’ Sportin’ Life; BachTrack, meanwhile, observed that Alsop ‘drew out the various influences of jazz, ragtime, gospel, blues and vaudeville embedded in the score’.

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

Krešimir Špicer (Don Anchise), Julie Martin du Theil (La Marchesa Violante), Bernard Richter (Belfiore), Anett Fritsch (Arminda), Lucia Cirillo (Ramiro), Giulia Semenzato (Serpetta), Mattia Olivieri (Nardo); Teatro alla Scala, Diego Fasolis, Frederic Wake-Walker

Created for Glyndebourne in 2014, Wake-Walker’s production of Mozart’s early dramma giocoso was praised by The Independent for its 'irresistible charm’ and described as ‘brilliantly inspired’ by the Evening Standard; this 2018 revival from La Scala (with the Milanese orchestra performing on period instruments) was also positively received, with Opera Wire applauding Richter’s ‘excellent phrasing, subtle coloring and dynamic control’ as Belfiore and Semenzato’s ‘powerful stage-presence’ as Serpetta.

Available Format: 2 DVD Videos

Krešimir Špicer (Don Anchise), Julie Martin du Theil (La Marchesa Violante), Bernard Richter (Belfiore), Anett Fritsch (Arminda), Lucia Cirillo (Ramiro), Giulia Semenzato (Serpetta), Mattia Olivieri (Nardo); Teatro alla Scala, Diego Fasolis, Frederic Wake-Walker

Picture format: HD 16:9

Sound format: PCM Stereo and DTS-HD MA 5.1

Available Format: Blu-ray