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New Release Round-up, New Release Round-Up - 7th June 2024

Beethoven Mahler Reorchestrations, Prokofiev Symphony No. 1, Mahler Symphony No. 3, Czech SongsToday's new releases include the final instalment of Osmo Vänskä's Mahler cycle (in the form of Symphony No. 3) from Minnesota on BIS, Czech songs from Magdalena Kožená, Simon Rattle & the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra on Pentatone, Prokofiev's Symphony No. 1 and Romeo & Juliet Suites from rising star Aziz Shokhakimov in Strasbourg on Warner Classics, and Mahler's reorchestrations of Beethoven from the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz and Michael Francis on Capriccio.

Jennifer Johnston (mezzo), Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Chorale, Minnesota Boychoir, Osmo Vänskä

Made following a concert performance in November 2022, this account of Symphony No. 3 brings Vänskä's Mahler cycle to a conclusion: launched in 2016, the series has been praised for the Finnish conductor's 'beautifully judged line and flow' (BBC Music Magazine on Symphony No. 9) and 'admirably unhistrionic' approach (The Guardian on Symphony No. 5), as well as for the orchestra's 'brilliance and clarity' and 'BIS’s technical prowess' (Gramophone on Symphony No. 7).

Available Formats: 2 SACD (ECOPAK)s, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Michael Francis

Discovered by the composer, pianist and musicologist Erwin Stein in 1927, Mahler's Retuschen scores upsized and otherwise adapted works by Beethoven, Schumann and Smetana for larger, modern concert-halls. This collection comprises his versions of Beethoven's Symphonies Nos. 3, 5, 7 & 9, the Coriolan and Leonore Overtures Nos. 2 & 3, and the String Quartet No. 11; The New York Times described Mahler's reworkings as providing a 'fascinating alternative view' on Beethoven, whilst The Baltimore Sun deemed them 'respectful, fascinating and just plain cool'.

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

Magdalena Kožená (mezzo), Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle

Following their album of folk-song settings by Bartók, Berio, Ravel and Montsalvatge last October, Kožená and the Czech Philharmonic team up for a programme of orchestral songs by their compatriots: Martinů's set of Japanese folk-songs Nipponari and Songs on One Page, a selection of Dvořák's Evening Songs and Op. 2 collection, Hans Krása's Four Orchestral Songs Op. 1 (premiered to great acclaim under Zemlinsky in 1921). The album closes with a lullaby by Gideon Klein (1919-c.1945), who like Krása was a major organiser of cultural life in Theresienstadt and was murdered in a concentration-camp.

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

Martin Owen (horn), Francesca Dego (violin), Alessandro Taverna (piano)

Only two of the four works on this album were originally scored for horn, violin and piano: Brahms's Horn Trio of 1865 (the first major composition for this combination of instruments) and Ligeti's 1982 'Hommage' to that work from 1982, which also incorporates echoes of of Bartók and Hungarian folk music. The programme is completed by Ernst Naumann's trio arrangement of the Mozart Horn Quintet and Martin Owen's own transcription of the Duett from Robert Schumann's Phantasiestücke.

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

Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Aziz Shokhakimov

The Uzbek conductor Aziz Shokhakimov was appointed as Music Director of the Strasbourg Philharmonic (a role which also includes engagements at the Opéra national du Rhin) back in 2021, winning particular plaudits when he replaced an unwell John Nelson at the helm of Carmen last spring and impressing The Arts Desk with his 'focus, flair and precision' in Lohengrin earlier this year. This is his second recording for Warner Classics, following Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 and Romeo & Juliet in August 2023.

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

Simon Callaghan (piano), Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen, Modestas Pitrėnas

Following their 'coruscating performances' (BBC Music Magazine) of Carl Reinecke's Piano Concertos Nos. 1, 2 and 4 last January, Callaghan and Pitrėnas complete the set with No. 3 (composed in 1877 and given here with two alternative endings) and the much earlier Konzertstück which was dedicated to Ignaz Moscheles; the programme is completed by Emil von Sauer's single-movement Piano Concerto No. 2 from 1901.

We spoke to Simon Callaghan about Reinecke's piano concertos in early 2023.

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

Johan Dalene (violin), Eivind Ringstad (viola), Ariel Lanyi (piano), Alexandre Zanetta (horn), Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Howard Griffiths

This is the ninth volume of Alpha's Next Generation Mozart Soloists project, which crossed the finishing-line in Vienna just last week (we were present to film an interview with conductor Howard Griffiths, so keep an eye on our YouTube channel in the weeks to come!). Ariel Lanyi took third prize at the last Leeds International Piano Competition, whilst Johan Dalene was named as Gramophone’s Young Artist of the Year in 2022.

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

Martin Roscoe (piano), Kathryn Stott (piano), BBC Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, George Lloyd

Following their recent reissue of Lloyd's complete symphonies, Lyrita presents the four piano concertos which he composed between 1963 and 1970. The first concerto (subtitled 'Scapegoat') was written for John Ogdon, who gave the premiere and described the piece as 'unforgettable'; the second concerto was premiered by Martin Roscoe and the third and fourth by Kathryn Stott. Originally released on Albany Records, these recordings are part of Lyrita's Signature Edition, with the violin and cello concertos scheduled to appear next month.

Available Formats: 2 CDs, MP3, FLAC

Guy Braunstein (violin), Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, Alondra de la Parra

A lifelong Beatles fan, the former concert-master of the Berliner Philharmoniker brings together some of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison's greatest hits in this 35-minute fantasy for violin and orchestra, linked with his own Ouverture, intermezzi, cadenzas and postlude. The work is followed here by two other works which received their first studio recordings at Abbey Road: Vaughan Williams's The Lark Ascending and Delius's Violin Concerto.

We interviewed Guy about how the concerto began life when his young son succumbed to Beatlemania.

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

Sharon Carty (mezzo), Morgan Pearse (baritone), BBC Concert Orchestra, John Andrews

Released to commemorate the centenary of Stanford's death presents a diverse selection of his orchestrations of Irish folk melodies and his own songs, and several orchestrations by Jeremy Dibble: highlights include 'Come Away Death', 'A Fairy Lough', 'Emer’s Farewell to Cucullain', and Three Cavalier Songs, and Dibble's arrangements of 'La Belle Dame sans merci' and three of the Songs of Faith.

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

Stéphanie d'Oustrac (Armide), Cyril Auvity (Renaud), Eva Zaïcik (La Gloire/Sidonie/Lucinde), Marie Perbost (La Sagesse/Phénice/Mélisse), Timothée Varon (Artémidore/La Haine); Le Poème Harmonique, Chœur de l'Opéra de Dijon, Vincent Dumestre

Recorded at Versailles last May, this performance of Lully and Quinault's final tragédie lyrique was praised by Opera Wire for d'Oustrac's visceral portrayal of the eponymous anti-heroine, realised with 'a sense of rawness and realness unlikely to be achieved by any other singer on that or any other stage'.

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

Diana Damrau (soprano), Jonas Kaufmann (tenor), Helmut Deutsch (piano)

This Blu-ray captures a recital which took place at the Golden Hall of the Wiener Musikverein in the spring of 2022; the programme includes Brahms's 'In Waldeseinsamkeit', ‘Nachtigall’, 'Von ewiger Liebe' and ‘In Waldeseinsamkeit’, and Robert Schumann's 'Er und sie', 'Widmung', 'Lied der Suleika', and 'Mein schöner Stern!'. The Guardian described a Barbican concert of the same programme as 'a deeply felt, rapturous performance'.

Also available on DVD.

Available Format: Blu-ray