Colours of Crimson, The Song and Dance of Tears, The Blazing Mirage; Bright Sheng; Sa Chen, Hui Li, Pius Cheung, Trey Lee, Tong Wu, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Bright Sheng; Naxos 8570610; 1 CD:
This recording of recent compositions by Bright Sheng, “[a] leader in exploring and bridging musical traditions,” demonstrates his distinctive lyrical and dramatic fusion of Western and Asian styles and sonorities. Earlier Naxos releases include works such as the Red Silk Dance (8.559610) and Spring Dreams concerto (8.570601).
Lalla Roukh; Félicien David; Marianne Fiset, Emiliano Gonzalez Toro, Nathaie Paulin, Bernard Deletré, David Newman, Andrew Adelsberger, Opera Lafayette, Ryan Brown; Naxos 8660338-39; 2 CD:
• Félicien David, an important if often forgotten figure in French music of the late 19th century, was one of the pioneers of “musical Orientalism.”
• With its fairlytale plot centered on the Indian princess Lalla Roukh who travels to Bukhara (part of modern Uzbekistan) in search of love, this is an opera noteworthy for its memorable melodies and evocative orchestration.
• World première recording.
Fantasia, Second Hand, or Alone at Last; De Profundis, for Speaking Pianist; Fredrick Rzewski; Robert Satterlee; Naxos American Classics 8559760; 1 CD:
Two startlingly original works from one of the most influential figures in contemporary music. De Profundis is described as a “melodramatic oratorio” for speaking pianist.
Diary of a Journey, The Coming of Age, Laws of Motion, A Dream Foretold; Richard Festinger; Jo Ellen Miller, New York New Music Ensemble, Harvey Sollberger; Naxos American Classics 8559399; 1 CD:
• A wide-ranging release of chamber music works from Richard Festinger, one of the leading composer/musicians of the San Francisco Bay Area.
• Richard Festinger has long been an essential part of Northern California Bay Area musical life, his works are described as having a “combination of propulsive energy with an impeccable sense of poise and balance” (Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival).
• Diary of a Journey is a metaphorical circle described in exhilarating forward motion and uncertain stillness.
Toward a Season of Peace – Oratorio; Richard Danielpour; Hila Plitmann, Pacific Chorale, Pacific Symphony, Carl St.Clair; Naxos American Classics 8559772; 1 CD:
• One of the most sought-after and acclaimed composers of his generation, Richard Danielpour refers to himself as “an American composer with a Middle Eastern memory.” His distinctive voice is part of a rich neo-Romantic heritage which includes composers such as Copland, Bernstein and Barber.
• Toward a Season of Peace is an oratorio that explores violence and war in the name of religion, using the season of spring as a metaphor for change and transformation toward songs of peace through forgiveness. Danielpour’s insistence on music having “an immediate visceral impact” can be heard throughout his oeuvre, and the beautifully translated Persian poetry and rich spirit of harmony in Toward a Season of Peace make it symbolic of a brighter future for everyone.
My First Orchestra Book; Various Artists; Naxos Books 9781843797708; 1 Book + 1 CD:
• A little green creature called Tormod has come all the way from the top of a mountain in Norway to discover music. As he searches for the music that will help him to find his way home, readers learn about the different instruments – what they look and sound like, and how they belong in different families. Throughout the book children are referred to the accompanying CD so that they can hear examples as they read. There is a musical quiz at the end, with multiple choice answers.
• An original, colorful and lively approach to learning about music, this book follows the huge success of My First Classical Music Book and Meet the Instruments of the Orchestra! from Naxos.
• Every instrument is featured with clear audio examples.
• A delightfully colorful introduction to the orchestra, aimed to fire the imagination of children aged 4–9 years. 60 beautifully illustrated pages that children will love.
Violin Concerto, Op. 35 • Violin Concerto in D, Op. 77 • Sonata No. 3, Op. 27 'Ballade' • Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004; Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Ysaye, J.S. Bach; Tianwa Yang, St Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, Vladimir Lande; Naxos DVD 2110283; 1 DVD:
• This is the accomplished and stylish Russian debut of Tianwa Yang.
• To an enthusiastic audience within the walls of the beautiful Court Capella in St Petersburg, she performs the much-loved concertos of Tchaikovsky and Brahms with the St Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra under the sensitive direction of Vladimir Lande.
• The remarkable intensity of her playing is just as apparent in both her encore– Ysaÿe’s Violin Sonata No. 3 – and her separate performance of Bach’s solo Partita No. 2. Tianwa Yang has is a leading international performer and recording artist.
St John Passion; Johann Sebastian Bach; Academy of Ancient Music, Choir of the AAM, Richard Egarr soloists; AAM Records AAM002; 2 CD:
• The AAM celebrates its 40th anniversary year with this landmark new recording of Bach’s St. John Passion.
• The second release on the newly launched AAM label.
• Features a cast of superb soloists.
• Rare recording of the work’s first version, dating from 1724.
• Further content available online.
• “No better team could be assembled anywhere...Pity, terror, consolation...joy” –The Ark Desk (March 2013) reviewing a concert performance of this work with the same cast.
Tango Concierto for solo guitar; Ricardo Capellano; Ricardo Capellano; Acqua Records AQ396; 1 CD:
• Guitarist, composer and music educator Ricardo Capellano (b. 1953), one of the most respected figures in the education and performance fields in Argentina, conducts a “Writing Workshop” at the prestigious Buenos Aires Conservatory of Music.
• His work, definable as Classical Contemporary, also finds profound inspiration in popular music.
• “The aesthetics of this work (Concierto Tanguero) propose a confluence between memory and modernity.” –R. Capellano
Krzysztof Penderecki : Paths Through the Labyrinth; Krzystof Penderecki; Krzystof Penderecki, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Janine Jansen, Julian Rachlin, Mariss Jansons, Lorin Maazel, Johnny Greenwood (Radiohead), Andrzej Wajda; C Major 715408; 1 DVD:
• A comprehensive, multi-layered documentary portrait of this 80 years young (2013) composer.
• Includes his personal and career reflections, dialogue and musical extracts.
• The film follows Penderecki from Kraków to Munich, Vienna to Leipzig, and to his country estate in Luslawice.
• Interviews with Anne-Sophie Mutter, Mariss Jansons and Lorin Maazel, among others.
• Premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2014.
Adventureland; Glenn Kotche; Glenn Kotche, Kronos Quartet, eighth blackbird; Cantaloupe Music CA21098; 1 CD:
• Composer/percussionist Glenn Kotche’s fourth studio album features the Kronos Quartet and eighth blackbird.
• The release coincides with a series of new work premieres and performances, including Carnegie/Zankel Hall in NYC (2/22), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco (3/21-22) and French Legation Museum in Austin, Tex (4/16).
Cobalt; Jocelyn Morlock; Various; Centrediscs CMCCD 20014; 1CD:
• “Cobalt is poisonous, magnetic and radioactive...”
• Praised for writing “richly satisfying harmonies and solo melodies full of emotion” (Gwenda Nemerofsky, Winnipeg Free Press) with “an acute feeling for sonority” and an approach that is “deùftly idiomatic” (David Gordon Duke, Vancouver Sun), Juno-nominated composer Jocelyn Morlock’s music embraces influences as diverse as Ravel, Saariaho, Nikolai Korndorf, and Balinese gamelan into a distinctive and lyrically exquisite voice.
• In her first full-length CD release, Jocelyn Morlock presents a selection of predominantly orchestral music written between 2001-2010, performed by an array of stellar ensembles and soloists.
Cursive; Sean Hickey; Philip Edward Fisher, Julia Sakharova, Brandon Patrick George, Anne Lanzilotti, Meredith Clark; DELOS DE 3465; 1 CD:
• Original, accessible and appealing contemporary piano (and chamber) works by increasingly visible composer Sean Hickey.
• Inspired and impeccable performances by pianist Philip Edward Fisher and a distinguished assortment of chamber musicians.
• Mr. Hickey’s two previous CD’s reached the Billboard Top 100 Classical Chart upon release.
• “[his] is a very personal artistic response to the huge breadth of music that was created in the 20th century [...] is very much music of our own time.” –New Music Box
Porgy & Bess; George Gershwin; John DeMain, Francesca Zambello, Eric Owens, Laquita Mitchell, Lester Lynch, Chauncey Packer, Karen Slack; EuroArts 2059638; 2 DVD:
• Eric Owens (Porgy) and Laquita Mitchell (Bess) lead an amazing cast.
• Led by internationally acclaimed conductor John DeMain, who’s 1976 recording of Porgy and Bess won a Grammy and remains a benchmark interpretation of this masterpiece.
• Bonus materials includes interviews with artists and creative team (29 mins).
• Recorded live in High Definition at the War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, 2009
Chopin: Piano Concertos; Frederic Chopin; Ingrid Fliter, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Jun Markl; LINN CKD455; 1 Hybrid SACD:
• Since winning the silver medal at the 2000 Frederic Chopin Competition in Warsaw, Ingrid Fliter has built a reputation as a first-rate Chopin interpreter. Fliter has previously recorded two all-Chopin discs; her interpretation of the complete Chopin Waltzes received several five star reviews and was named The Telegraph’s CD of the Week and Classic FM Magazine’s Editors Choice.
• Fliter first sprang to international attention when she was awarded the 2006 Gilmore Artist Award, and is a breathtaking performer whose performance of Chopin’s commanding chords and lightening speed runs are effortless.
• Fliter divides her time between Europe and the USA, where she works with orchestras such as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Requiem (Reconstruction of first performance); Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Dunedin Consort, John Butt, Joanne Lunn, Matthew Brook, Rowan Hellier, Thomas Hobbs; LINN CKD449; 1 Hybrid SACD:
• The premiere recording of Mozart scholar David Black’s new 2013 edition of Sü’s completion of Mozart’s Requiem.
• The Dunedin Consort is one of the finest period performance choirs around, under the direction of prize-winning historical performance specialist John Butt OBE.
• The multi-award-winning Dunedin Consort has won praise for the natural style of its soloists and reknown for the virtuosity of its singers.
• This is the consort’s eighth release on Linn Records.
Carmina Burana; Carl Orff; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Hans Graf, Sarah Tynan, Andrew Kennedy, Rodion Pogossov, London Philharmonic Choir, Trinity Boys Choir; LPO LPO-0076; 1 CD:
• Carmina Burana is one of the most recognizable and popular works in the choral repertoire. The opening “O Fortuna” is familiar to many from its use in numerous TV programs, advertisements and films.
• This live concert recording captures the drama of the 2013 performance at Royal Festival Hall.
• British soprano Sarah Tynan is much sought-after on both the opera and concert stage.
• British tenor Andrew Kennedy and bass-baritone Rodion Pogossov round out the vocal soloist forces.
Symphonies Nos 1–4; Vadim Salmanov; The Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Leningrad Philharmonic Society, Yevgeny Mravinsky; Melodiya MELCD1002119; 2 CD:
• A double-disc symphony set by Vadim Salmanov (1912-1978), a worthy representative of the Leningrad composing school.
• His symphonies suggest significant creative evolution. From dramatic conflicts in the first, to pacified pictures of nature in the second, to 12-tone experimentation in the third, and finally coming to a synthesis of 20th century music and Russian national melody in the fourth, and last, symphony.
• Recorded 1957-1977 with legendary conductor Yevgeny Mravinsky.
Elliott Carter: Flute Concerto (premiere recording); Eliott Carter; Alexa Still, Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, Timothy Weiss; Oberlin Music OC 14-DR1 (Digital release only):
• Available only as a download, no CD version available.
• For many years, Elliott Carter resisted writing a flute concerto. He thought the instrument “could not produce the sharp attacks” he so frequently favored. But Carter found himself increasingly attracted to “the beautiful qualities of the different registers of the instrument and the extraordinary agility. ” Now, flutist Alexa Still releases the premiere recording of this distinguished American original's 2008 Flute Concerto.
• Released on the Oberlin Music label, Elliott Carter: Flute Concerto was recorded in Clonick Hall at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and features the conservatory's award-winning Contemporary Music Ensemble under the direction of Timothy Weiss.
Shostakovich: Six Romances on Verses by British Poets; Scottish Ballad; Suite on Poems by Michelangelo; Dmitri Shostakovich; Gerald Finley, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Thomas Sanderling; Ondine ODE 1235-2; 1 CD:
• Includes two world-premiere recordings.
• Leading Canadian baritone Gerald Finley’s debut album on Ondine.
• Gerald Finley captivates audiences and critics alike with award-winning recordings and performances on CD and DVD, and at the world’s major opera and concert venues.
• Thomas Sanderling, friend of the composer and a Shostakovich expert, was personally involved in the process of discovering the versions included in this recording, and conducted their premiere performances.
Six Partitas (Puyana); Johann Sebastian Bach; Sanctus; Sanctus SCS027-29; 3 CD:
• Praised by critics for his “fleet fingers, propulsive rhythmic energy, innovative programming and mastery of a vast swath of repertory spanning the 16th to the 20th centuries.” –The New York Times about Rafael Puyana
• Sanctus Recordings is pleased to announce the new release of the Six Partitas for Harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach (BMW 825- 830), performed by the celebrated harpsichordist and Landowska pupil, Rafael Puyana (1931 - 2013).
• These previously unpublished recordings of one of the major harpsichordists of the 18th century are widely considered to represent the artist’s musical testament, and are eagerly awaited by many since their mention in important papers and magazines, such as The New York Times, Gramophone and The Guardian.
• The magnificent instrument is richly illustrated in the booklet, containing an authoritative text on the repertoire and the instrument by Rafael Puyana as well as a bonus track.
Symphonies 1-4 & Overtures; Ludwig van Beethoven; Bruno Weil, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra; Tafelmusik Media TMK1023CD2; 2 CD:
• The next volume in Tafelmusik’s Beethoven Symphony Cycle project.
• Live recordings from Koerner Hall, Toronto, ON, recorded 2012/2013.
• Long-time Tafelmusik collaborator Bruno Weil conducts these performances. Previously released recordings include the JUNO Award-winning Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6 CD, and the JUNO Award-nominated Symphonies Nos. 7 & 8 CD and DVD.
• Tafelmusik’s 2012 live recording of Beethoven’s “Eroica” was chosen Album of the Week by Classic FM in London.