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Mozart: Violin Concertos Nos. 3, 4 and 5
Henning Kraggerud, violin
Norwegian Chamber Orchestra

Naxos 8.573513

Mozart wrote his Violin Concertos in 1775 while still living in his home town of Salzburg and in service to Prince-Archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo. Mozart had already toured internationally and found his parochial environment restricting, but as ever he rose above circumstances to create sublime and thrillingly unconventional masterpieces filled with wit and elegant charm. The finely sustained melodic expression of each concerto’s slow center provides the perfect foil for inventive sparkle in outer movements that include a cheeky reference to the opera Il re pastore in K.216 to an exotic ‘Turkish’ moment in the finale of K. 219.



Granados: Dante – Symphonic Poem
Barcelona Symphony Orchestra
Pablo Gonzalez, conductor

Naxos 8.573264

Revered as one of the greatest Spanish composers for the piano, Enrique Granados also wrote a wide-ranging body of orchestral music. His one-act opera Goyescas contains an intensely lyrical Intermezzo that is his most popular work and one of the best-loved pieces in all Spanish music. The gypsy-tinged orientalism of Danza de los ojos verdes and Danza gitana contrast with the somber and epic La nit del mort and the ambitious large-scale symphonic poem Dante, one of the most significant Spanish orchestral works of its time. This is the second in a series commemorating the centenary of Granados’ death.



Liszt: Transcriptions of Symphonic Poems
Sergio Monteiro, piano
Naxos 8.573485

Liszt turned to the composition of large-scale orchestral works after his success as a touring virtuoso and wrote a sequence of ground-breaking symphonic poems that in their narrative-driven structures directly influenced such composers as Richard Strauss and Sibelius. The piano transcriptions that Liszt supervised and produced saw these vivid scores transformed into the virtuoso piano medium in which form their pictorial richness could be enjoyed anew. This volume includes the memorably evocative Les Préludes and Orpheus.




Bach: Complete Sacred Cantatas
Bach Collegium Japan
Masaaki Suzuki, conductor

BIS Records BIS-9055

Johann Sebastian Bach, throughout his life, composed cantatas for church services. Scholars believe he wrote around 300 of these works, and around 200 are still surviving. This extensive 55 disc box set includes all of Bach’s extant cantatas. Performing these works is the Bach Collegium Japan, conducted by renowned Bach expert Masaaki Suzuki. Vocal soloists included in this project include Hana Blazikova, Yukari Nonoshita, Robin Blaze, Gerd Turk, Peter Kooij, and more. Included in this set is an extensive 208-page booklet containing complete track listings, and an essay by Dr. Klaus Hofmann, as well as a 376-page booklet with the text for each of the cantatas in German with English translations.



Schubert: Arpeggione Sonata & String Quartet
Matt Haimovitz, violoncello
Itamar Golan, piano
Miró Quartet

Pentatone PTC5186549

This new release is the fifth album in the Pentatone Oxingale series. Two of Franz Schubert's great masterpieces are combined here: his Sonata for Arpeggione and Piano in A minor D821, and the String Quintet in C Major, D956. Grammy-nominated cellist Matt Haimovitz performs the arpeggione part, alongside pianist Itamar Golan.



The Union of Sinners & Saints
Various artists
Suite 28 Records STE008

The Union of Sinners & Saints features members of Petra, and Whiteheart, two of the best-selling Christian rock bands of all time. The project features ten new compositions and updated versions of Petra's Beyond Belief, and Whiteheart's Independence Day. Collectively the Union of Sinners & Saints have generated more that 25 #1 songs and earned more than 15 GRAMMY® and 40 Dove nominations and awards . The project also features new artist Jason Fowler on guitar and vocals. The self-titled release was produced and arranged by Billy Smiley for Cul De Sac Records & Suite 28 Records.



Revueltas: Redes
Nicolas Horvath, piano
Grand Piano GP692

One of Philip Glass’ most glorious themes, this release focuses on the subject of love. From his BAFTA award-winning music for The Hours to his iconic Music In Fifths, the genius of this composer is felt throughout the duration of this album. The Hours is featured here in its entirety, complete with three previously unpublished movements. The release also includes the breathtaking Modern Love Waltz and the world premiere recording of Notes On A Scandal. Performing these works is Nicolas Horvath.



Romantic Piano Concertos
Various artists
Brilliant Classics BRI95300

Including over 60 composers and spanning the entire Romantic period, this impressive 40 CD set aims to bring some of the more obscure piano concertos of that era into the limelight. Although some of the earlier composers in this set can be technically called ‘classical,’ it is in them that we see the first stirrings of Romanticism. The earliest concertos from Clementi and Stamitz contain those initial leanings away from traditional Classicism. On the other end of the spectrum, we have neo-Romantic composers like Samuel Barber, who is a celebrated 20th century composer, but who also uses many Romantic stylistic elements in his compositions. Of course, the virtuosic well-known Romantic composers are included, like Liszt and Thalberg. During the age of Romanticism, the concept of a virtuoso had only been explored by violinists such as Paganini, so these composers were some of the first to bring that passion and skill into the world of piano.



Chopin: Works for Piano
Imogen Cooper, piano
Chandos Records CHAN 10902

British pianist Imogen Cooper has studied with some of the finest in the piano world, including with Kathleen Long in London, with Jacques Fevrier and Yvonne Lefebure in Paris, and with Alfred Brendel, Jorg Demus and Paul Badura-Skoda in Vienna. She is widely recognized for her interpretations of Schubert and Schumann. This release follows her three very successful recordings of Schumann. For this album, Cooper has chosen some of the greatest works of Chopin. The album programme makes up an outstanding recital. Coopers virtuosity and emotional wisdom creates a new lense through which to view this frequently performed repertoire. Following this release, Imogen Cooper will embark on a world tour, performing recitals that will include the repertoire included here, and visiting several of Europe’s most prestigious venues before venturing to other continents.



For the Beauty of the Earth: Celebrating Creation with Brass, Organ & Percussion
Gabriel V Brass Ensemble
Paraclete Recordings GDCD061

For the Beauty of the Earth is a dazzling celebration of the creation of the earth. The contemporary works, which feature brass, organ, and percussion, come from some of the most prominent composers of the day, such as David Marlatt, Charles Widor, and James Curnow. Especially notable is David Marlatt’s Earthscape, which is a beautiful lyrical work inspired by the view of our planet from outer space. “In the silent, black vacuum of space exists this bright blue planet, slowly rotating… a serene and breathtaking view of the only source of life…” (Alfred Music) Organist Sharon Rose Pfeiffer performs alongside fifteen-member Gabrial V Brass Ensemble to create a thick and evocative sound for these tracks. These tracks were recorded in Mechanics Hall, Worcester, MA- a building known for its superb acoustics.




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