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Villa-Lobos: Symphony No. 12
Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Isaac Karabtchevsky, conductor

Naxos 8.573451

Villa-Lobos’ Symphony No. 12, his last, was completed on his 70th birthday and shows no lessening of his powers, marrying symphonic craftsmanship with explosive energy, harmonic richness, and rhythmic vitality; a fitting summation of his symphonic canon. Uirapuru is one of his most original works, couched in a modernism that teems with colour and creates a specifically Brazilian sound world without drawing on folkloric elements, whilst Mandu-Çarará is a notably inventive, lush, and exciting but little-known secular cantata.



Perry: Music for Great Films of the Silent Era, Pt. 2
Wallis Giunta, mezzo-soprano
John Brancy, baritone
Timothy Hutchins, flute
Paul Phillips, conductor
RTE National Symphony Orchestra

Naxos 8.573105

Composer-Producer William Perry has played a major role in the revival of interest in silent films, both through his 100 silent film scores and his Emmy Award-winning TV series ‘The Silent Years’, hosted by Orson Welles and Lillian Gish. The critically-acclaimed Naxos recording ‘Music for Great Films of the Silent Era’ (8.572567) presented a rich array of Perry’s film music; this companion volume offers a further view of Perry’s colorful, exuberant writing, including his new “Silent Film Heroines” song-suite for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, celebrating eight legendary silent cinema actresses. Perry’s supremely melodic sense of period and style captures perfectly the romance, grandeur and humor of those entertaining days when “Movies were movies!”



Couperin: Les Nations
Julliard Baroque
Naxos 8.573347-48

Although François Couperin (1668-1733) is best known today as a composer of harpsichord music, he remained deeply involved in chamber music throughout his career. Les Nations is a vast project in which the virtues of both the French and Italian styles are set next to each other. Each of the four ordres celebrates a Catholic power of Europe – France, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the Savoy dynasty of Piedmont – and each is a combination of an Italianate trio sonata with its free-form virtuosity and a large-scale and elaborate French dance suite. Led by the Julliard School’s Historical Performance Program artistic director and violinist Monica Huggett, the period-instrument specialist Juilliard Baroque ensemble, featuring nine of the world’s most respected and accomplished early music instrumentalists, is a faculty grouping committed to lively, passionate performances of 17th – 18th c. music.




Bach: St. Matthew Passion
Academy of Ancient Music Choir
Richard Egarr, harpsichord

Academy of Ancient Music AAM004

In Spring 2015 the Academy of Ancient Music – described as “the finest period-instrument orchestra in the world” by Classic FM – releases a significant new recording of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, BWV244, directed from the harpsichord by Richard Egarr. Performed in the original 1727 version, and with a superlative roster of soloists, this recording is striking in its immediacy, clarity and directness, with numerous insightful and compelling details lost in subsequent versions. This release – the fourth on AAM Records – follows Birth of the Symphony: Handel to Haydn, named BBC Radio 3 “Disc of the Week” and awarded five stars in Classical Music; J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion, which was nominated for a 2014 Gramophone Award for best baroque vocal recording; and J.S. Bach’s Orchestral Suites, awarded five stars by Fine Music Magazine, and called “exceptional ... a feast of meaningfully understated musicianship” in an Editor’s Choice review in Gramophone magazine. Supplementary materials available online include preview tracks and videos, as well as a digital booklet featuring session photographs and scholarly notes.



Les Violons du Roy
ATMA Classique ACD2 3015

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Les Violons du Roy founding, ATMA Classique presents a sampler disc comprising recordings made during the long, fruitful collaboration between the orchestra and the ATMA label, including a hitherto unreleased recording, made in 2008 under Jean-Marie Zeitouni of Arvo Pärt’s Fratres. Bernard. Labadie brought Les Violons du Roy and its the fifteen member core together in 1984. The ensemble specializes in the vast repertoire of music for chamber orchestra, and regularly delves into the repertoire of the 19th and 20th c.



Effendi FND141

JAGG – Jules Payette, Antoine Pelegrin, Gabriel Gagnon and Guillaume Pilote – is a group of four young, passionate musicians. Brought together by the common desire to explore new musical textures, the project of a quartet without a harmonic instrument began only recently, the group and their chemistry evolving in rapid fashion. The group’s powerful sound, different orchestration and rich and varied colors is a most distinguishing feature. Their compositions are inspired and influenced by artists and collectives such as Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland, the SF Jazz Collective, and others. This album is the result of a year and a half of creative research. Their winning the “Upstart” contest Jazz en Rafale in 2014 helped the recording of ‘Mercure’ along.



Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3
Stewart Goodyear, piano
Czech National Symphony
Heiko Mthias Forster, conductor

Steinway & Sons STNS30047

Stewart Goodyear's second Steinway & Sons release is a follow-up to his acclaimed 2014 release of the Tchaikovsky and Grieg Piano Concertos. The Canadian pianist who now calls New York his home is a notable concert soloist, having performed with New York, Los Angeles and Royal Liverpool Philharmonics, the Toronto Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestras, among many others. In 2013, Stewart Goodyear gave a series of marathon performances in the US of the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas performing the complete cycle in a single, eleven-hour performance at each venue. Mr. Goodyear began his training at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, receiving a bachelor's degree from Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute and completing a Masters Degree at the Juilliard School. His repertoire ranges from Bach to Messiaen, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt and Gershwin. Known as an improviser and a composer, he has been commissioned by orchestras and chamber music organizations, and performs his own solo works.



Shostakovich Edition
Various Artists
Brilliant Classics BRI9420

This set presents the near complete works of Shostakovich: complete symphonies, chamber symphonies, concertos, songs, string quartets, a generous selection chamber music, ballets and suites (the famous Jazz suites!), cantatas and operas. Famous and legendary performers include Rudolf Barshai (a close friend of Shostakovich), Cristina Ortiz, Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Valery Polyansky, Victor Popov, Theodore Kuchar, Muza Rubackyte, Yuri Serov, Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Andrey Chistiakov and Mstislav Rostropovich. This set also includes unique historical recordings featuring Shostakovich at the piano.



Lortie plays Chopin
Louis Lortie, piano
Chandos CHAN 10852

This fourth volume of Louis Lortie’s acclaimed Chopin series perfectly illustrates the elevation of the waltz to a musical art, from danses de salon to ‘works’ with proper opus numbers.The nocturnes also trace their origins to the salon, the genre deriving from a type of vocal music highly popular among amateurs as an opportunity for singing duets.Attracting critical acclaim throughout Europe, Asia, and the US, French-Canadian pianist Louis Lortie has made more than 30 recordings for Chandos label.“With this series, Mr. Lortie has made his reputation as a ‘model Chopinist” (BBC Music).



Berlin Sonatas
Elinor Frey, five-string cello
Lorenzo Ghielmi, fortepiano

Passacaille PAS1006

Today, the five-string cello (an extra string tuned to “E”, a fifth above the “A” string) is treated as an exotic and rarely-played cousin of the standard cello. Its concert halls appearances are usually limited to serving particular obbligato cantata movements of J.S. Bach, and to “historically informed” renditions of Bach‘s famous Sixth unaccompanied cello suite (BWV 1012).‘Berlin Sonatas’ presents cellist Elinor Frey and Lorenzo Ghielmi at the fortepiano in a recital of 18th c. chamber pieces that reveals the greater possibilities and benefits the use of the five-string cello holds for today’s cellists. Fascinated with the cello’s origins and the creative process of new music, Elinor Frey plays both period and modern instruments. La voce del violoncello, her debut Passacaille release, was praised for its “careful scholarship and brilliant layering of moods and tempos” (Toronto Star) and for the “honest, reflective beauty of her music making” (Strings).




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10:03:13 PM, 6 May 2015
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