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Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier Book II
Luc Beauséjour, harpsichord
Naxos 8.570564-65

When Luc Beauséjour recorded Book I of the Well-Tempered Clavier he was hailed by International Piano for ‘his instinct for discovering exactly the right tempo; his playing is so natural’. He turns now to Book II of the Preludes and Fugues in all twenty-four keys, assembled for publication in 1742. A number of the pieces survive in earlier versions from previous decades, which Bach revised or transposed. Together with Book I, this constitutes one of the pinnacles of Western music.



Torroba: Guitar Concertos, Vol. 1
Pepe Romero, guitar
Vicente Coves, guitar
Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra
Manuel Coves, conductor

Naxos 8.573255

An outstanding figure in the history of modern Spanish music, Federico Moreno Torroba is best known for his guitar works, his traditional style embracing the folklore and character of Spain. The Concierto en Flamenco requires an exceptional soloist, and Pepe Romero is justly famous for his masterful interpretations in both classical and flamenco genres. The playful Diálogos entre guitarra y orquesta adds the luminous sonorities of harp and celesta to its colorful orchestration. Aires de La Mancha is evocative of this distinctive region in central Spain, while the Suite castellana includes Torroba’s first ever composition for guitar, Danza. This is the first of three volumes of Torroba’s complete works for guitar and orchestra.



Maxwell Davies: Caroline Mathilde – Ballet Suites
BBC Philharmonic
Peter Maxwell Davies, conductor

Naxos 8.572358

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ ballet Caroline Mathilde premièred in 1991 and has been highly acclaimed ever since. Its story concerns the tragic marriage of Caroline to Christian VII of Denmark and is cast in a musical language that embraces expressionism, drama, parody, and overt lyricism. The two concert suites chart the young queen’s fall from grace and her eventual banishment into exile. Chat Moss is a richly textured tone poem, while by contrast the Ojai Festival Overture is a lively and extrovert concert piece reflecting Maxwell Davies’ fondness for American landscape and culture. Recorded between 1991-95 and previously released by the now defunct Collins Classics, the Naxos label has been consistently lauded in the musical press for making available once again these and many other recordings by arguably the greatest British composer of the second half of the 20th c., that, in some cases, remain the only recordings of these works.




Chansons Perpétuelles
Marie-Nicole Lemieux, contralto
Roger Vignoles, piano
Quatuor Psophos

Naïve Records V5355

Marie-Nicole Lemieux’s sixth recital recording on Naïve is a series of breathtaking melodies from the last decade of the 19th c., in the words of Ms. Lemieux “an incredibly rich, varied and pivotal era.”

“These were the peak years of French mélodie: we hear Fauré – the Mélodies de Venise were among his first successes; Koechlin, very little known today but very forward-looking in his orchestration and harmony; and Chausson and Lekeu as well. The program is a wide-ranging journey through late 1800s Europe, illustrated by songs that I love, that I listen to myself.”



Gubaidulina: Complete String Quartets
Quatuor Molinari
Louise Bessette, piano

ATMA Classiques ACD22689

Sofia Gubaidulina is a Russian-Tatar composer and remarkable contemporary music figure. Accompanied by pianist Louise Bessette, the Molinari Quartet plays her 1957 student work Quintet for piano, her complete string quartets, composed 1970-93; the string trio (1988); her Reflections on the theme B-A-C-H and Freue Dich!, a sonata for violin and cello. Internationally acclaimed by the public and critics alike since their founding in 1997, the Molinari Quartet has established a mandate to perform 20th – 21st c. works, string quartet repertoire, and new commissions.



Elizabeth Raum: Myth, legend, romance
Regina Symphony Orchestra
Calgary Philharmonic
Erika Raum, violin

Centrediscs CMCCD 20615

Elizabeth Raum has established herself as one of Canada's most eminent composers with commissions coming from numerous, important Canadian as well as many other performing organizations. Ms. Raum has been presented with the Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan, the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada medal and in 2010 received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. Performances by Canadian soloists highlight "Myth, Legend, Romance", which features three of Raum's concertos that weave together stories and folklore.



Bach: Imagine
Jean Rondeau, harpsichord
Erato 2564622009

‘Imagine’ is the first Warner Classics release from dynamic young French harpsichordist Jean Rondeau (b. 1991), who sees the album as “an exploration of all the possibilities that lie in the music of Bach and in the harpsichord.” Praised by radio station France Musique for his “maturity, fabulous touch and originality,” he is a musician with impeccable credentials in his instrument – and he has many prizes to prove it. With his multiple talents and interests – he is a musicologist, trained as an organist and a choral conductor, and as a pianist he is co-founder of Note Forget, the project that performs his jazz compositions – he defies simple categorization.



Khachaturian: Original Piano Works & Transcriptions
Kariné Poghosyan, piano
Grand Piano GP673

Despite the popularity of Aram Khachaturian’s ubiquitous ballet music, his works for piano have been relatively neglected. This release, featuring two World Premiere Recordings, combines arrangements of popular pieces such as MasqueradeSuite (Arr. A. Dolukhanian) with less familiar works such as the composer’s early Poem and the abstract Piano Sonata. The Armenian pianist Kariné Poghosyan has won numerous awards as well as performed in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls. At the Manhattan School of Music she completed her DMA in a record-breaking two years with a thesis on Aram Khachaturian’s works for piano. She is currently based in New York, where she teaches at the Manhattan School of Music.



Mozart: Desperate Heroines
Sandrine Piau, soprano
Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg
Ivor Bolton, conductor

Naïve Records V5366

In a rich discography that includes brilliant and praised Mozart, Handel, Vivaldi and French baroque operatic recitals, French soprano Sandrine Piau gathered and recorded a series of tragic arias from her favorite heroines in Mozart's operas Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, La finta giardiniera, Mitridate, Idomeneo, Lucio Silla and Il rè pastore. The recording features the orchestra of Mozart's birth city, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, and its renowned music director Ivor Bolton.



Stravinsky: Concerto for Piano and Wind Orchestra
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano
Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Yan Pascal Tortelier, conductor

Chandos Records CHSA 5147

After having won the Gramophone Award in 2014 for his recording of Prokofiev’s five piano concertos, exclusive Chandos artist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet here explores the complete works for piano and orchestra of Igor Stravinsky. Once again he partners with conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier, winners of the 2011 Gramophone Award – Concerto category, for their last Chandos release together. It starts with the crisp rhythms, polyphony and classical form of the expressive, weighty Concerto for Piano and Wind Orchestra. The Capriccio is a piece that Stravinsky composed as a repertoire alternative to his concerto; he performed it more than forty times in the first four years after its creation. The anti-tonal, twelve-tone idiom of Movements represents Stravinsky’s experiments in the use of serial techniques. Pétrouchka is a work for piano and orchestra as well, except that the piano here is not a solo instrument but rather part of the orchestral fabric. Mr. Bavouzet himself described blending in with the fortissimos of the orchestra as ‘one of the best musical experiences of my life’.




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11:47:45 AM, 30 January 2015
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