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Rossini: Stabat Mater (1832 Original Version)

Rossini: Stabat Mater (1832 Original Version)
Camerata Bach Choir
Wuttemberg Philharmonic Orchestra
Antonino Fogliani, conductor

Naxos 8.573531

Rossini's Stabat Mater is one of the staples of the sacred music repertoire but had a complicated history. He wrote it for performance in Madrid but, running short of time, enlisted the help of his friend Giovanni Tadolini. Rossini completed six pieces, Tadolini seven. Tadolini's pieces now only exist as piano reductions but conductor Antonino Fogliani has orchestrated them to allow listeners to hear the original work for the first time since 1833. Marco Tarelli's 2009 orchestration of Giovanna d'Arco (Joan of Arc), a cantata for solo voice, is also heard on this first recording.

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Corigliano: Symphony No. 1

Corigliano: Symphony No. 1
National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic
David Alan Miller

Naxos 8.559782

These three works represent the first recording for Naxos by the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic, which is composed of elite conservatory students from across the United States and abroad. The chosen works reflect the richness and variety of the American repertoire. A work of immense poignancy and power, John Corigliano's Symphony No. 1 is a commemoration of friends of the composer who died during the 1980s and '90s. Michael Torke's Bright Blue Music evokes rich lyricism couched in the composer's favorite key of D Major. The suite from Copland's Appalachian Spring is one of the great, quintessential American works.

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Complete Works for Violin & Piano

Complete Works for Violin & Piano
Laurence Kayaleh, violin
Stephane Lemelin, piano

Naxos 8.573345

Tchaikovsky encouraged Georgy L'vovich Catoire to pursue a musical career, remarking that he was "gifted with a powerful creative talent". Catoire's passion for Wagner was intense and this infused his music with rich chromatic harmonies and sweeping melodies. His works for viola and piano are some of his very finest. The Violin Sonata No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 15 is a substantial and compelling piece, full of grandeur and constantly evolving rhythms. Like its successor, the raptly beautiful, single-movement Violin Sonata No. 2 in D Major, Op. 20, subtitled Poeme, it shows the influence of French Impressionism.

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Janke: Celestial Blue

Janke: Celestial Blue
Mark Fewer, violin
Daniel Janke, piano

Centrediscs CMCCD 22816

The title, Celestial Blue, is a reference to wide open blue sky and all the possibilities that implies. Mark Fewer and Daniel Janke have worked together on numerous concert and film projects over the years. Celestial Blue is a culmination of their desire to explore this musical connection through a series of duets that represent their unique collaborative voice. Some of the compositions on Celestial Blue contain strong references to gospel and other folk traditions: music that resonates deeply for both Mark, with his Newfoundland roots, and Daniel, with his Ontario gospel roots. While the music is for the most part through-composed, there are elements of improvisation or co-improvisation in some of the work.

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Evensong Live 2016

Evensong Live 2016
The Choir of King’s College
Stephen Cleobury, conductor

Choir of King’s College KGS0015

Evensong Live 2016 is a selection of the best weekly webcasts recorded during the preceding academic year (2014 and 2015). Real services at King’s College Chapel are recorded using a state-of-the-art recording system concealed in the roof, vestry and organ loft. Microphones are suspended discreetly above the choir stalls, recording each of the choir’s services and performances. This album includes a selection of the best performances during the year, as selected by the choir’s Director of Music, Stephen Cleobury. The choir at King’s performs evensong six times a week, in addition to Sunday eucharist or matins, furnishing the liturgy with music on a daily basis. This tradition has fostered many of the greatest choirs, singers and organists in the world. This selection of music provide a cross section of some of the everyday music making that happens at King’s, capturing the atmosphere and acoustic of the Chapel. It serves as a snapshot of the choir at a specific moment in time, and presents evensong as one of the jewels of our national heritage. Not a relic, but a living and breathing part of our culture.

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Scarlatti: La Gloria di Primavera

Scarlatti: La Gloria di Primavera
Philharmonic Baroque Orchetra & Chorale
Nicholas McGegan, conductor

Philharmonia Baroque PBP09BD

The standard edition recording of this work was released earlier this year to rave reviews, and now is available in stunning Blu-ray audio. The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale are the first ensembles to perform this recently discovered masterpiece. The 300 year old serenata was composed by Alessandro Scarlatti in 1716 to celebrate the birth of Prince John Leopold, Charles VI’s son. The composition was completed in just a few weeks, and was immediately performed in Naples following John Leopold’s birth.

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Berlioz: Romeo et Juliette

Berlioz: Romeo et Juliette
London Symphony Orchestra
Valery Gergiev, conductor

LSO Live LSO0762

Released in the year of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary, Valery Gergiev and London Symphony Orchestra are joined by soloists Olga Borodina, Kenneth Tarver and Evgeny Nikitin for Berlioz Roméo et Juliette, recorded lvie at the Barbican Centre in November 2013. Part of major series of eight concerts, this work toured to venues in the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and France. A large-scale ‘symphonie dramatique’, Roméo et Juliette was the fruit of the composers dual fascination with Shakespeare and with the actress Harriet Smithson, whom he was later to marry. Using the story of the star-crossed lovers as a starting point, Berlioz deftly portays Shakespeare’s passion and drama through his music, as well as through the abundance of lyrical poetry throughout, written by French poet Émile Deschamps.

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Brahms: Works for Solo Piano, Vol. 6

Brahms: Works for Solo Piano, Vol. 6
Barry Douglas, piano
Chandos Records CHAN 10903

This new release from pianist Barry Douglas is the sixth and final volume in his exploration of Brahms’s output for solo piano. BBC Music writes of this series, “Douglas’s tone is a deep velvet cushion, the legatos full of affection and the rhythms galvanized with great energy.” This unique collection of works shows Brahms not only as a composer, but also an arranger, pedagogue, historicist, virtuoso, and pianist. Barry Douglas hails from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He has won numerous awards all over the globe, including an appointment as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire and the gold medal in the International Tchaikovsky Competition.

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Reger: Das Orgelwerk

Reger: Das Orgelwerk
Kurt Rapf, organ
MPS-Jazz 0300768MSW

Max Reger was a master of the organ, so compiling his entire output for the instrument is no small feat. This 14 disc set from MPS Jazz is a rare opportunity to enjoy all of Reger’s organ works in one place. Kurt Rapf, the talented organist to whom we owe this collection, spent fourteen years, from 1970 to 1984, recording these works on Europe’s finest organs. Kurt Rapf (1922-2007) was an outstanding Austrian musician. Not only an incredible organist, he also composed over 150 works which received international acclaim. He is heard on numerous recordings, particularly by MPS. This is the first time that these particular recordings have been available on CD.

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Ice & Longboat

Ice & Longboat
Ensemble Mare Balticum
Ake & Jens Egevad

Delphian Records DCD34181

This new release is the second volume in Delphian Records’ monumental collaboration with the European Music Archaeology Project. The series explores the earliest known music from Scandanavia. Together with partners from ten European countries, the European Music Archaeology Project has researched and brought to life ancient music from 40,000 BC to present day. The group will hold a series of international exhibitions, which will allow the public to more fully understand the crucial role that music played in ancient societies. This album includes songs improvised on Viking instruments, as well as notated songs from the earliest centuries of Christianity in Scandinavia.

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