Saint-Saëns’s mature creative genius shines throughout these last two piano concertos, looking back over a glorious musical ancestry while at the same time opening the door to new worlds. The Fourth Piano Concerto is prescient of both his great Organ Symphony and the concertos of Rachmaninov, revealing Saint-Saëns at his most inspired and innovative… Read more
The coronation of Leopold II in Prague in 1791 came at a difficult time for European monarchs, although Leopold himself enjoyed a reputation as an enlightened ruler. Two musical works were commissioned for the occasion: Mozart’s opera La clemenza di Tito and Koželuch’s cantata Heil demMonarchen. The cantata, by turns celebratory, serene and darkly dramatic, was well received… Read more
These two concertos show the increasing importance of the guitar duo on the world’s concert stages. Leo Brouwer, one of the foremost Latin American composers, has written many admired guitar concertos but The Book of Signs is his first for two guitars, a double concerto of great virtuosity, with a majestic, songful theme in its central movement… Read more
Percy Grainger admired the expressive intensity of the wind band and considered it a more suitable medium for the transcription of early music—such as the Bach and Ferrabosco pieces heard here—than the symphony orchestra. In this second volume of his music for wind ensemble (Volume 1 is on 8.573679) there are further examples from the 23 Chosen Gems for Winds… Read more
Featuring ten première recordings and a number of recently discovered ‘Sins of Old Age’ manuscripts unassigned to specific volumes, this album brings together a notable diversity of genres and instrumentation. They include the catchy Allegretto for violin and piano that Rossini used as his musical calling card… Read more
Julian Lloyd Webber, one of the world’s most admired cellists, notably expanded his instrument’s repertoire in the concert hall and on disc. In this retrospective of his art he can be heard as soloist, arranger and conductor. These are the last recordings that Lloyd Webber made before announcing his retirement from playing… Read more
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