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Featured Releases - May 2018

My First Piano Book
My First Piano Book
Helsby • Chapman

Hardback, full-colour illustrated plus 2 CDs

Following the huge success of My First Classical Music Book, Genevieve Helsby and Jason Chapman return with My First Piano Book. Bursting with life and humour, this is a uniquely comprehensive introduction to the piano, designed first and foremost to inspire. Text and illustrations are so perfectly in tune with each other that every page is a treat to explore… Read more

RACHMANINOV, S.: Piano Concerto No. 3 • Variations on a Theme of Corelli
Sergey RACHMANINOV (1873–1943)
Piano Concerto No. 3 *
Variations on a Theme of Corelli

Giltburg • Royal Scottish National Orchestra* • Prieto*

Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 is a complex, epic narrative that moves from a simple opening melody to the triumphant apotheosis at its conclusion. The composer ingeniously links motifs, melodies and at times whole sections between the movements, unifying the concerto into a single overarching storyline… Read more


SCHUMANN, R.: Cello Concerto • Works for Cello and Piano
Robert SCHUMANN (1810–1856)
Cello Concerto 1
Works for Cello and Piano 2

Schwabe • Rimmer 2 • Royal Northern Sinfonia 1 • Vogt 1

Schumann’s love of the cello, which developed when he learned the instrument as a young man, is expressed most fully in his Cello Concerto in A Minor. It is a work marked by freshness of spirit and singing lyricism and stands as a rich example of mid-19th-century Romanticism… Read more

JOMMELLI, N.: Il Vologeso [Opera] (Stuttgart Opera, 2015)
Niccolò JOMMELLI (1714–1774)
Il Vologeso

Durlovski • Marilley • Schneiderman • Kohlhepp • Staatsorchester Stuttgart • Ferro • Wieler • Morabito

Niccolò Jommelli was an innovative superstar among composers in his day, and is now recognized as a precursor of the new Viennese Classical taste in music. With its intense story of love, life and death, Il Vologeso sets one of the most powerful libretti written for the European opera stage. This critically acclaimed production is considered to be its first staged performance for over two centuries, and the highly successful opera directors Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito have revived a Baroque gem with their exciting, present-day staging.

Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0067V)

BERLIOZ, H.: Benvenuto Cellini [Opera] (Dutch National Opera, 2015)
Hector BERLIOZ (1803–1869)
Benvenuto Cellini

Sicilia • Losier • Osborn • Naouri • Muraro • Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra • Elder • Gilliam

With his affinity for the 16th-century sculptor Benvenuto Cellini’s advocacy of artistic and personal freedom, Hector Berlioz went straight for the grand gesture with his first completed opera. Returning to it years after initial production debacles, Berlioz stated that he would ‘never again find such verve and Cellinian impetuosity, nor such a variety of ideas’. The plot revolves around Cellini’s wooing of Teresa, a match frustrated at every opportunity by his rival, the cowardly Fieramosca. Benvenuto Cellini is a pithy work combining romance, excitement, violence, comedy and spectacle; the perfect stage for Terry Gilliam’s stylishly colourful and larger-than-life directing.

Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0074V)


SMETANA, B.: Festive Symphony • The Bartered Bride (excerpts)
Bedřich SMETANA (1824–1884)
Festive Symphony
The Bartered Bride Overture and Dances

Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra • Darrell Ang

Bedřich Smetana’s Festive Symphony was composed in 1854 when hopes for Emperor Franz Joseph becoming King of Bohemia were high. The splendid sounds of Smetana’s only formal symphony pre-echo later masterpieces such as Má Vlast, but his use of the Austrian Imperial anthem became unacceptable in the subsequent spirit of Czech nationalism, resulting in the work’s neglect… Read more


POULENC, F.: Ballet Suites – Les Biches • Les Animaux modèles
Francis POULENC (1899–1963)
Les Biches Suite
Les Animaux modèles Suite • Sinfonietta

Sicilia • Losier

Poulenc wrote two ballets, the suites from which feature on this recording. Fusing together musical styles from various periods and genres enabled him to construct the largely plot-free narrative of Les Biches, a sequence of captivating dances that explore many themes which were considered taboo at the time… Read more

RODE, P.: Violin Concertos Nos. 11 and 12
Pierre RODE (1774–1830)
Violin Concertos Nos. 11 and 12

Eichhorn • Jena Philharmonic • Pasquet


As a leading virtuoso who premiered Beethoven’s final violin sonata with the Archduke Rudolph, Rode was at the centre of European musical life, his compositions sitting at the apex of the French violin school. The final volume in this acclaimed series presents one of his most inspired pieces, the Violin Concerto No. 11 in D Major, lyrically expressive and full of good-humoured zest… Read more


DIAMOND, D.: Symphony No. 6 • Rounds for String Orchestra • Romeo and Juliet
David DIAMOND (1915–2005)
Symphony No. 6 1
Rounds for String Orchestra 2 • Romeo and Juliet 2

Indiana University Chamber Orchestra 2 • Indiana University Philharmonic Orchestra 1 • Fagen


The three works on this recording were composed at the height of David Diamond’s popularity. The concert suite Romeo and Juliet explores the “innate beauty and pathos” of Shakespeare’s play. Taking its cue from the work of 19th-century Romantic composers, Symphony No. 6 is cyclical, the second and third movements deriving from material found in the first… Read more


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