New Release of the Week

  “Final Thoughts” is the newest release from Cedille Records. It features Jorge Federico Osorio performing the final solo piano works of Franz Schubert (1797-1828) and Johannes Brahms (1833-1897). A trailer for “Final Thoughts” can be viewed here.

 

  Sony Classical brings a new collection nearly 90 years in the making. “Arturo Toscanini: The Essential Recordings” is a 20-disc collection over a thousand minutes in length that celebrates the work of conductor Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957). The recordings in this collection were made for the RCA Victor label between 1929 and 1952. This compilation celebrates Toscanini’s 150th birthday and his over seven decades on the podium.

 

  Pentatone offers a new recording of three of Franz Joseph Haydn’s symphonies, numbers 53, 64 and 96.

 

  Pianist Mark Bebbington and the Somm label present The Piano Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, a complete collection of Vaughan Williams’s compositions for solo and duo piano. Romanian-Nigerian pianist Rebeca Omordia joins Bebbington for the album’s two duo-piano selections.

 

Sir Arthur Sullivan is best-known for his full-length operettas composed with W.S. Gilbert, including “H.M.S. Pinafore” and “The Pirates of Penzance.” Sullivan’s prolific output also includes oratorios, ballets, incidental music and dozens of songs and hymns.

This year, Chandos released a new record celebrating Sullivan’s vast songbook. “Arthur Sullivan - Songs” brings together four of England’s rising classical music artists for an album of these rarely-performed pieces.

Violinist Daniel Hope’s new album, “For Seasons,” is inspired by the perennial Vivaldi concerto cycle known as The Four Seasons. Hope began learning the Vivaldi concertos at age seven, performing them live for the first time only six years later.

  Jeannette Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire bring us a new performance of J. S. Bach’s classic oratorio, St. John Passion. Apollo’s Fire performed the oratorio in March as a live theatrical performance in both Apollo’s Fire’s native Cleveland and New York City; now, the ensemble offers the performance as a two-disc album with accompanying photos and online resources.

 

  Legendary pianist Menahem Pressler joins forces with the Pacifica Quartet on the new album Brahms Piano Quintet/ Schumann String Quartet No. 1.

 

The Finnish composer Jean Sibelius is best known by classical music listeners for his orchestral works, including several symphonies and the famous tone poem “Finlandia.” But Sibelius’s vast output also includes nearly 100 songs.

 

Buxton Orr (1924-1997) studied medicine until he changed careers in the 1950s and began studying music composition with Benjamin Frankel. Some of his earliest compositions were film scores, and he also wrote songs, chamber music, operas, and musical theater pieces. Recently, Orr’s widow gave tenor Nicky Spence access to several of her husband’s songs that had never before been recorded.

 

Chandos, Sir Andrew Davis and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra bring a landmark new collection by British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

 

Hailed by Opera Today for his “Puccinian fire power and dramatic heat to raise the hair on the back of your neck,” Lester Lynch has longed to record an album of traditional American spirituals since he began his career. Lynch’s newest album, On My Journey Now, is a dream come true. “Music speaks to and heals the human spirit,” writes Lynch in the album’s liner notes. “These songs have had a profound effect on American history.

After a five-year recording hiatus, the Gaudete Brass Quintet returns to the studio for its triumphant fourth album, "sevenfive: The John Corigliano Effect." Founded in 2004, the Gaudete Brass Quintet has distinguished itself for its dedication to both excellence in performance and promotion of brass chamber music and repertoire.

 

French record label Harmonia Mundi brings a captivating new album of 18th-century music for harp and orchestra. La Harpe Reine (“The Queen’s Harp”) celebrates the harp’s renaissance in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This renaissance was inspired by Marie Antoinette, who arrived at the French court with her harp in 1770. The result was a flurry of new compositions for harp.

 

 

Naxos brings a star-studded new recording of Leonard Bernstein’s first two symphonies. Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano join forces with conductor Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Leonard Bernstein: Symphonies 1 and 2.

 

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields has established a reputation as one of the world’s foremost chamber orchestras. Since their first performance at their namesake church in 1958, the ensemble has produced dozens of beloved albums, with highlights including Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and the soundtrack to the film Amadeus.

  Many remember comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy for their visual gags. The soundtracks that accompanied Laurel and Hardy’s films were also critical to the duo’s success. Composed by Hal Roach’s in-house composer Leroy Shield, the scores feature both expected the lighthearted ditties as well as ballads and dance numbers reminiscent of the greats of classical music.

 

One of the nation’s leading string quartets, the Cypress String Quartet, is ready to hang up its bows. After a 20-year career, during which they were hailed by the New York Times as “tender and deeply expressive,” the ensemble played their farewell concert this past June--but they weren’t quite finished. In January 2017, the ensemble gave their fans a final gift: one last album.

The week of January 9, 2017, we featured Lorelei Ensemble's RECONSTRUCTED as our New Release of the Week.

IPR's Director of Development, Emily Culler, is one of the nine founding members of the Lorelei Ensemble. She dropped by Studio B on Friday, January 13 to play us some highlights from the album, and to chat about Lorelei and the techniques and styles that came together in its creation.

 

Italian pianist Marco Vincenzi and the Dynamic label bring us a world-premiere album over 100 years in the making.

 

Since 2007, the Boston-based Lorelei Ensemble has been reinventing women’s vocal music. The ensemble includes nine professional vocalists, united by a goal of advancing the women’s ensemble and expanding repertoire for female vocalists. The ensemble performs both as the full nine-voice unit and as smaller ensembles of selected members. Besides commissioning more than 50 new works since their formation, the ensemble has also reinvented classic Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque pieces.