Classical New Releases

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Classical IPR regularly features new releases that we think our listeners will enjoy. Stay up to date on the latest classical albums of interest. 

The Doric String Quartet is in the process of recording all of Franz Joseph Haydn's string quartets. They recently released their third volume of quartets. This new two-disc set features all six quartets from Haydn's opus 64.

Haydn composed all six of the op. 64 quartets in 1790, at the same time that he was leaving his long-time employment as a court composer and exploring options as a freelance composer in London. The most famous of the six quartets is no. 5, called "The Lark" for its soaring, birdlike themes. 

This might very well be the ultimate lullaby. Right at the start of the 2018 SXSW Music Festival, Max Richter's eight-hour composition Sleep was performed overnight to an audience tucked into 150 beds. They — the audience, not the tireless group of musicians who performed the piece — slept, dreamed and sometimes snored through this trance-inducing experience.

"Cinema per archi" (or "Cinema for Strings") is a new album from the string players of the Academy of St. Cecilia. The album features music by three Academy Award-winning Italian film composers: Ennio Morricone, Nicola Piovani and Nino Rota.

Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason isn't even 20 years old yet, and he's already been called "the hottest young classical musician on the planet" by Classic FM. Sheku (he goes by his first name) won the BBC Young Musician Award in 2016 and has just released his first album on Decca Classics, called "Inspiration."

Amazon recently released the fourth season of its original series "Mozart in the Jungle." The show, which has won multiple Golden Globe and Emmy awards, depicts the lives of classical musicians in the fictional New York Symphony. 

The American pianist Lara Downes is well known for her interesting portraits of composers. Her latest album “For Lenny” celebrates Leonard Bernstein in his centennial year. Like most of Downes’s other albums, “For Lenny” features a number of piano miniatures that revolve around a central theme. The theme of this album is, of course, Leonard Bernstein.

A new two-disc album from the American violinist Hilary Hahn features recordings from every album she has made for Deutsche Grammophon over the last 15 years. This new album, "Retrospectives," also includes previously unreleased live recordings of music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Tina Davidson and Max Richter.

André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra have a new album called "Amore." The music includes Rieu's interpretations and arrangements of love songs and other uplifting favorites.

"Amore" features love songs like "Love Me Tender" and "What a Wonderful World," film music, waltzes by members of the Strauss family and pieces from musicals, like "The Impossible Dream" (from Man of La Mancha) and "Think of Me" (from Phantom of the Opera).

Click here for video of Rieu introducing the new album.

By her own admission, composer Florence Price had two strikes against her.

"To begin with I have two handicaps – those of sex and race. I am a woman; and I have some Negro blood in my veins," is how she began a 1943 letter to Serge Koussevitzky, the revered conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She added later, "I would like to be judged on merit alone."

The string quintet Sybarite5 is known for its untraditional choices of repertoire. They've performed their own arrangements of many songs by the band Radiohead, and they're champions of living American composers. Their music is frequently featured on Performance Today

Grammy-winning ensemble Third Coast Percussion has a new album of water-inspired music called "Paddle to the Sea."

A new album from mezzo soprano Cecilia Bartoli and cellist Sol Gabetta features the unique relationship between the voice and the cello in music from the Baroque period. Bartoli and Gabetta have been friends for years, and this is the first project they have collaborated on.

At first, there's just a drip: a gentle pulse from a marimba. Then a bewitching melody played on a set of tuned cowbells enters and the music comes into focus. The four musicians in the Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion let the piece unfold deliberately. They play as if they're a single, eight-armed organism.

Pianist Liza Stepanova has a new album called Tones and Colors that explores the relationship between music and visual art. Each of the thirteen pieces she plays is either inspired by a specific work of art or else the piece of music later inspired a work of art. 

The liner notes for the album include images of each work of art and an explanation of how the art is related to the piece Stepanova plays.

Sony Classical has just released the Vienna Philharmonic's 2018 New Year's Concert. Riccardo Muti conducted this year's concert, his fifth time leading the New Year's Concert since 1993. 

Scottish classical guitarist Matthew McAllister has a new album out that features all American music. The album is called "American Collection," but there’s not a note of Copland or Bernstein on it. Instead, McAllister features pieces by American composers such as Chick Corea, Philip Glass and even Frank Zappa.

To create her wide-ranging music, New York-based artist Lea Bertucci has used a wealth of instruments and compositional techniques. But her primary creative tool is the saxophone, and on her new album, Metal Aether, she delves into it perhaps further than she ever has.

Dmitri Shostakovich composed the score to the Soviet film “The Gadfly” in 1955. The complete score to the film has just been released for the first time.

 

Swedish composer and pianist Benny Andersson is best known as a co-founder of the band ABBA. He also wrote music for the musicals "Chess," "Kristina från Duvemåla" and "Mamma Mia!" 

Andersson has a new album out on Deutsche Grammophon featuring 21 of his songs. He arranged and performed the music on solo piano. The music includes ABBA hits, songs from his musicals and several original compositions. 

Violinist Rachel Barton Pine has just released her 36th album. She pairs violin concertos by Max Bruch and Sir Edward Elgar. These two pieces are the shortest (the Bruch is about 20 minutes) and longest (the Elgar is about 50 minutes) of violin concertos in the standard repertoire. 

What the world needs now is another cat video. Seriously.

Photo by Dario Cantatore/Getty Images

American pianist Byron Janis has been a powerhouse since 1942, when he played Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with conductor Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Orchestra. Janis was just fifteen years old.

The following year, Vladimir Horowitz accepted Janis as his very first piano student. Janis would go on to play with some of the greatest conductors and orchestras of the twentieth century, including Fritz Reiner, Antal Dorati, Kirill Kondrashin and Charles Munch.

 American pianist Byron Janis has performed with some of the greatest conductors of the twentieth century, including Arturo Toscanini, Eugene Ormandy and Fritz Reiner. He was also the first piano student (and one of only three total) that Vladimir Horowitz ever accepted. At the age of 89, Janis is releasing not one but three new albums.

 

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