Previousl CDs of the Week from 2008 and 2009!

 

Week of December 14 - December 20
Canadian Brass Christmas Tradition


Some of the early Christmas recordings by the Canadian Brass have endured as treasured annual favorites for households around the world, though those discs have been out-of-print for some time. Here, in a new recording made exclusively for ArkivMusic, are all of the original arrangements from those discs, plus some arrangements that never made it to disc.* The "Brass" sound better than ever and are accompanied by the remarkably talented organist Eric Robertson in a simply ideal acoustic.
Christmas Tradition is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com!

Week of December 7 - December 13
The Priests Harmony


Last year The Priests astounded the world with their debut CD, breaking the Guinness world record for the fastest selling classical debut album of all time. This year the singing global superstars have released their follow up CD Harmony. The Priests, brothers Fathers Martin and Eugene O'Hagan and Father David Delargy, were young school friends when they first sang together at the age of 12 (Martin and David) and 15 (Eugene). Their love of singing continued whilst studying for the priesthood in Rome. Once ordained, all three took up parish commitments. Singing was both part of prayer plus, in their spare time, they performed in local operas, musicals and choirs. In February 2008, a record company scout knocked on their door and asked them to make a demo. The rest, as they say is history.
Harmony is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com!

Week of November 23 - November 29
Home For The Harvest

 

"Nature’s abundance — this is what harvest festivals around the world have celebrated from time immemorial. But America’s great harvest festival, Thanksgiving, celebrates something else besides. Ever since Pilgrim newcomer and native Wampanoag sat together at a common table in the fall of 1621, Thanksgiving has been a reminder of our deep connection to family, friends, neighbors and (as the Founding Fathers would put it) Nature’s God. This special Thanksgiving album is intended as a musical companion to our multifaceted feast day, featuring works by some of our country’s most lauded composers, from hither and yon across the states and the decades. Some of their contributions are instrumental, others vocal. Some are symphonic excerpts, others dance tunes, spirituals or hymns. Some gleam with the burnish of the early 1800s, while even those of more recent date have the soft, rich rustle of nostalgia about them.
The CD is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com!

Week of November 16 - November 22
Angele Dubeau: Virtouse

 

"Even the most pious music lovers here in America will find these performances hard to resist. Dubeau and company play each composition with an infectious, devil-may-care enthusiasm." ~ Forbes Magazine With her new release Virtuose, Angele Dubeau teams with other talented musicians and orchestras for a journey through the most brilliant works of the violin repertoire. Virtuose is on sale this week!
The CD is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com!

Week of November 9 - November 15
Rachmaninoff Play Rachmaninoff

 

Now this is an interesting CD. It really is Sergei Rachmaninoff playing his own works, but recorded with today's technology. The brilliant engineers at Zenph Studios have created a software technology that analyzes the old scratchy recordings of Rachmaninoff and the music is then "re-performed" using today's recording technologies. But to keep it authentic, they use a 1909 Steinway model D on which Rachmaninoff may have very well played. The result? Stunning doesn't seem to sum it up. Nobody plays Rachmaninoff's music like Rachmaninoff himself.
The CD is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com!

Week of November 2 - November 8
Homelands
Rudens Turku - violin

 

"The search for one's own roots, for love and home, is shared by Grieg, Dvorák, Rachmaninov, Sarasate, and Piazzolla and makes them kindred spirits. The compositions on this CD are pervaded by devotion to home, love of nature, spirituality, and joy of life...they take the listener from Russia, by way of Norway, Bohemia, and Spain, all the way to Argentina." ~ Rudens Turku

Violinist Rundens Turku and pianist Oliver Schnyder explore these gorgeous pieces filled with longing in their new disc "Homelands".
It's on sale this week!

Week of October 26 - November 1
Vivaldi: The French Connection

 

Antonio Vivaldi never traveled to Paris, but he was one of many French and Italian composers who in the 1720s and 1730s were fascinated with each others music. Vivaldi was an important player in this virtual exchange program of music and wrote in the French style for Italian audiences and also supplied Italian music for French patrons and printers. The music on this disc is brought to life by an ensemble that was created to perform Vivaldi's music and in the 15 years since their inception have established themselves as one of the leading exponents of Vivaldi's music. The French Connection is on sale this week!
This new CD is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com
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Week of October 19 - October 26
Dudamel Discoveries
 

Dudamel Discoveries is the perfect compilation album and souvenir release to introduce listeners to the wonderful music of Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela! With a mix of European and Latin influence, this recording offers a cross section of Dudamel's infectious recordings. What you hear is sheer joy of this youth orchestra led by their conductor who now is taking the world by storm as the Music Director for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
This new CD is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com.

Week of September 28 - October 5th
The Best of Joshua Bell

 

The Best of Joshua Bell: The Decca Years is a conceptual release, with each disc having a theme to its repertoire: The Concertos, Sonatas & Chamber Music, and Favorites! The perfect collection for any time! Featuring Masterpieces by Brahms, Mozart, Massenet, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Wieniawski, Fauré, Kreisler, and more! Joshua Bell is a living legend, having created more than 30 albums during the course of his career. Since making his concerto debut at the tender age of fourteen with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Bell has established himself as one of the few great classical stars of the modern age.
This new CD is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com
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Week of September 21-28
100 Best Cello

 

This 6-disc set compiles some of the finest recorded versions ever made of popular works for cello, taken from EMI's vast catalog of classical recordings, and includes performances by such renowned cellists as Pablo Casals, Mstislav Rostropovich, Jacqueline du Pré, Pierre Fournier, János Starker, Lynn Harrell, Paul Tortelier, Julian Lloyd Webber, Truls Mork, Steven Isserlis, and more.
This box set is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com!
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Week of Sept. 14-21
From the Top at the Pops

 

In the past decade, From the Top has established itself as the preeminent showcase for young musicians, celebrating the performances and personal stories of America's top pre-collegiate classical musicians. What began as a radio experiment in 2000 quickly became one of the fastest growing and most popular weekly classical music programs on public radio - broadcast on nearly 250 stations nationwide. Today, the non-profit organization reaches millions each week through radio, television and online media, education and community outreach programs, and a national tour of live events. Now in their 10th Anniversary season, From the Top has joined forces with Telarc and the Cincinnati Pops to release their first major label recording, featuring a bright and diverse group of musicians from around the country.

In October 2008, From the Top and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra collaborated for three live concerts at Cincinnati Music Hall. Bringing together the energy of promising and engaging young artists, the affable presence of host Christopher O'Riley, and the power of Maestro Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops, the concert series culminated in this recording and a From the Top broadcast on NPR. The Cincinnati Enquirer called the featured performers, "mature beyond their years, with jaw-dropping talent" and acknowledged that "these gifted musicians are also articulate, interesting and yes, normal kids."

"Words cannot express the emotion I felt," says Erich Kunzel about the experience of conducting the young musicians for this recording. "Our performances were more than making great music, rather they were about hope and the future of our nation. The youth who performed were exemplary individuals in every manner and it showed both on and off stage, and their infectious desire for outstanding performance radiated to the members of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and audience." This special disc is on SALE this week.

Week of Sept. 7-14
Iberiana

 

Something interesting happened around 1900 in Spain and France. While in other parts of Europe composers were exploring their national heritage through music, the composers in this region actively sought out the musical culture and inspiration of their neighbor. The French, in particular, were fascinated with the exotic Moorish rhythms and harmonies of Spain. And so French composers wrote some of the greatest Spanish-style music (e.g. Bizet's "Carmen" and Ravel's "Bolero"). Likewise, Spanish composers like Granados and de Falla were heavily influenced by their studies at the Paris Conservatoire. In this CD the Claremont Duo explores the rich musical offerings of this unique time and place and the disc is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com.

Week of August 31 - September 7th
Laurent Krocia "Cinema"

 

Laurent Korcia has been called the "most distinctive violinist of his generation" and one of the 'Sexiest men Alive' by People Magazine.

CINEMA and the accompanying PBS Television special "Live At The Folies Bergere" were recorded in parallel with a gala sold-out performance to celebrate ‘100 Years of Film Music’ at one of the most famous music venues in the world, Les Folies Bergere in the 9th arrondissement in Paris. The venue, which was built as an opera house in 1869 and patterned after the Alhambra music hall in London, was completely sold out. The resulting television special airs around the world.

Laurent Korcia studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and is one of the rare contemporary top violinists to go from classical to jazz to tango and back without losing his distinctive ‘tone of voice’. His concert repertoire also includes solo violin recitals, with programs ranging from Bach to contemporary music, or all six Ysaÿe sonatas, which he recorded as his first CD and which became a reference. He performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, was awarded ‘Instrumental Soloist of the Year’ by the French Victoires de la Musique, named ‘Chevalier des arts et lettres’, received the George Enesco Prize of the SACEM and the Grand Prix of the Académie Charles Cros. His CDs are top sellers in Europe.

Since 1999, Laurent Korcia plays on the Zahn Stradivarius (1719), loaned to him by the prestigious French group LVMH, Louis Vuitton-Moët-Hennessy. CINEMA is Korcia's take on the world's most beautiful movie themes.
It's on SALE this week at Arkivmusic!.

Week of August 24th - 30
England My England

 

There is surely no more quintessentially English sound than that of the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Their unaccompanied voices are evocative of immemorial sandstone, of cool cloisters, evensong in church, chapel and cathedral, serene in the music of Shakespeare’s contemporaries Byrd and Gibbons, ethereal in Delius’s To be sung of a summer night on the water as their voices waft across the banks of the River Cam. No less iconic is the chapel that lends its unique acoustic to that sound. One of the glories of the English perpendicular style of architecture, the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge was completed in 1547, a little over a century after the founding, by Henry VI, of King’s College itself. England, My England opens and closes with coronation music: Zadok the Priest, written by Handel for the crowning of King George II in 1727 and I was glad, composed by Parry in 1902 for that of King Edward VII. Both were so successful that they have been sung at every coronation since. Parry’s ‘processional anthem’ is heard here in its full panoply of extra brass and shouted Vivats, the choir providing the semi-chorus in the exquisite interlude O pray for the peace of Jerusalem. In between are motets both ancient and modern – from the miniature If ye love me and the architectural splendour of the 40-part Spem in alium to William Harris’s dramatic double-choir setting of Spenser’s Faire is the Heaven; well-known psalms sung to Anglican chant stand side-by-side with favourite hymns, notably All people that on earth do dwell, arranged by Vaughan Williams for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. As well as national rejoicing there is solemn remembrance. Come ye sons of art away is Purcell’s 1694 birthday ode for Queen Mary; Thou knowest, Lord part of the music he wrote for her funeral just nine months later; John Ireland’s Greater love hath no man is often heard on Remembrance Sunday; Sir John Tavener’s Song for Athene made a powerful impression at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, while John Rutter’s small-scale, personal Requiem touched a wider public following the attacks of 11 September 2001. But Nimrod above all epitomises music of national remembrance. Here a choral setting of Nimrod, ‘Lux aeterna’, represents England’s ‘Shakespeare of music’, Edward Elgar.
This CD is on SALE this week at Arkivmusic!.

Week of August 17 -23
James Galway Celebrating 70

 

In celebration of his 70th birthday, Sir James Galway selects for his fans a collection of his favorite songs - all on one CD for the first time. Consisting of 19 tracks and over 70 minutes of music, Celebrating 70: A Collection of Personal Favorites spans the illustrious career of the beloved flutist and represents his entire catalogue. This new collection is a fitting tribute to an extraordinary musician who has recorded dozens of albums and sold over 30 million units worldwide.
Galway is internationally regarded as both a matchless interpreter of the classical repertoire and a consummate entertainer whose charismatic appeal crosses all musical boundaries. His unique sound and superb musicianship have made him one of the most respected and sought-after performing artists of our time. Through his albums, extensive touring and his numerous television appearances, he has endeared himself to millions across the globe. Celebrating 70 provides a retrospective of this amazing career, with selections dating from 1975 to 2008.

Highlights include the Allegro from Vivaldi's "Spring," Rachmaninoff's "Vocalise," the Pink Panther theme, "Danny Boy," the Allegro from Bach's Flute Sonata in C Major, Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Flight of the Bumblebee," Debussy's Prélude Á L'après-Midi D'un Faune, Ungar's "Ashokan Farewell," the Fugace from Bolling's Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano, and "La vie en rose."

It is difficult to overestimate Galway's abilities as an entertainer who welcomes each and every listener into the joys of music. He has often said that it is his goal to play music that appeals to a wide range of people, and his career is proof of his success in that endeavor. Galway's musical mission betrays no prejudice towards works of high or low culture, favoring only the music that he feels speaks to others, whether it's Bach, Mozart and Prokofiev or Hoagy Carmichael and Elton John.

This terrific new CD is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com!.

Week of August 10-16
100 Best 20th Century
 


CD1: The Last of the Romantics
The first disc opens with an extract from Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto, written in 1901. This is followed by favourite works by Prokofiev, Khachaturian, Falla, Holst, Elgar and Vaughan Williams, all of which look back to the romantic style of the 19th century. The disc also includes part of the slow movement of the most successful concerto written during the 20th century, the Concierto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo.

CD2: Innovators
The composers on this disc include some who broke new ground in tonality and form at the beginning of the century, such as Stravinsky and the Second Viennese school of Webern, Berg and Schoenberg, and others who continued to use the more traditional methods of composition but who wrote in a more advanced style such as Bartók, Britten, Hindemith and Walton.

CD3: Brave New World
The works heard here range across the incredible proliferation of musical language during the last 50 years, from hard-edged modernism to chilled-out minimalism, religiously inspired and otherwise, and include pieces by the older generation of composers like Messiaen, Henze, Lutoslawski and Takemitsu, as well as more recent compositions by Turnage, Tavener, Gubaidulina, Adès and Knussen.

CD4: America
The large and prolific school of American composers active during the 20th century is represented by some extremely popular pieces like Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, as well as more adventurous works by Ives, Cage, Reich, Carter and Adams.

CD5: Instrumental and Chamber
This CD presents a number of popular pieces for piano, violin and guitar by Falla, Scriabin, Kreisler, Pärt and Villa-Lobos, followed by chamber works such as Schoenbeg’s Verklärte Nacht, Schnittke’s Menuet and Ravel’s String Quartet.

CD6: Choral and Vocal
The final disc begins with one of the 20th century’s most successful choral works, Orff’s Carmina Burana. This is followed by extracts from other choral pieces by Boulez, Pärt, Tavener, Rutter and McCartney as well as vocal compositions by Rachmaninov, Berio and Lloyd Webber. The set concludes with three romantic operatic arias by Korngold and Puccini, ending with a spectacular performance of ‘Nessun dorma’ from Puccini’s final opera, Turandot.

This 6 CD box set is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com.

Week of August 3-9
Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3

 

"Beethoven is a musical monumnet for conductors too: everybody tackles him, everybody questions him, and you must always come back to him. Everything converges on him" - Conductor Philippe Jordan. French pianist François-Frédéric Guy, conductor Philippe Jordan and the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra have teamed up for their second release of Beethoven Piano Concertos. They are currently performing all five of Beethoven Piano Concertos in concerts in Paris and London. There are so many good recordings of these concertos, and we are happy to add this particular recording to that stack of great recordings.   It's available at Arkivmusic.com!.

Week of July 27th - August 2nd
Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince

 

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the soundtrack to the latest installment of the Harry Potter franchise based on the books by J.K. Rowling. Composer Nicholas Hooper returns for his second Potter film, following John Williams, who scored the first three films, and Patrick Doyle who did the fourth. This score feels different than previous Potter films, reflecting the darker story of The Half-Blood Prince. This score is more atmospheric than previous Harry Potter scores - mysterious, moody and a bit whimsical! It's available at Arkivmusic.com!.

Week of July 20- July 26
Xue Fei Yang
Romance de Amor

 

Romance de Amor is Xue Fei Yang's debut disc for EMI Records and it was a huge hit in her native China - reaching #2 on the hits chart and staying there for several weeks. This young guitar sensation is catching the attention of classical music fans all across the world. In fact, when guitarist John Williams saw her play as a 15 year old in Beijing, he was so impressed with her playing that he gave two of his own Smallman guitars to the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing especially for her and other top students to play. But playing the guitar as a youngster in China was not an easy thing. When she was growing up the guitar was considered a street instrument and not a serious classical music instrument. But with recordings like this she's changing the guitar's image in China and bringing great music to the world over. It's on sale this week at Arkivmusic!
See a short interview with Xue Fei Yang here.

Week of July 13-July 19th
Stokowski Bach Transcriptions Volume 2

 

As a young choirboy, Leopold Stokowski learned to play the organ fell in love with the music of Bach. Years later after much success as a conductor, he returned to his love for Bach. He probably recalled that the organ that he played as a youth had stops labeled "violin", "horn", "flute", "trumpet", etc. Why not take that idea from the organ and put it into a real orchestra? Stokowski was not the first to transcribe Bach's music for orchestra, but he certainly was the most prolific. And in doing so, he helped take Bach's music out of the organ loft and into the mainstream.

Conductor José Serebrier and Leopold Stokowski had a fruitful working relationship with Stokowski encouraging and mentoring the young Serebrier. Now, Serebrier returns the favor with a delightful disc of the master's lasting Bach transcriptions.

It's on SALE this week at Arkivmusic.com

Week of July 6-July 12
Chopin Mazurkas
Vassily Primakov

 

Since the release of his recording of the Chopin Piano Concertos, Vassily Primakov has been hailed as a pianist of world class importance. In recent years, Primakov's remarkably visceral performances have captured the hearts of the public and critics alike, winning standing ovations and rave reviews in the international press. Writing of Primakov's Chopin Concertos disc Gramophone stated: "'Primakov's empathy with Chopin's spirit could hardly be more complete"; and the American Record Guide wrote 'This is a great Chopin pianist- Primakov's timing is perfect." MusicWeb-International called the CD 'one of the great Chopin recordings of recent times. Primakov's interpretations of the two Chopin piano concertos combine grace and fire in the service of unflagging intensity. These are performances of extraordinary power and beauty." With this new recording of 21 of Chopin's intimate and immortal Mazurkas, Primakov begins his exploration of Chopin's solo works for Bridge Records. The CD is on SALE this week at Arkivmusic.com

Week of June 29th-July5
Wolf-Ferrari Orchestral Works
 


Known mainly for his operatic compositions, perhaps especially the overture to Il segreto di Susanna, Wolf-Ferrari was that rare phenomenon, famously exemplified by Busoni, of an Italian composer better known in Germany than in his homeland. The son of a German painter and his Italian wife, Wolf-Ferrari made his home in Munich and was throughout his life divided by the two cultures, something that provided a foundation of his creative existence, particularly in his attachment to the neo-classical style.

Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic present extracts from five operas, I quattro rusteghi, Il segreto di Susanna, I gioielli della Madonna, Il campiello and La dama boba. They are complemented by the Suite-Concertino for bassoon, two horns and strings. The soloist is Karen Geoghegan who recently made her debut on Chandos following her appearance on the television programme Classical Star.

With such distinguished and sympathetic advocacy, the music of Wolf-Ferrari should achieve the worldwide recognition that it deserves. The CD is on SALE this week at Arkivmusic.com

Week of May 25-May 31
Sharon Isbin
Journey to the New World
 


Recognized as "the pre-eminent guitarist of our time" The Boston Globe and "the Monet of the classical guitar" Atlanta Journal Constitution, Grammy Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin makes her Sony Masterworks debut with Journey to the New World. The extraordinary recording follows a musical progression from 16th century England, Ireland, and Scotland to the shores of America, with the music of the New World represented by Joan Baez, Isbin's first music hero, and violin virtuoso and composer Mark O'Connor.

It's on sale this week!.

Week of May 11-17
Gustavo Dudamel
Tchaikovsky Symphony #5
 


Tchaikovsky despaired that the Symphony no. 5 “. . . will never please the public” – Dudamel joins the royal line of conductors who prove the great composer wrong. But Venezuelans playing Russian music? “It's part of our education. Just as when you learn the violin, you have to play Carl Flesch scales, so when we are growing up, Tchaikovsky is already part of our culture - even though Venezuela is far from Russia." That education Dudamel refers to trains tens young Venezuelans each year. A state-funded program called El Sistema, the program gets kids off the streets and away from street dangers and into orchestras starting as early as 4 years old. These children practice up to 4 hours a day, and the program is turning out some of the finest musicians in the world. So are the young Venezuelans up to the task of Tchaikovsky? The Times of London declared that when Dudamel’s virtuosic youngsters performed Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 5 at Salzburg “. . . the sense of the New World remaking, refreshing and rescuing the Old is overwhelming.”
We think you'll enjoy every moment of it!.

Week of May 4 -10
Leon Fleisher
Mozart Piano Concertos
 


"It's a state of grace; it's a state of ecstasy. It's wonderful. How else can I describe it? There is another level of awareness of the keys, the way I'm holding my hand, the sense of contact."
Pianist and conductor Leon Fleisher describing what it's like for him to be able to play with his right hand again. 40 years ago the acclaimed pianist was struck with focal dystonia which rendered two of his fingers on his right hand immobile. Through the help of botox and massage, several years ago he regained the use of his right hand and has begun playing with both hands and recording again. But when he first started playing with both hands again, no one was sure he'd be able to play full concertos again. But the legendary pianist rises again with this breathtaking new release ofo Mozart piano concertos. With joy and gratitude, we say "Welcome back Leon Fleisher!"
This CD is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com .

Week of April 27 - May 3
Classical Zoo
 


As we celebrate kids and classical music all week long on KVOD, we searched high and low for a CD that is perfect for kids and can provide something for parents and kids to talk about. Classical Zoo is it! All three works on this CD have to do with animals - and together you can listen for the graceful swan (cello), the singing of the birds (flutes) and the roar of a lion (piano and strings).
Introduce a child to music with this delightful CD that will last them a lifetime..

Week of April 20 -26
Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2
Mari Kodama
German Symphony Orchestra of Berlin/Kent Nagano

 

In this new CD on the Canadian Analekta label, pianist Mari Kodama and conductor Kent Nagano bring sensitivity and depth to this recording of Beethoven's first two piano concertos. Just before Beethoven turned 22 he set off for Vienna in order to receive "Mozart's spirit from Haydn's hands." He took with him a piece he used to introduce himself as a composer and virtuoso to the Viennese public - his Piano Concerto in Bb. We know this piece as his second piano concerto, but that's just because it was published after his C Major piano concerto. Under the influence of Haydn and his new surroundings, he revised quite a bit of the piece before debuting it. While firmly rooted in Mozart's style, it clearly shows the intensity that Beethoven would develop in his later works.
The disc is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com!.

Week of April 13-19
Lisa Batiashvili
Beethoven Violin Concerto and Tsintsadze Miniatures

 

Georgian violinist Lis Batiashvili is like many young artists with major label recording contracts - she mixes enduring favorites with passion pieces. In this new recording for Sony records, she gives a terrific interpretation of Beethoven's one and only violin concerto while also introducing us to Georgian composer Sulkhan Tsintsadze (1925-91). These miniatures are based in Georgian folk music and will be a new discovery for most people. We love them and are excited to add them to the KVOD music library. This CD is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com .

Week of April 6 -12
Zuill Bailey "Russian Masterpieces"

 

Zuill Bailey's bold and impassioned take on Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations is quite unusual for this piece, which is usually presented in a more sedate manner. There's no chance of drowsiness with Bailey, whose vigorous and rough-hewn playing style proves a winning tonic for this music, causing you to hear it afresh, and perhaps even to reappraise its merits. The cello writing is quite fine, reaching virtuoso status in some passages, though Bailey treats the entire work as a cello tour de force. He's just as committed in Tchaikovsky's Pezzo Capriccioso and Nocturne in D minor.

Zuill's playing...does not disappoint, especially as Telarc's recording gives him the lion's share of the sound stage. It's an unusual program, but the pieces work well together. For that, and for Bailey's playing, this disc is well worth a listen.

--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com This CD is ON SALE this week at Arkivmusic.com! .

Week of March 30 - April 15
Janine Jansen
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
Download Only

 

Decca recording artist Janine Jansen joins conductor Daniel Harding and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra for a live recording of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto and other Tchaikovsky works. Jansen love that the “the concert hall allows more spontaneity. You are inspired by the audience’s anticipation.” One of the things about this album is that it's available as a download only on iTunes or Amazon. Jansen has been hailed as the “Queen of the Download” (The Independent) and has proven that she is the violinist everyone wants on their iPods. When her recording of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons was released in 2005, it broke into the top 20 albums in iTunes and became the biggest selling digital classical album of the year. It remains a top selling classical album at the iTunes Music store four years later. In March of 2008 Janine Jansen again made iTunes history by releasing the first classical iTunes Session called Live Sessions: Bach.

With this recording Jansen returns to the repertoire that helped make her famous on concert stages around the world. Search for the album on Amazon.com or iTunes.

Week of March 23 - 29
Beethoven 1st and 5th Symphonies
Paavo Jarvi/German Chamber Philharmonic

 

Not since Carlos Kleiber's lightening rod version of Beethoven's 5th symphony have we heard such a bright and thrilling reading of these masterworks. Bravo, Maestro Jarvi. These go down as some of the best!

"What a treat to have on SACD such buoyant, bright recordings of these great symphonies. Better still to learn that they're the beginning of a full cycle of the complete nine – the first Beethoven cycle, it's claimed to be recorded explicitly for this surround format." – Sound & Vision The CD is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com

Week of March 16-22
Cellist Sol Gabetta
"Cantabile"

 

Two previous CD releases are high in the German classical charts, and Sol Gabetta has received Echo Klassik Instrumentalist of the year in 2007. For her new CD "Cantabile", Sol Gabetta has chosen opera arias, songs and chansons by French and Russian composers arranged for cello and orchestra. In "Cantabile" she is accompanied by the Prague Philharmonic, her cello singing melodies by Fauré ("Pavane"), Bizet ("Seguidilla" and " Je dis que rien" from "Carmen"), Offenbach ("O mon cher amant"), Tchaikovsky ("Only someone who knows the longing - Aria of Lensky"), Canteloube, Rinaldo Hahn, Delibes and Lopez - sometimes elegiac, sometimes elated, sometimes brilliantly virtuosic."
- Audio (Germany) October, 2008
It's on sale this week at Arkivmusic!

Week of March 9 - 15
David Fray
Bach Keyboard Concertos
The Bremen Chamber Philharmonic

 

After his striking debut album of works for solo piano by Bach and Boulez, young French pianist David Fray focuses on four of Bach’s six concertos for keyboard, directing the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie from the piano. David Fray has a resolute commitment to the German repertoire, and more particularly to Bach, whom he called in a recent interview, “a pinnacle; both a beginning and an end.” In this new recording, Fray displays his close affinity with the composer, showing his technical and musical understanding of these remarkable concertos – by turns joyous, earthy, elegant, and sublime. The CD is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com

Week of March 2 - March 8
Han-na Chang Vivaldi Cello Concertos
London Symphony Orchestra
Christopher Warren-Green Conductor

 

For her first recording of Baroque repertoire, exclusive EMI recording artist Han-Na Chang plays an all-Vivaldi program featuring seven of the Venetian composer’s irresistibly tuneful and evocative cello concertos. The young South Korean cellist, described by the Strad magazine as a “natural performer whose musicianship is intense, profound, and astonishingly mature,” recorded the concertos at Abbey Road Studios in June 2008 following a performance at St. John’s, Smith Square in London. For Han-Na Chang, Vivaldi represents the “liveliness of harmony and rhythm. … It is in the colors and forms that he creates. Also, the small orchestra needed for a Vivaldi concerto – a small ensemble of strings and harpsichord that improvises during the solo – creates a special intimacy between the cello and the orchestra.” The disc is ON SALE this week at Arkivmusic.com .

Week of Feb 23 - Mar. 1
Julia Fischer Bach Concertos

 

“Julia Fischer has graduated from impressive prodigy to fully mature artist.” – Gramophone Magazine. She's just 25 years old, but Julia Fischer has been playing Bach for 20 years for the likes of violinist Yehudi Menuhin and conductor Lorin Maazel. His music just seems to flow out of her. For her debut disc on Decca, she brings a freshness to three of Bach's most familiar and beloved violin concertos. We think it's terrific and hope you will as well. Our friends at Arkivmusic.com have put it on sale.

Week of Feb 2 - Feb. 8
The Priests

 

'The Priests' are Father Eugene O'Hagen, Father Martin O'Hagen, and Father David Delargy; three practicing Roman Catholic priests from Ireland who grew up singing together while also studying for the priesthood. Their boyhood friends called them "Holy, Holy, Holy" because of their spectacular talent and their determination to become priests. Their debut album is an collection of 14 religious and spiritually inspired classics recorded at St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. In December 2008 they scooped the Guiness World Record for ‘Fastest-selling UK debut for a classical act’. The album has turned Platinum in Ireland, UK, Sweden, Norway as well as going Gold in New Zealand, Canada and Spain. Our friends at Arkivmusic.com have put this CD on sale this week!

Week of January 26-Feb. 1
Anne Akiko Meyers "Smile"

 

Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers' triumphant label debut on Koch International Classics highlights a beguiling program of the traditional and new. Stretching the boundaries of the classical recital, Meyers, with fellow Juilliard graduate, pianist Akira Eguchi, turns her renowned talents to Schubert's Fantasie, Op. 159, Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel, the U.S. premiere of the Messiaen Fantasie, Piazzolla's Introduction et Angel and Milonga en Re "Tango," two ravishing arrangements of traditional Japanese folk songs, Kojo no Tsuki (Moonlight Over the Ruined Castle) and Haru no Umi (Sea in Spring), as well as startlingly personal renditions of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Chaplin's Smile.

"The pieces on this album have a purity of sound, and they immediately grab at you," remarks Meyers. "The mood of the recording is reflective - a palette of colors, with each piece an expression of my life as an artist." The culture of Japan is a crucial thread running through the album. "I spent a lot of time in Japan as a child and tour there frequently, so it's very close to my heart. The Japanese pieces are music that I've played in Japan many times; Kojo no Tsuki (Moonlight Over the Ruined Castle) is one of the most popular works in Japan and if you go to almost any Japanese restaurant you will hear Kojo in the background!" The impressionistic arrangement of Haru no Umi (Sea in Spring) presents the listener with an aural surprise: "The piece was originally written for a shakuhachi (bamboo flute), so in the recording the piano was specially prepared by our technician to emulate the sound of a koto, and I tried to get my 1730 Stradivarius to sound like a shakuhachi! The piece is incredible - the piano sounds exactly like a koto."

But it is Kojo no Tsuki in a world premiere arrangement written by Meyers and composer Shigeaki Saegusa that could well be the most poignant: "It's the story of how a castle has seen better days - it has a faded glory - but a beautiful moonlight shines down on the it. The moonlight remains constant, but the castle has changed, and it's so true for so many things in life: things constantly change, yet they're also the same. It's especially resonant for me because my aging grandmother lives in Japan, and I'm not able to see her often enough. She really loves this work and I co-arranged and recorded it specifically for her." ArkivMusic.com has put this disc on sale this week for KVOD listeners! Buy Now

Week of January 19 - 25   James Ehnes "Homage"



On this new disc, 2008 Grammy and Gramophone Award winning violinist James Ehnes pays tribute to the world's most celebrated violin-makers. This unique Onyx project features performances on twelve of the greatest instruments ever made. The Fulton Collection is perhaps the most important private collection of instruments in the world. It contains many examples of the legendary names Stradivari, Guarneri, da Salo and Guadagnini. For example, the priceless La Pucelle has never been heard in a recording, and the Lord Wilton was Yehudi Menuhin's last instrument. Ehnes performs twenty-one selections in a carefully planned recital program specially chosen to suit each instrument and to work on its own terms. It finishes with a section comparing each instrument in an excerpt of the same piece, a unique opportunity to contrast the sound qualities of these spectacular instruments. The set includes a DVD with the complete performances plus spectacular close-ups of the instruments and substantial interviews. This highly collectible package includes detailed notes by Ehnes himself. This is a landmark recording for all lovers of great instruments and of course great playing. Amazon.com Amazon.com  
James Ehnes' "Homage" is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com!

01-12-2009:  Chopin: Works For Piano, Op 33, 34, 35, 36 & 38 / Maurizio Pollini



Maurizio Pollini is both a virtuoso and a thinking man's Chopin pianist. He never goes for the pretty or easy: he gets into Chopin's notes and tells us what they are. There are no frills – and he doesn't really "interpret." If there is, arguably, a decaying elegance or sadness in some of the waltzes (opus 34), Pollini is not interested. But listen to the well-known A flat and feel the thrill of movement itself, with every note impeccably in place and the line of the music unbroken by plugged-in temperament. The Impromptu, op. 36 is played with a sweetness throughout that few can beat and he takes his time, lingering over the filigree. The Ballade, op. 38, gets a perfect performance, with the opening theme as sweet as can be and the maniacal second subject utterly ferocious; Pollini’s hands can terrify. The sonata, op. 35 is the CD's grandest and longest piece and contains the famous “Funeral March” third movement. Pollini plays the 1st movement quickly for lat! er contrast; he practically sings the second movement, and plays the March-like lead, though, without stretching it to unnecessary length (Michelangeli takes two minutes longer). He rips through the final movement – an equivalent of a waterfall of notes – in a minute and a half – and stuns the listener. This CD is a thrill. -- Amazon.com Robert Levine   The CD is on sale this week at Arkivmusic.com!  

01-05-2009:  Vivaldi: Concertos For Two Violins / Carmignola, Mullova, Marcon, Venice Baroque Orchestra



Two of today's most charismatic and original violinists join forces for an all-new album of Vivaldi double concertos. This exciting repertory is given new life and energy by the two thrilling musicians. Giuliano Carmignola's last Vivaldi album of unrecorded violin concertos, released in 2006, went on to become a sparkling success. He continues to give revealing performances of Vivaldi that are both viscerally exciting and musically adventurous. As in previous releases, Carmignola is joined by Andrea Marcon and the Venice Baroque Orchestra--one of the finest Baroque ensembles performing today.   Click here to puchase from Arkivmusic.com