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Hyperion Records

Recent reviews
1 September 2014

Byrd: The three Masses
Buy by post £10.50 CDA68038  NEW   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'Aided by the clarity of the recording, which nevertheless gives a sense of the ambiance of the Cathedral, all four parts (Agnus Dei, 4-part mass) shine through in a balance between the voices achieved at least as well as on any other recording … if I could have 24-bit sound on the island, the new Hyperion would have to be my first choice. It also sounds fine even in mp3—I haven’t tested the in-between 16-bit version—and it comes with a booklet of the usual high Hyperion quality' (MusicWeb International) » More
1 September 2014

Handel: Arias
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'Alice Coote has chosen arias from four of Handel's greatest operas, and from Hercules, one of his most dramatic oratorios. Her warmly textured voice, especially in the middle range lends itself alluringly to Handel's portrayal of tenderness, intimacy and melancholy. Thus it is that Ruggiero's 'Mi lusinga il dolce affetto' (Alcina) and Ariodante's 'Scherza infida' steal the show … the wealth of virtues in Coote's recital include her intuitive sense of apposite, well-proportioned ornamentation and a sure feeling for just tempo. She is not afraid to take her time where text and music require it, as you will discover in 'Scherza infida!' which comes in at almost three minutes longer than some. Coote sustains it effectively and is sympathetically accompanied by bassoonist Peter Whelan with other members of the English Concert … expressive singing with eloquence instrumental partnership make for a rewarding encounter' (BBC Music Magazine) » More
PERFORMANCE
RECORDING
1 September 2014

Saint-Saëns: Cello Concertos
Buy by post £10.50 CDA68002  NEW   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'In the First Concerto Clein finds a golden timbre and fleet elegance, matched by Andrew Manze and the effervescent BBC Scottish forces. This is as close as you'll ever get to musical champagne; I've a feeling Saint-Saens would have approved … Saint-Saens's Second Concerto is fiendishly difficult, with much of its virtuosity reserved for the soloist's long accompanying episodes. The composer himself confessed it was 'too difficult' to achieve popularity. Yet Clein has the measure of it, delivering the dizzying double-stops with airborne grace and tight precision …She revels in the spacious cadenza of its curious, short fast movement, combining limpid vocalise with insouciant runs' (BBC Music Magazine) » More
PERFORMANCE
RECORDING
1 September 2014

Busoni & Strauss: Violin Concertos
Buy by post £10.50 CDA68044  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'Becker-Bender's account of the Busoni possesses a conviction which ought to win this piece new friends … No-one wanting these concertos is likely to be disappointed, not least when the playing from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the direction of Garry Walker is as commited as one could wish for' (International Record Review) » More
1 September 2014

Busoni & Strauss: Violin Concertos
Buy by post £10.50 CDA68044  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'Busoni's Violin Concerto is an early work … beautifully crafted, full of lyricism and appealing melodies. True, the ideas perhaps lack the distinctive memorability of those in the Second Sonata or the great Piano Concerto of a few years later … but the Violin Concerto is nevertheless a work that leaves one the better for having heard it, especially in such a splendidly rendered performance as this from Tanja Becker-Bender, superbly accompanied by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the excellent Garry Walker' (Gramophone) » More
1 September 2014

Canticles from St Paul's
Buy by post £10.50 CDA68058  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'St Paul's Cathedral Choir gives us here a really fine and outstandingly sung collection of canticles, some of them quite familiar and others decidedly not. In addition, 'canticles' does not refer only to the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis; we also hear settings of the Benedicite, the Te Deum and the Jubilate' (International Record Review) » More
1 September 2014

Canticles from St Paul's
Buy by post £10.50 CDA68058  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'It's thrilling to hear much-loved works by Stanford and Walmisley so well sung, together with less familiar pieces by Alan Gray, Michael Tippett and Charles Wood. Andrew Carwood and the St Paul's Cathedral Choir pay scrupulous attention to the tiniest of details, so that every word and note come across as something precious and sacred. The wonderfully colourful accompaniments of organst Simon Johnson are, by turns, both dramatic and lyrical. This is choral singing at its finest; in every way, listening to this glorious CD is a heavenly experience' (Gramophone) » More
1 September 2014

Dussek: Piano Concertos
Buy by post £10.50 CDA68027  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'They are rewarding works … they sound especially effective in the persuasive hands of Howard Shelley. Shelley's sympathy for that uneasy period just before the romantic explosion is demonstrated by his exemplary recordings of Clementi (among others), and he demonstrates the same kind of expressive tact as a soloist here. Rhythms are consistently alert; the more lyrical passages bloom without excessive romantic milking; passagework is nimble; and most important, he manages to point up the music's harmonic twists without digging his elbows into our sides. His work as conductor is nearly as impressive: from the sting of the rhythms that launch the early G major Concerto to the airy dance rhythms in the finale of the E flat major, the accompaniments, inevitably attentive, complement the piano parts well. The orchestral players respond deftly, and the engineers have captured the proceedings with Hyperion's expected clarity. Add to this the fine notes by Stephan Lindeman and you have a sure-fire hit' (International Record Review) » More
1 September 2014

Godard: Piano Concertos
Buy by post £10.50 CDA68043  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'Throughout all three works, Shelley dazzles with his effortless virtuosity and lightness of touch, and the recording is first-rate. In short, this release must rank alongside the finest of rediscoveries in this most pioneering of series, and one that should spur on others to explore further the works of this greatly neglected composer' (International Record Review) » More
1 September 2014

Godard: Piano Concertos
Buy by post £10.50 CDA68043  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'Godard's music tickles the senses with some attractive, dramatic ideas during the actual process of listening. There is, for example, a delightful, nifty Saint-Saens-esque Scherzo to the A minor Concerto, and an even better one in the G minor ... The performances by the indefatigable Howard Shelley and the Tasmanian orchestra cannot be faulted' (Gramophone) » More
1 September 2014

Mendelssohn: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 2
Buy by post £10.50 CDA68059  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'Eminently attractive, a mix of the agreeably tuneful, romantically pictorial, invigoratingly dashing and elegantly crafted. Shelley is the stylish master of it all … books 2 and 3 of the Songs without words include some gems, and also some spirited numbers (for example, No 4 of Book 2 is marked 'Agitato e con fuoco'). Full of narrative whatever the tempo, this set concludes with the well-known and enigmatic 'Venetianisches Gondollied' with Mendelssohn exploring similar waters to those found in Chopin's Barcarolle. Similar delights follow in Book 3, the concluding 'Duetto' melting the heart in a manner that is rather Schumannesque, and so lovingly shaped by Shelley. Yes, all good stuff, and thoroughly recommended' (International Record Review) » More
1 September 2014

Mendelssohn: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 2
Buy by post £10.50 CDA68059  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'Howard Shelley … shows himself ideally cast. His poise and vehemence give substance to even the composer's more facile utterances. Time and again Shelley makes it clear that Mendelssohn has a special place in his affections, and although it is invidious to locate the finer moments in his unfailing expertise, certain performances stand out for their exceptional grace and commitment. What suppleness and expressive beauty in the Andante prefacing the evergreen Rondo capriccioso, what virtuosity in the wildly skittering finale of the F sharp minor Fantasia. What quiet eloquence Shelley achieves in the sixth of the Songs without Words (Book 2), where the gondolier sings his plaintive song above a gently rocking accompaniment' (Gramophone) » More
1 September 2014

Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos 22 & 24
Buy by post £10.50 CDA68049  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'Lintu and the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada prove impressively alert and intuitive partners for Hewitt. Besides festive trumpets and drums, both concertos feature prominent roles for woodwind—each includes clarinets in the line-up—passages which are full of character here. Hewitt brings to bear the nuanced precision and intelligence that have made her Bach recordings so successful, alongsde an appealing Mozartean zest and intimacy often missing from modern-instrument performances' (International Record Review) » More
1 September 2014

Tchaikovsky: The seasons
Buy by post £10.50 CDA68028  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'This is Tchaikovsky at his best, in music of relatively short duration and of very wide-ranging character … the young Siberian-born Pavel Kolesnikov … shows an extra degree of poetry and is … recorded, under the watchful eye (and ear) of possibly the greatest living classical record producer' (International Record Review) » More
16 August 2014
The Observer
Byrd: The three Masses
Buy by post £10.50 CDA68038  NEW   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'Byrd's double life, in public a member of Queen Elizabeth I's Chapel Royal in a newly Protestant England, in private a covert Catholic, directly shaped his music. Grand works such as the Great Service are among the glories of the English choral tradition. In contrast, the three Latin masses set here, long neglected, were for amateur, chamber performance in hidden Catholic communities. Westminster Cathedral Choir may sing them with more splendour and finesse than Byrd himself would have expected, yet the results are uplifting and moving. It's no slight to these musicians to say the disc is worth buying for the Byrd scholar John Milsom's incomparable notes: a masterly encapsulation of Tudor church music history in a few dense pages' (The Observer)

1 August 2014

Prokofiev: Violin Sonatas
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67514  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'From the austere opening bars of the First Violin Sonata, one of Prokofiev’s towering masterpieces, it’s clear that this violin-and-piano duo is capable of the subtlest interplay. Steven Osborne is the lion, or the demon, that needs taming by Alina Ibragimova’s fiddler, dancing—sometimes ever so frailly—on the volcano. There are revelations in the outer movements: never have I heard the violin’s tentative B minor melodising as so much the heart of the preludial Andante assai—it's equal in effect to what Prokofiev described as the 'wind in the graveyard’ rushings which appear at the end of that movement and return so strikingly at the end of the work—and the way the scherzo's abrasive insistence returns in the piano bass of the finale is truly hair-raising' (BBC Music Magazine) » More
PERFORMANCE
RECORDING
1 August 2014

Prokofiev: Violin Sonatas
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67514  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'The dark moods of the F minor Sonata … are relished to the full by both musicians: the range of colours and the precision of the rhythmic articulation are two notable features of a performance that grips the listener from start to finish, thanks to its unflinching conviction as well as its consummate skill. It’s a magnificent performance. The D major Sonata (originally written for flute and piano and transcribed at Oistrakh’s request) is even better. The attention to detail, to subtle nuances, is breathtaking, and the overall drive and momentum of the performance results in a reading as fine as any I’ve heard, in sound that is better than most. It’s interesting to compare Ibragimova and Osborne with Kremer and Argerich (DG). While the latter is a magnificent partnership by any standards … I get a feeling of even greater involvement and excitement from the new Hyperion disc … this Prokofiev disc is a triumphant achievement, recommended without reservation' (International Record Review) » More
20 July 2014
The Observer
Mahler & Mahler: Lieder
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'Gustav Mahler was none too liberated when it came to encouraging, or rather discouraging, his wife Alma with her own compositions: "Such a strange relationship between rivals," he wrote. "Do you have any idea how ridiculous it would appear, can you imagine the loss of self-respect it would later cause us both?" Later he regretted his attitude, but Alma wrote little more. Her Fünf Lieder (1910), in late romantic style, expressive and full of darting chromaticisms, show her at her best. Karen Cargill, warm, instinctive and golden-voiced, and Simon Lepper are responsive partners here and in Mahler's Rückert-Lieder and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. With Linn's usual high standards of recording and programme notes, this disc gives intimate insight into an endlessly fascinating couple' (The Observer)

20 July 2014

Tchaikovsky: The seasons
Buy by post £10.50 CDA68028  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'These charming, inventive works—the pensive “June,” the waltzing “December”—are not heard often in the concert hall. That the impressive young Siberian-born pianist Pavel Kolesnikov, a 2012 laureate of the Honens Prize, loves this suite comes through in his elegant playing on this welcome recording, which includes Tchaikovsky’s lovely “Six Morceaux"' (The New York Times)
18 July 2014
The Guardian, Tim Ashley
Godard: Piano Concertos
Buy by post £10.50 CDA68043  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'Benjamin Godard is nowadays known solely for the Berceuse from his 1888 opera Jocelyn, regularly performed by classical and popular musicians alike. There was more to him than that, however, as this enterprising disc—Volume 63 of Hyperion's Romantic Piano Concerto series—admirably proves. Godard distrusted Wagnerism, and his two piano concertos constrain Romantic sensibilities within the classical form in ways that often resemble Brahms, though Godard's thematic and orchestral elegance remain quintessentially French … the disc is a tour de force for Howard Shelley, who, in addition to coping with Godard's often vertiginous piano writing, directs all three performances from the keyboard, which is no mean feat' (The Guardian) » More

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