Graham Johnson and a host of eminent singers have recorded The Complete Poulenc Songs, over five hours of the most sublime mélodies marking fifty years since the composer's death. The earliest of love songs, both polyphonic and solo, comprise the Songs from Le Voir Dit by Machaut, The Orlando Consort making another Hyperion debut in this its core fourteenth-century repertoire.
Piers Lane and the Goldner String Quartet turn their opulent gaze onto two relatively neglected masterpieces of the Russian chamber repertoire: the Piano Quintets by Arensky & Taneyev offer rich returns in these wonderful new performances. In western Europe at the same time chamber music was far more established as a 'proper' genre for composers to explore, and in the Bridge Phantasy Piano Quartet & Sonatas The Nash Ensemble expertly expounds the contrasting early and late styles of this composer.
Re-issued this month are The King's Consort's delectable Handel Ottone, Westminster Cathedral Choir's seminal recording of the Poulenc Mass in G, String Sextets by Korngold & Schoenberg from The Raphael Ensemble, and a delightful recital of Byrd Consort Songs from Robin Blaze and Concordia. The historical piano label APR brings us a double album of The complete Homocord recordings and other rarities from Walter Gieseking dating predominantly from the 1920s.