Schubertian hommage, post-Romantic song cycle or 1920s cabaret? The exuberant eclecticism of Ernst Krenek's Reisebuch aus den österreichischen Alpen is impossible to resist, and with such distinguished tour guides as Florian Boesch and Roger Vignoles this is simply not to be missed. Late Romanticism of predominantly serious, not to say Germanic, mien characterizes the Piano Quintets by Friedman & Różycki: two unjustly neglected works from early twentieth-century Poland championed here by Jonathan Plowright and the Szymanowski Quartet. By contrast, the Chopin Mazurkas need no introduction. Pavel Kolesnikov, making his second appearance on the label, performs a selection of these exquisite miniatures.
Signum Classics this month showcases the phenomenal talent of Norwegian treble Aksel Rykkvin. In a daring programme of Arias by Bach, Handel & Mozart—his debut album—full-blooded support comes from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and conductor Nigel Short. London Early Opera continues the fascinating series Handel in Italy, Bridget Cunningham devising a programme centred on some of the lesser-known cantatas and vocal trios from this early period of the composer's life; Sophie, Mary and Benjamin Bevan take the vocal leads.
Sir John Tavener's Missa Wellensis is but one of a number of works he wrote for Wells Cathedral Choir and its director Matthew Owens, and is the starting point for an important retrospective of the composer's choral output. Brash new performances from the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen present Bartók The Miraculous Mandarin & other works, recorded live in London's Royal Festival Hall in 2011.