With Mozart's Violin Sonatas K305, 376 & 402 we have a second instalment in the ongoing series from Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien, every bit as wondrous as their first, while those hankering after something a bit more outside the Austro-German tradition should not miss Fin de siècle—Music for viola and piano. The composers may be largely unfamiliar, but this a life-enhancing recital courtesy of Lawrence Power and Simon Crawford-Phillips, who revel in these richly enjoyable works from early twentieth-century France.
There is a bumper crop of new releases on other labels this month and at the head of the list must come a wonderful new recording of the Duruflé Requiem & other choral works. It is performed by King's College Choir Cambridge, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and soloists Patricia Bardon and Ashley Riches. The legendary Stephen Cleobury conducts this latest album from the King's Cambridge own label which is newly available for download from Hyperion.
For Linn Records superstar conductor—and proven Berliozian—Robin Ticciati conducts the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and a phalanx of singers and soloists in Berlioz Roméo et Juliette: a vividly captured recording of this great work. An Orkney wedding & other works by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies gives guitarist Sean Shibe and an enthused Scottish Chamber Orchestra the chance to celebrate a much-lamented friend—the recording was made just a few months before the composer's death.
Also for Linn this month Peter Whelan's lissom Ensemble Marsyas has recorded Handel's Apollo e Dafne, Callum Thorpe and Mhairi Lawson taking the leads in Ovid's tale of amorous pursuit. Mary star of the sea is a Linn-debut album from Gothic Voices and intriguingly combines the group's impeccable medievalist credentials with new works by Joanne Metcalf and Andrew Smith in a celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Tamsin Waley-Cohen has returned to the studio for Signum Classics to record Violin Concertos by John Adams & Roy Harris, two greats of the American repertoire ebulliently championed by Andrew Litton and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. A debut concerto album from rising star Alexandra Dariescu gives a welcome opportunity to revisit the rather more familiar Tchaikovksy Piano Concerto No 1 in the company of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Darrell Ang. The same orchestra has teamed up with conductor Paul Bateman and pianist Huw Watkins to inspire the golden violin of Kerenza Peacock through Oliver Davis Dance, the final album in his balletic trilogy.
Mozart's Zaide was left unfinished, the composer not even giving it a title. Ian Page and Classical Opera discover in the surviving numbers music of real worth; Allan Clayton and Sophie Bevan head up the cast in this typically innovative recording, again on Signum. Tenebrae and Nigel Short have recorded a new album entitled Music of the Spheres, a showcase of British choral music from the last hundred years, much of it little known.
New releases on LSO Live this month find the London Symphony Orchestra in varied repertoire: with Valery Gergiev they have recorded Rachmaninov Symphony No 1 & Balakirev Tamara, landmark works both, while Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts two Mendelssohn Symphonies, the precocious No 1 written when the composer was just fifteen, and the joyful—and perennially popular—'Italian' No 4.