Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
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Two contrasting albums of solo piano music complete this month's line-up from Hyperion. Beethoven Piano Sonatas Opp 2/1, 14/2, 53 & 54 is the next instalment in Angela Hewitt's distinguished cycle, now nearing completion. As usual, she juxtaposes lesser-known works with the exceptionally famous—here the 'Waldstein' which she designates 'one of my very favourite pieces to perform'. And Simon Callaghan has chosen for his first Hyperion solo recital a programme of Ein Liebesleben & other piano works by Jean Louis Nicodé. The composer's name may be unfamiliar but his brand of German late Romanticism is impossible to resist.
Cellist Matthew Barley has recorded Tavener's The protecting veil with Sinfonietta Rīga on a new Signum album which explores the influences behind this seminal work of the twentieth century through accompanying readings and a new collaboration with the tabla of Sukhvinder Singh.
There are two new releases on the Hallé label this month. Eliciting 'roaring jubilation and radiant beauty' was how The Guardian characterized Sir Mark Elder's interpretation of Wagner's Siegfried, the concluding part in this definitive live cycle with The Hallé Orchestra and a superlative line-up of soloists. And a thumping rendition of Shostakovich Symphony No 5 is here coupled with the unfettered darkness of the contemporaneous Pushkin Romances sung by James Platt.
The Elysian Singers and director Sam Laughton have recorded One equal music & other choral works by James MacMillan for Signum Classics, a celebration of the composer's enormous contribution to the choral repertoire over the years. From the ground up is a decidedly 'different' exploration of the chaconne, Purcellian musings on the ground bass twisted in fascinating directions by Hugo Ticciati and the O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra of Sweden.
An intriguing coupling on the King's Cambridge label brings us the early Howells Cello Concerto—abandoned by the composer but recently, and sympathetically, completed—in a performance by Guy Johnston alongside the composer's unusual An English Mass from King's College Choir Cambridge. An ebullient Britten Sinfonia accompanies both works.
From Signum Classics this month we have Supersize Polyphony by Striggio & Tallis, which includes not just Ecce beatam lucem and Spem in alium (both for forty voice parts) but also the Italian's Missa sopra Ecco sì beato giorno with its sixty-voice Agnus Dei. Christopher Monks directs his Armonico Consort and Geoffrey Webber the Choir of Gonville and Caius College Cambridge.