Another, very different, song recital comes courtesy of The Orlando Consort: Machaut Sovereign Beauty is the latest in their ongoing survey dedicated to the music of the fourteenth century's greatest composer-poet. And the prospect of a new release from Stephen Layton and Trinity College Choir Cambridge offers just cause for celebration. Here, they turn to one of the finest exponents of the Victorian and Edwardian choral tradition in Stanford Choral Music, a glorious collection ranging from the intimate to the panoplied.
It is unlikely that Guillaume de Machaut would recognize the lion that is the newly restored Harrison & Harrison organ in the chapel of King's College Cambridge as belonging to the same genus as the mouse he could have known: The King of Instruments gives Stephen Cleobury the ride of his life through works old and new from Bach to Baker.
A composer highly respected for his approachable and melodic choral works, Jonathan Dove's In Damascus is a new song cycle for tenor (Mark Padmore) and string quartet (the Sacconi Quartet). This powerful response to the dichotomy of present-day Syria appears on the Signum Classics label alongside the piano quintet (with Charles Owen) and string quartet Out of time, first recordings all. Sonatas by Schubert & Chopin brings us warm new performances from David Kenedy and Rianka Bouwmeester. Chopin's cello sonata was his last major work, Schubert's an intriguing nod to the short-lived cello-a-like that was the arpeggione.
Three new releases from Linn Records this month bring us Aldeburgh Strings and Aldeburgh Winds—the soloists of the future—in crackling new renditions of Richard Strauss' Metamorphosen, Serenade & Symphony for wind instruments, seminal works all, performed under the watchful eyes of Markus Däunert and Nicholas Daniel. A 'new tonalist' of justified repute, Robert Beaser's Guitar Concerto was composed for the soloist here, Eliot Fisk, and is accompanied by an extended solo guitar work and two orchestral poems from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. José Serebrier directs these premiere recordings. And if you've ever dared to wonder what the most perfect of all cello suites and violin sonatas would sound like on the marimba, then Kuniko's enthralling Bach Solo works for marimba is a must, equal honours going to the embracing acoustic of St John's Tartu in Estonia.