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.
Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.
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The London Haydn Quartet, meanwhile, presents Haydn String Quartets Opp 71 & 74, the next instalment of a much-admired series. This cycle is establishing itself as one of the glories of the Haydn discography, and its familiar virtues of eloquent, idiomatic music-making are again in evidence throughout these six wonderful works. And lastly from Hyperion this month, the twin peaks of Schubert Schwanengesang & Brahms Vier ernste Gesänge are powerfully rendered by Gerald Finley. As usual, he is partnered by Julius Drake, whose sensitive, sympathetic accompaniments add to the attractions of this distinguished release.
Richard Blackford's Kalon is a challenging work, as string quartet and orchestra—here the Albion Quartet and Czech Philharmonic—push the Ives-ian possibilities offered by simultaneous tempi (conductor Jiří Rožeň issuing the unusual instruction that the two groups 'must on no account listen to each other') to the limit. The resulting album explores a strangely perfect physical beauty (in Greek, Kalon) that can emerge from apparent chaos. Also on Signum Classics this month is a welcome return to the catalogue of The Silken Tent, a 2009 recording by Fretwork and soprano Clare Wilkinson which eloquently charts the viol as a living force in 'real' music-making from its Elizabethan heyday right through to modern fabrications of compelling power.
Newly available on the Mariinsky label are the emotionally charged final three symphonies of a Russian great in performances from 2010 by the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev. Tchaikovsky Symphony No 4 dates from 1877/8 and is perhaps the composer's most resignedly fatalistic work. Symphony No 5, a decade later, opens in equally sombre mood, but moves inexorably into the blazing light of its triumphant concluding march. Optimism was not to win. Tchaikovsky died just nine days after conducting the premiere of his Symphony No 6, the 'Pathétique'. The work remains an acknowledged masterpiece, the composer's farewell to life.
Evensong Live 2019 is a new collection of anthems and canticles from King's College Choir Cambridge. These live recordings once more stand testimony to the unwavering abilities of this most august of choirs to 'deliver' day in day out. Stephen Cleobury shares the privilege of conducting with Ben Parry and Christopher Robinson.
A generously filled album from Robin Tritschler and Malcolm Martineau examines the idea of Song's first cycle, early experiments in the embryonic genre from Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven and Weber. Also on Signum are The last rose of summer, twenty-two British folksong arrangements from the glorious voices of The Queen's Six, and Alexander Chapman Campbell's Contemplations, a new EP of his trademark genre-defying solo piano.
On LSO Live, and following the conclusion of his acclaimed Mendelssohn cycle, Sir John Eliot Gardiner turns to another pioneer of the Romantic orchestra with Schumann Symphonies Nos 2 & 4. The latter is performed in its original 1841 form, as championed by Brahms, and both receive committed performances from the London Symphony Orchestra.
Something a bit different comes courtesy of Signum Classics this month as Alexey Bogorad and the Ural Philharmonic tackle the Saxophone Concerto & Bass Drum Concerto by Gabriel Prokofiev. Branford Marsalis performs the former, while Joby Burgess gets to explore the possibilities of what can be done with (and to) the bass-est of instruments in the 'conventional' orchestra.