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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Hyperion's other releases this month see the continuation of two important series of keyboard recordings. Mahan Esfahani brings his charismatic musicianship to the six Bach French Suites, which he divides between harpsichord and clavichord. In his typically stimulating booklet note, Esfahani imagines communing with Bach himself while playing the clavichord, and it's easy to imagine Johann Sebastian's enthusiastic approval on hearing performances as responsive to the music's inner life as these. And Mozart Piano Sonatas K310-311 & 330-333 make up the second instalment of Angela Hewitt's chronological survey. These works date from Mozart's twenties and include his first masterpieces in the genre (K331, with its famous 'Alla turca' finale, for example). This is repertoire which calls for—and here receives—unfailingly immaculate pianism, and the perfectly judged performances in this set are not to be missed.
The ongoing series dedicated to choice selections of our all-time favourite recordings—ones you might possibly have missed? This time: the Zarębski Piano Quintet & Żeleński Piano Quartet from Jonathan Plowright and the Szymanowski Quartet (‘a fascinating disc, lovingly produced’—International Piano), Zemlinsky Symphonies from Martyn Brabbins and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (‘firmly in that fascinating stylistic crevice between Brahms and Mahler’—The Observer), and Piano Music by Nikolay Roslavets from Marc-André Hamelin (‘one of the most enterprising and virtuosic performers of our day’—Gramophone). If you don’t know them already, a track from each is included on our monthly sampler which is free to download.
Palimpsest is a new album on Signum Classics and bears the intriguing subtitle 'New Works from Old for saxophone and choir'. It goes like this: invite fifteen composers to take an established classic—be it a folksong or a polyphonic Renaissance gem—and re-imagine it ('beginning with Tallis’s original, I have simply removed nearly all his notes and inserted my own …'). The sumptuous results find the saxophones of Sam Corkin weaving spells around the voices of Canterbury Cathedral Choir. David Newsholme conducts, Jamie Rogers deploying the cathedral's mighty Willis organ to majestic effect as required.
Recorded live on the Southbank in 2022, the Philharmonia Orchestra and alchemist Principal Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali present an electrifying account of Mahler Symphony No 2, the 'Resurrection'. Soloists Mari Eriksmoen and Jennifer Johnston head up regiments of the Philharmonia Chorus. Altogether less weighty an affair on Signum is The King's Singers' Wonderland, a typically engaging romp through a world of magic, myth and fairy tale, the programme built around György Ligeti's six Nonsense Madrigals and culminating with Paul Patterson's riotous image of decidedly alternative goings-on in the Garden of Eden …
On LSO Live we have the third instalment in a burgeoning cycle from Sir Simon Rattle with Bruckner Symphony No 7. Recorded live at the Barbican in 2022, this most magisterial of works find the London Symphony Orchestra at its most gloriously expansive.
Can it really be three years since The Tallis Scholars’ previous—and multi-award-winning—release on Gimell? Now a brand-new recording from Peter Phillips and his enviable singers joyously presents the Missa Cantate & other works by John Sheppard, a master of the English Renaissance whose works this group has championed for decades.
The Mozartists and conductor Ian Page have recorded a third volume in their Sturm & Drang mini series on Signum. The composers venting orchestral steam this time are Mozart, Kozeluch and Haydn, while soprano Emily Pogorelc contributes particularly unhinged operatic interludes by Anton Schweitzer and Giovanni Paisiello. Recorded live at Snape Maltings, Nigel Short and Tenebrae have put together a programme of Motets & Sacred Songs by Bach and MacMillan, three of Baroque polyphony's most sublime utterances here interwoven with contemporary settings of the age-old 'Tenebrae Responsories'. And Oliver Davis' Blue focuses on the composer's infectious works for piano duo, Beth & Flo here joined by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Paul Bateman and others.
On their own label The Hallé Orchestra and inspirational Bulgarian conductor Delyana Lazarova have recorded Orpheus' Comet, Earth Suite & Concertos by Dobrinka Tabakova—a vibrant new voice in the orchestral firmament. These works manage impressively to speak with a contemporary voice while also being a joy to hear. Soloists Maxim Rysanov (viola) and Guy Johnston (cello) join in the fun.