An ‘August’ Selection of New Releases

Our last bath of releases for the summer is one of the most diverse offering we have ever had at once. Six albums that cover so many distinct areas of music – let’s take a look!

We are proud to release, for the first time on CD and digital download, a special collection of extremely rare radio recordings by Joan Sutherland. These fourteen tracks are based around selections from George Frideric Handel‘s Alcina and Soirees musicales by Gioachino Rossini, and also contain many other famous arias and songs (please see track listing for more information). This album showcases Dame Sutherland’s amazing voice at its height of abilities, as these radio broadcasts were recorded as she was still only in her thirties (1956-1951). Though a vintage recording, this collection has all the warmth and crispness of a new recording thanks to our expert remastering. An exceptional album, a true must-have.

The melodic model for the Missa Vinum Bonum (“Good Wine Mass”) by Orlandus Lassus is a Renaissance drinking tune, as a “parody” mass setting is based on another (often secular) piece of music. This is one of Lassus’s finest parody masses, and and the masterful voices from Ex Cathedra, directed by Jeffrey Skidmore, deliver the mass and accompanying motets as a polyphonic masterpiece; the motet “Vinum bonum” is a remarkable example of their character. Authentic instrumentation is provided by His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts, a British ensemble specializing in period instruments from the Renaissance and Baroque.

Musical Concepts and Alto have released numerous albums of music performed by the Russian piano maestro Sviatoslav Richter, all to great success and popularity, but rarely do we get as many requests for an album as we did for this collaboration between Richter and violist Yuri Bashmet. Though nearly 40 years of age separate these two performers, they are ideally paired for each other for their utmost virtuosity and temperament. This pairing was made famous through a series of concerts in Moscow and a world tour. Taken from a performance in Freiburg, the duo perform viola sonatas by Dmitri Shostakovich and Paul Hindemith and the famous Lachrymae by Benjamin Britten.

Kevin Bowyer is one of the most accomplished organists working and teaching today. Organ Extravaganza is a lively collection of eighteen tunes played by Bowyer on two renown English organs (in Leicester and Holbrook, Suffolk). The selections in this album include such favorites as “The Dam Busters,” “In a Persian Market,” “Penguins’ Playtime,” “Funeral March of a Marionette” (better known as the theme to Alfred Hitchcock Presents), and “Stars and Stripes Forever.” This collection is sure to entertain all audiences.

For over 40 years Iain Sutherland has been one of the leading figures in the field of light orchestral music. Through his tenure at the BBC and with other orchestras he has performed and popularized countless pieces of music for film and orchestra with a sensibility towards a popular audience and a “lighter fare” while maintaining the highest levels of performance and musicianship. This collection of twenty pieces is an excellent reference disc for either the?connoisseur?or the beginner.

The repertoire for which Tchaikovsky is best know are his magnificent orchestral pieces – his symphonies, ballets, operas, and concertos. Discover Tchaikovsky on a more intimate scale with our release of his String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2 and five early compositions for strings. String Quartet No. 1 is one of?Tchaikovsky’s?most moving compositions. The Shostakovich Quartet was founded in Moscow in 1967, composed of four of the finest string musicians in Eastern Europe. The members are still highly active and visible in the music community, as all are senior faculty at the Moscow Conservatory. Their specialty is of course Russian music, and these performances are stellar.

Please click on the images below for more information on these titles, including track listings, reviews, and purchasing information.