Four for Fall
The other day we highlighted three exceptional new recordings now available on the Musical Concepts label. Here are four newly released albums on our Alto imprint.
Click on the cover images below to visit each album’s catalogue page for more information and links to find these recordings on Amazon and iTunes.
Mozart‘s Wind Serenade No. 10 – better known as the ‘Gran Partita’ – is perhaps best known to the general public from the 1984 biopic Amadeus in which the character of Mozart’s rival Antonio Salieri describes hearing the Gran Partita – “Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing, it had me trembling. It seemed to me that I was hearing the very voice of God.” Does more need to be written than this? Here the London Mozart Players Wind Ensemble under the remarkable direction of Jane Glover deliver a brilliant performance described as “first-rate” and “beautifully played.” This is paired with original arrangements of several pieces from Mozart’s operas Le Nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte (New York Philomusica Winds/Robert Johnson).
The Missa Papae Marcelli is Palestrina‘s most famous and arguably greatest mass setting. The laudable Pro Cantione Antiqua under the direction of Mark Brown here present this mass with stunning eloquence and clarity. In its exceptional 3-Star review Penguin Guide writes that compared with other versions of this mass the PCA recording “has special claims, and its outward severity does not preclude depth of feeling rather the reverse.” Palestrina’s Missa Assumpta est Maria for the feast of the Assumption may be less well known but is also a magnificent composition which is expertly brought to life by the PCA.
Legendary Russian conductor Konstantin Ivanov was no big fan of recording and much preferred the practice of public performance, but at the highly coveted position of conductor of the USSR State Symphony Ivanov release some recordings through the state-owned Melodiya label. These recordings were (and remain) very rare in both the West and Russia. We are very proud to release, for the first time in the West, Ivanov conducting Dmitri Shostakovich‘s Seventh Symphony called Leningrad. This stunningly powerful masterpiece is one of Shostakovich’s most enduring works, seen as a resistance piece to the Nazi invasion of Eastern Europe. The four movements cover a vast range of technique and subject matter, and it is still regularly performed at the Leningrad Cemetery in memory of the millions who lost their lives in the war.
A two-disc set (also available for digital download) that contains every Tchaikovsky work for string quartet, performed peerlessly by the esteemed Shostakovich Quartet. These pieces have all been very well reviewed by Gramophone Magazine and the Penguin Guide, the latter of which writes that “The Shostakovich Quartet are masterly.” In addition to Tchaikovsky’s three numbered quartets and the Quartet in Bb Minor, this set also includes Four Early Pieces for quartet, Adagio molto for quartet and harp, and the Adagio Cantabile from Souvenir de Florence.