harmonia mundi is delighted to present its classical new releases for autumn 2012. A harvest notable for its diversity: in addition to key works in a repertoire well known to those who follow our schedules, there are a number of unexpected nuggets.
To mark his departure from the BBC Symphony Orchestra, JIRI BELOHLAVEK gratifies us with a sumptuous gift of Czech music, The Bartered Bride, which has ensured Smetana's fame in opera houses all over the world and is performed here by today's leading specialists in the genre. In November we also welcome the ENSEMBLE ORCHESTRAL CONTEMPORAIN exploring the chamber music of Denisov under the direction of Daniel Kawka. In addition to Denisov and THIERRY PECOU (August), twentieth-century music is particularly well represented this season with world premiere recordings of choral works by Imogen Holst (October) with CHOIR OF CLARE COLLEGE, CAMBRDIGE (featuring a beautiful arrangement of Britten's "Rejoice in the Lamb" with the DMITRI ENSEMBLE) and Samuel Barber "An American Romantic" with CRAIG HELLA JOHNSON leading Austin based CONSPIRARE (September).
BERNARDA FINK releases a third volume of songs after Argentina and Slovenia, "Canciones españolas" provides an opportunity to hear a different side of De Falla, Rodrigo, and Granados. The release coincides with concerts in North America from October 25 through November 17th. Admirers of JAVIER PERIANES will be delighted to discover him in a Beethoven program brilliantly organized on the theme of the moto perpetuo, while ISABELLE FAUST offers her highly anticipated Volume 2 of J.S. Bach Sonatas (September). Volume 1 has sold more than 20,000 copies in two years. PAUL LEWIS' second volume of Schubert Sonatas will be released to coincide with his concert at LINCOLN CENTER on October 20th and there is more Schubert from ARCANTO QUARTET and CASALS QUARTET.
This year marks the final touring season for the TOKYO STRING QUARTET. The adventure that began in 1969 concludes in their forty-third season with close to one hundred concerts and two Brahms quintets recorded with two outstanding partners JON NAKAMATSU and JON MANASSE (November).
We conclude the program by paying tribute to an orchestra in the top flight of period-instrument ensembles, the FREIBURGER BAROCKORCHESTER, featured at the heart of two large-scale Mozart projects: piano concertos with KRISTIAN BEZUIDENHOUT (They perform under the direction of PABLO HERAS-CASADO on August 9th at MOSTLY MOZART) and the highlight of our autumn season, La finta giardiniera. This is one of Mozart's early operas; the original Munich version, sung in Italian, quickly disappeared from the repertoire until it was revived in German from 1779 onwards. A posthumous version from 1796 displays a skillful re-orchestration, extremely symphonic and typical of late Mozart - to such an extent that numerous specialists have detected the composer's own hand in it. It is this version that is recorded here by RENE JACOBS, who sees La finta as the perfect example of "a very ancient form of theatre, blithely mingling farce with powerful passions and elements typical of a "modern" initiatory opera."
I will be writing on these selected works in more detail very soon! Brent Black