Sunday, February 17, 2013

Harmonia Mundi Spring and Summer Preview for 2013

Harmonia Mundi offers you a chance to hear some of the finest tracks from its new releases for spring 2013: eighteen recordings characterised by a thirst for discovery - the vibrant oboe of Thea Musgrave, an incomplete score by Gesualdo now reconstructed, orchestral works by Wolfgang Rihm - but also by artists at the height of their powers! It's always a pleasure to meet Paul O'Dette again; he describes his new album as 'the hardest music I've ever had to play' - the pieces in question are by Francesco da Milano. It would be an understatement to say that Matthias Goerne's version of the emblematic Erlkönig is eagerly awaited as one of the highlights of his Schubertian adventure, as of course is the latest instalment of Kristian Bezuidenhout's Mozart cycle; with his investigation of the echoes of French and German 'melancholy', Andreas Staier gives us a harpsichord disc that is really something out of the ordinary, while Emmanuelle Bertrand tackles two bravura challenges by Shostakovich . . . Meanwhile, four outstanding singers complete their trilogy devoted to vocal quartets by the masters of the lied: after Schumann and Brahms, now it's Schubert's turn. Richard Egarr goes back to the harpsichordist's core repertory with the 'English' Suites, while the same Bach's Concerto for three violins is not to be missed: an ideal transcription of the only surviving version (for three harpsichords) for what were undoubtedly the composer's original forces. David Bates sets two famous settings of Dixit Dominus (Handel and Vivaldi) side by side, Stile Antico celebrates Passion and Resurrection with the cream of Renaissance composers, the Tokyo String Quartet takes a final bow with immense panache in Dvorák's 'American' Quartet, while the members of the Jerusalem Quartet forge ahead in the company of the clarinettist Sharon Kam. There's great pleasure in store with Weber's adorable little Sonatas for violin and piano, played for all they're worth by Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov. And finally, it is once again René Jacobs who produces the scoop of the season with an astonishing setting of the Seven Last Words of Christ by a Neapolitan composer who turns out to be none other than Pergolesi himself. The work was given its modern premiere at the Beaune Festival in 2012 and recorded immediately afterwards: harmonia mundi is proud to present it to the public for the very first time on disc!