Our friend, Paula Mlyn, of A440 ARTS GROUP sent us fifteen links to April releases from seven labels, some which we plan to review over the next couple weeks.

C.P.E Bach Sonatas for Keyboard & Violin

From Channel Classics comes C.P.E Bach Sonatas for Keyboard & Violin, played by violinist Rachel Podger and pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout, interpreting the music of C.P.E. Bach’s Violin Sonatas, revealing an emancipated composer whose developed musical language embodied the sensitive style of the German music of the time.

Mieczysław Weinberg: String Quartets

For a Chandos release, the Arcadia Quartet has selected a pair of works- one composed in 1945, shortly after Weinberg had moved to Moscow, the other composed during the first month and a half of 1981, bearing a dedication to Weinberg’s sister, who had died after the Nazi invasion of Poland. – Arcadia Quartet: Weinberg String Quartets, Vol. 2 – YouTube

Dowland: Lachrimae – Musicall Humors
Channel Classics is releasing John Dowland’s 1604 Lachrimæ – a set of two dozen dances composed after he had left England and entered the service of the Danish court and dedicated to Anne of Denmark, who was to become Queen of England. Performed by Musicall Humors, among the performers is lutenist Thomas Dunford.

Bartók Concerto for Orchestra

Pentatone is releasing Bartók Concerto for Orchestra, in the first recording of Karina Canellakis’ collaboration with the label. The album, which also includes the composer’s Four Orchestral Pieces, features the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, of which Canellakis is Chief Conductor.

Bartók: Konzert für Orchester ∙ hr-Sinfonieorchester ∙ Karina Canellakis – YouTube

Mahler Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”)
Also, from Pentatone comes the latest release in the ongoing Mahler series featuring the Czech Philharmonic led by Semyon Bychkov in Mahler Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”) featuring as soloists soprano Christiane Karg and alto Elisabeth Kulman with the Prague Philharmonic Choir. Semyon Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic present Mahler Symphony No. 2 – YouTube

Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos

From Naxos comes the final installment of the cycle Boris Giltburg’s Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos, featuring Concertos Nos. 1 & 4 and the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, the pianist is accompanied by the Brussels Philharmonic led by Vassily Sinaisky.

Naxos Backstage | Boris Giltburg on Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 – YouTube

Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 and Prélude in C-sharp minor

Chandos releases in April Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2with the Sinfonia of London led by John Wilson.

Schubert Symphonies

Another Chandos release features Schubert’s Symphonies 1 and 4and the Overture to Fierrabras. The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is led by Edward Gardner.

Gustav Holst’s The Planets

A release from the Bavarian Radio BR label features Holst’s The Planets and the Suite for orchestra and female chorus with the Chorus and Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio led by Daniel Harding.

Armenian Cello Concertos

Three Cello Concertos by Armenian composers Aram Khachaturian, Arno Babajanian, and Michel Petrossian are played by cellist Alexander Chaushian with the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra led by Eduard Topchjan in a BIS release.

Karl Böhm

Included in a 6 CD collection of performances led by Karl Böhm at the helm of the Stuttgart Radio-Symphony Orchestra titled SWR Recordings, 1951-1979 guest artists Ruth-Margret Pütz, soprano; Sibylla Plate, mezzo-soprano; Walter Geisler, tenor; Karl-Christian Kohn, bass and Branka Musulin, piano, are featured in orchestral works by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Dvořák and Bruckner.

Bruckner Symphonies on DVD

In a UNITEL DVD release, Christian Thielemann conducts the Vienna Philharmonic in Bruckner Symphonies Nos. 4 & 9.

Music under the Swastika: The Maestro and the Cellist of Auschwitz

 A CMAJOR DVD release, Music Under the Swastika, a film by Christian Berger centers on two people who represent musical culture during the Third Reich – albeit in very different ways. Wilhelm Furtwängler was a star conductor; Anita Lasker-Wallfisch the cellist of the infamous Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz. Both shared a love for classical German music. The world-famous conductor made a pact with Hitler and his henchmen. The young woman, brought to Auschwitz for being Jewish, was spared death for her musical talent. German music was used to justify the powerful position the Third Reich claimed in the world, and to distract listeners from Nazi crimes. This music documentary by Christian Berger features interviews with musicians like Daniel Barenboim and Christian Thielemann; the children of Wilhelm Furtwängler and 97-year-old survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch.

Rafael de Acha (c) 2023

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