Drive CD Pick

Drive CD Pick

This Week's #DriveCDPick

Nemanja Radulovic’s latest album, Baïka, takes us on a journey through different musical regions. From the Armenia of Khachaturian we travel to Rimsky-Korsakov’s fairy-tale Arabia before reaching the shores of the Black Sea with Aleksandar Sedlar. On this new recording from Deutsche Grammophon, the Franco-Serbian violinist is accompanied by some of his most long-standing musical friends and collaborators.

Last Week's #DriveCDPick

The award-winning cellist and composer Peter Gregson is the latest contemporary composer to be invited by Deutsche Grammophon to reinterpret iconic works in the classical canon for their pioneering Recomposed series. For his record, Gregson ‘recomposed’ perhaps the best-loved of all works for his instrument, the Bach Cello Suites. His approach was to retain the shape and flow of the suites, whilst still allowing his own aesthetic to come through. Gregson’s reinterpretation adds a new instrumental dimension, reimagining them for a five-person cello ensemble, analogue synthesizers and his own solo cello. The recording was made at the infamous AIR Studios in London with complex and high production values that made use of the physical space. The five cellists were widely dispersed throughout the studio galleries and Gregson turned the variety of analogue synthesizers, which he played himself, into acoustic instruments by re-amplifying them. The result is a multilayered sound that brings a new aural dimension to the works. 

Superstars tenor Roberto Alagna and soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, have made the most poignant duets from Puccini's operas the focus of their first collaborative album, excerpts from Manon Lescaut, La Fanciulla del West, Madama Butterfly, Il tabarro, and of course La Bohème – music brimming over with passion and powerful emotions, brilliantly composed for the voice, and subtly orchestrated for the orchestra.

Award winning composer, Craig Armstrong (Love Actually, Romeo and Juliet & Moulin Rouge), has released Sun on You, an album of compositions dedicated to music for piano and strings with the Scottish Ensemble. The pieces have been composed and arranged by Armstrong, who says, "When composing I felt strongly that each composition gave me, the ensemble and the listener a moment to reflect. The unhurried nature of the pieces gives a sense of time standing still. I think I wanted the pieces to reflect a quietness and stillness." Hear some of these beautiful pieces all week on Classic Drive.

My #DriveCDPick this week see the release of Italian Violinist Francesco Dego’s new album: Suite Italienne. It has been recorded with pianist Francesca Leonardi and features Respighi’s Violin Sonata in B Minor, Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne – plus the world-premiere recording of three Fantasias for violin and piano, based on the themes of The Barber of Seville and La Traviata, by composer Mark Castelnuovo-Tedesco. The recording is a very personal celebration by Francesca of wonderful Italian-inspired music, a collection of homages by twentieth-century composers to the rich and glorious Italian musical heritage, from Baroque to Opera.The cd is called Suite Italienne because of Stravinsky’s Pergolesi-inspired suite, but also because each piece has a special connection to dance and musical you will hear all this week!

Genre is not a word that seems to be in Renée Fleming's vocabulary. The opera star and four time Grammy award winner graced the Broadway stage last season as Nettie in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, so it’s no surprise that Decca have released this new album Broadway which is our #DriveCDPick all this week.The album encompasses a wide range of showstoppers, covering popular titles from Cole Porter to Stephen Sondheim to Jeanie Tesori, and everything in between. The song selection makes the album a pleasing listen, and her contemporary selections add to Previous #DriveCDPick

My #DriveCDPick this week features Tony Bennett and Diana Krall as they celebrate their shared love of the music of George and Ira Gershwin. Love Is Here To Stay is a subtle, sophisticated and beautifully rendered love letter to The Gershwins music and their status as one of the premiere songwriters of the American popular standard. The duet tracks include S'Wonderful, I've Got Rhythm, They Can't Take That Away from Me and Fascinating Rhythm. Fascinating Rhythm was Tony Bennett's first physical recording in 1949, made under his then stage name, Joe Bari, which he revisits as a duet with Krall for this project.

Previous #DriveCDPicks

This week’s #DriveCDPick is from a pianist that the New York Times have heralded as the hottest artist on the classical music planet, Chinese pianist Lang Lang. The album "Piano Magic"  is a compilation of his much loved and famous works from the Sony catalogue ...a showcase of the pianist’s interpretive magic and renowned finger fireworks! Mozart, Bach, Chopin, Joplin and more ...a feast of favourites!

Nightfall - Alice Sara Ott

My #DriveCDPick this week sees Alice Sara Ott take a very personal look at the magical moment in time and space between day and night, light and darkness, basing her explorations on works by Debussy, Satie and Ravel.  She decided to mark the dual celebration of her 30th birthday and her 10th anniversary as a Deutsche Grammophon artist by examining her relationship with three French composers who have had a significant influence on her, and whose music made an indelible impression on the Parisian arts scene at the turn of the 20th century...I'm looking forward to playing tracks all this week!

Jonas Kaufmann - An Italian Night

This week’s #DriveCDPick gives you an opportunity to experience the highlights from the German operatic tenor Jonas Kaufmann’s magical live concert from Berlin’s stage beneath the stars,"The Waldbuhne" as he celebrates this magical musical culture.

 Mischa Maisky & Lily Maisky - Adagietto

Our #DriveCDPick this week sees Mischa Maisky presents a slow moving album of all time favourites with relaxing and inspiring melodies which includes a multi track arrangement of Mahler's Adagietto from his 5th in which he plays all parts except the harp. The release also includes three live recordings of chamber music with Martha Argerich, Janine Jansen,Julian Rachlin and Sascha Maisky .This very personable album by Mischa is dedicated to his youngest daughter Mila!

My #DriveCDPick this week sees Mozart’s two piano quartets recorded live at the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin by a dream team assembled by Daniel Barenboim and three alumni of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra which included his son Michael on Violin. The CD has been described as ‘...characterful, congenial performances...’ See what you think!

This week my #DriveCDPick has been available for a few months but I could not let it slip under our radar. Mirages featuring French Soprano Sabine Devieilhe has been getting rave reviews with her signature operatic role as Lakmé forming the starting point for this enticing album. A collection of opera and song in French, its theme is the exotic allure of faraway and imagined places and people. In addition to three pieces from Delibes’ opera, it features music by Berlioz, Debussy and Stravinsky along with some rarer names. Sabine is joined by mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa, pianist Alexandre Tharaud and the period-instrument orchestra Les Siècles under its founder, François-Xavier Roth. 

My #DriveCDPick this week is "Rachel Podger – Vivaldi" and what better music than Vivaldi’s ‘Le Quattro Stagioni’ to start the celebration of the British Baroque Violinist’s 50th birthday year and someone who has serious form when it comes to Vivaldi.! Together with the star players of Brecon Baroque, Rachel guides you through the seasons of nature and life. Rachel’s producer Jonathan Freeman-Attwood said "Working with Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque has been an object lesson in starting anew and identifying the ingredients which make ‘Le Quattro Stagioni’ great works.

This week’s #DriveCDPick  'Jazz Loves Bernstein' Commemorates, beloved Composer/Conductor Leonard Bernstein's Centennial, (August 25th), with a Star-Studded release Featuring Classic Jazz Interpretations Of The Maestro's Greatest Songs....

Our #DriveCDPick this week showcases works from the "golden age" of the violin, with arrangements/ transcriptions by Fritz Kreisler and Jascha Heifetz around a centerpiece of the magnificent Bruch concerto. The collection also includes 3 pieces with Ray’s string quartet "Made In Berlin" – an exciting chamber music string collective made up exclusively of members of the Berlin

Audra McDonald - Sing Happy

Our #DriveCDPick this week features Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald and her recent concert performance with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in New York and Conductor Andy Einhorn. Here Audra performs a selection of material new to her repertoire, as well as songs she has never previously recorded, including "I Am What I Am" from La Cage aux Folles, "Vanilla Ice Cream" from She Loves Me, "Children Will Listen from Into the Woods. Nice and light for a summer's evening on Classic Drive...enjoy!

Previous #DriveCDPicks: Rhapsodic Winds - The Band of the Irish Defence Forces

Our #DriveCDPick this week sees for the first time on the Lyric label a selection of the the most popular and iconic compositions recorded by the Band of the Irish Defence Forces, every track is resonant with history. AJ Potter, Hamilton Harty, John F. Larchet and Seán O'Riada, key figures in the development of the western art-music tradition in Ireland in the 20th century all featured on this recording...Looking forward to playing tracks every day this week....

Our #DriveCDPick  features the German-American conductor William Steinberg’s famous readings of Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra and Holst’s "The Planets" newly remastered on Deutsche Grammophon. These recordings remain mementos of Steinberg’s brief tenure as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director cut all too short due to ailing health and appropriate as this year marks the  100th anniversary of the first performance of "The Planets".

a new release of remastered audio from the original analogue recordings on Deutsche Grammophon of Herbert von Karajan’s glorious 1965 double-feature of Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci with Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, Fiorenza Cossotto (Cavalleria) and Giuseppe Taddei and Rolando Panerai (Pagliacci); and both casts feature the great Carlo Bergonzi in lead roles.

The connections between baroque and traditional Irish music are explored in this fascinating new recording from the lyric label, which brings together the traditional music skills of uilleann piper David Power with acclaimed early music group Camerata Kilkenny. The opening track, Carolan’s Sí bheag, sí mhór sets the tone for the CD, beginning with the solo pipes before being underpinned by Barry Guy’s jazz-influenced bass-riffs and then the singing strings of the rest of the group.

What follows in compositions by Telemann, Purcell and Leclair, and a number of traditional tunes is a celebration of Ireland’s musical history. Key to the performance of both styles of music is ornamentation – the use of grace notes, runs and trills - which brings the written notes alive, giving the music a feeling of improvisation. So while the music derives from the eighteenth century, this live exploratory edge really gives these performances a contemporary feel.

Our #DriveCDPick this week features Beethoven’s Symphonies no’s 5 and 7. This recording sees Decca Gold  announce a long-term partnership with the New York Philharmonic and their incoming Music Director, Jaap van Zweden and the first of six additional recordings in the 2018–19 season featuring the Dutch conductor as the 26th musical director of the NYPO

This week's #DriveCDPick features two remarkable artists at the peak of their powers, Vladimir Ashkenazy & Georg Solti, who joined forces with Chicago Symphony Orchestra to record one of the greatest achievements in the history of music. The result was the finest cycle of Beethoven’s immortal Piano Concertos ever recorded. Decca have now released this Grammy Award Winning set at stunning 24-bit sound, mastered from original analogue tapes ...really looking forward to playing these all week!

Our #DriveCDPick sees Pianists Martha Argerich and Sergei Babayan present two stunning selections from Prokofiev’s music for stage and screen in magnificent two-piano transcriptions by Babayan.

The album features Babayan’s twelve-movement transcription of numbers from the ballet Romeo and Juliet and his seven-movement suite transcribed from the Russian composer’s incidental music for Hamlet and Eugene Onegin, film score for The Queen of Spades and opera War and Peace.

These new Prokofiev transcriptions are both dedicated to Martha Argerich. "This project happened because of my love for Prokofiev, my love for Martha and my love for the ballet Romeo and Juliet," reflects Babayan.

Listen in and sense the mutual inspiration felt by these kindred spirits, palpable in their live performances together, captured for posterity in these recordings.

This week’s #DriveCDPick "Bernstein on Broadway" features the composer as conductor in West Side Story not a typical 'cast recording' here, New York, September 1984, everybody was recruited especially for the job and moulded, literally overnight, into a musical team. For Bernstein, who had never conducted the work before, it was an opportunity to explore the work as he had envisioned it  Candide performances drawn from Bernstein’s last-ever studio sessions, represent the composer’s final thoughts on his great opera.  Michael Tilson Thomas conducts On The Town ...basically all of Bernstein’s best loved songs are on this special anniversary edition with all-star casts, including José Carreras, Kiri Te Kanawa, Marilyn Horne, Thomas Hampson, Christa Ludwig, Nicolai Gedda, Frederica von Stade, June Anderson, Jerry Hadley...Looking forward to playing it!!

Our #DriveCDPick all this week see's 23 year old South Korean Pianist Seong-Jin Cho explore the music of Claude Debussy on the 100th anniversary of the great French composer’s death.

it’s fitting that Seong-Jin dedicates this album to some of Debussy’s most popular piano works... his formative years have been spent in Paris and he feels a very strong affinity with the composer

Seong-Jin has brought together some of Debussy's most popular works and cycles such as Images I & II, Suite Bergamasque (including the beloved Clair de Lune) and Children’s Corner, which contains favourites of every aspiring piano student. Debussy also marked the beginning of Seong-Jin’s career, as Children’s Corner was on the program of his very first ever appearance on stage!

This week’s #DriveCDPick features a selection of the greatest ever recordings for violin from Deutsche Grammophon’s catalogue of the world’s greatest violinists.

This is a perfect introduction to classical violin music while enthusiasts will enjoy listening to acclaimed recordings.and is Ideal for anyone studying the violin repertoire.

Presenting violin repertoire from the last 300 years from Baroque masterpieces through all the great concertos and sonatas of the twentieth century to contemporary masterworks of the 21st.

This week’s #DriveCDPick features premiere recordings of three of Bill Whelan’s major compositions, performed by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Brophy: a symphonic setting of the music of Riverdance where he has kept the rhythmic energy and melodies that make the work so popular but presents all the themes in a way that is playable by the majestic sweep of a full orchestra, without the traditional musicians. Linen and Lace, a flute concerto for Sir James Galway musically unites their respective home cities of Belfast (linen) and Limerick (lace). And Inishlacken, a concerto for two violins (one in the classical style played by Helena Wood and one traditional played by Zoe Conway), named after a deserted island off the Galway coast.

This week’s #DriveCDPick Visions of Prokofiev sees Lisa Batiashvili presents a masterful version of Prokofiev's two violin concertos, in partnership with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Lisa’s talent turns standard repertoire into something new and special, allowing you to rediscover Prokofiev through her eyes. The album features the core classic Prokofiev (violin concertos), as well as selected movements of his famous ballets with their very recognizable tunes (Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, The Love for Three Oranges), newly arranged for Solo Violin and Orchestra by Lisa’s father Tamás Batiashvili.

This week's #DriveCDPick  "Journey to Mozart" sees Daniel Hope turning to core classical repertoire again, exploring the world of Mozart, as well as composers that inspired him and vice versa.

The album is a reflection of the age seen through his and heard through his ears! The only works to be included on the album are by composers whom publicly acknowledged Mozart and who were connected to him personally.

The album consists of two popular Violin Concertos by Haydn and Mozart, as well as the famous Mozart Adagio in E-Major. We also see Daniel Hope continuing his fruitful relationship as musical director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra.

Our Drive CD Pick this week sees two stars from different generations, mark their first collaboration with an album devoted to one of the supreme landmarks of classical music. Anne-Sophie Mutter, who in 2016 celebrated the 40th anniversary of her professional debut, and Daniil Trifonov, now in his mid-twenties, joined forces with three outstanding young string playing alumni of the Mutter Foundation at the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus in June to perform Schubert’s Piano Quintet in A major, popularly known as the "Trout" Quintet. It was Anne-Sophie's 1st recording ever of this quintet! They also explored the composer’s Notturno, a sublime late work for violin, cello and piano, along with arrangements of his songs Ständchen and Ave Maria for violin and piano.

Our #DriveCDPick this week sees ,Daniel Barenboim record a hand-picked selection of solo piano pieces by Claude Debussy , his tribute to the composer who passed away 100 years ago next month. Daniel brings this together with an earlier recording of the first book of Préludes dating from 1909-10, forming a richly multi-faceted programme for this latest album on Deutsche Grammophon

My #Drive CDPick  this week is "Retrospective" an artist portrait personally curated by Violinist Hilary Hahn, featuring tracks from the majority of albums she made as a Deutsche Grammophon artist. Retrospective also includes almost 30 minutes of new, unreleased material from a live concert of Mozart’s Violin Sonata K379 which is new to Hilary’s discography.

The portraits used for the cover and packaging artwork were designed by Hilary’s fans; they were commissioned via her social media!

My #Drive CDPick dives into impressionistic musical landscapes inspired by the calming beauty of nature and unwind with Debussy’s most relaxing piano melodies. Listen for yourself and hear Claude Debussy’s captivating soundscapes performed by legendary interpreters of the composer's music from Arturo Benedetti  Michelangeli and Pierre-Laurent Aimard to Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Mitsuko Uchida .Included too are recordings by a younger generation of performers including Hélène Grimaud, Rafal Blechacz and Seong-Jin Cho. This 2 CD set plus booklet commemorates the 100th anniversary of Debussy’s death.

Chloë Hanslip has established herself as an artist of distinction on the international stage, and Danny Driver is one of Britain’s most respected and versatile pianists.They are approaching the culmination of a complete Beethoven Violin Sonata cycle where each concert is both broadcast live and recorded for Rubicon. Beethoven’s ten violin sonatas represent the supreme challenge for a violin and piano duo, and the drama, visceral excitement and many intimate moments of these masterpieces is superbly captured by these great performers. The Rubicon series comprises of three volumes to be released over the next 12 months and their release of Sonatas 3,6 and 8 features as our #DriveCDPick this week... a superb collaborative relationship. What also struck me was the freshness and spontaneity of their approach.

This week's #DriveCDPick features White Raven a capella vocal trio based in Basel, Switzerland. This is their fourth album... presenting a selection of traditional songs which transcend the boundaries of the ocean which separates the three singers from their countries of birth. Irish, Scottish, Icelandic and American songs are all represented and celebrated in this collection.  The three-part a cappella arrangements are sung with a clarity and simplicity that allow the originality of the songs to shine through. White Raven casts it`s spell on this beautiful collection of songs

Our first #DriveCDPick of 2018 features two of the most captivating women in classical music Cecilia Bartoli and Sol Gabetta coming together for a recent release...the album ‘Dolce Duello’ or Sweet Duel on Decca Classics. It’s a collection of Baroque masterpieces which showcase the stunning combination of voice and cello in a series of dazzling duels and wondrous arias. To coincide with the release, Bartoli and Gabetta have been performing on a European tour with Cappella Gabetta and conductor and violinist Andrés Gabetta.

‘Dolce Duello’ covers almost a century of music. An album full of "Sweet Treats" for every taste! Antonio Vivaldi, George Frideric Handel, Domenico Gabrielli, Tomaso Albinoni and Luigi Boccherini, as well as three world premiere recordings Not to be missed all this week

Final  #DriveCDPick for 2017

Our #DriveCDPick this week features The Canterbury Cathedral Girls' Choir Formed in 2014, its 25 members are aged between 12 and 18 attend secondary school in Canterbury or nearby. The girls have performed at numerous events of significance at the Cathedral and regularly sing Evensong at the Cathedral.The new album features traditional Christmas carols, including Silent Night, Away in a Manger and O Holy Night. Produced by Grammy-nominated Anna Barry, Christmas with Canterbury Cathedral Girls’ Choir also features a world premiere recording of All Is Still, a new choral piece by composer Rebecca Dale.

Hear the fourth CD release all this week from New Dublin Voices directed by Bernie Sherlock, just in time for Christmas! Recorded at Castleknock College Chapel in Dublin, this 17-track album features well known carols as well as some new compositions and updated arrangements. Perfect for the festive season!

Our DriveCDPick this week features world premiere recordings, by one of the world’s top young Pianists Daniil Trifonov, of both Chopin Piano Concertos in fascinating orchestrations by pianist-composer Mikhail Pletnev. Pletnev also conducts the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in performances of exceptional detail, lyrical freedom and chamber music-like transparency.

The solo works include some of Chopin's earliest (Variations on "La ci darem la mano" Op. 2) and latest (Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. 66) works, together with the rarely-heard Rondo Op. 73a for two pianos, a devilishly difficult piece here performed by Trifonov together with his friend and mentor, Sergei Babayan. 

"YOUNG SOLOIST OF THE YEAR" - Paris Match 2016: the first cellist signed by Deutsche Grammophon in a long time, Franco-Belgian Camille Thomas upholds the French Romantic spirit in works by Camille Saint-Saens and Jacques Offenbach. Spiegel Online wrote of her most recent album: "Pure listening pleasure. A profound and alluring tone."

The five most brilliant concertos for violin, all penned before the age of 19! Mozart was not even 15 years old when he began composing violin concertos that would serve as a backdrop at Salzburg receptions. An insatiable drive for independence would however lead the young Konzertmeister to overtly challenge musical forms, innovate with genres, humour and frivolity, all of which can be heard in this delightful first collaboration between Isabelle Faust and the musicians of Il Giardino Armonico.

After his exciting sojourns into the musical tradition of Eastern Europe (Journey East) and the Baroque sound-scapes of J.S. Bach (Bach), Nemanja Radulovic now turns his attention to the Russian master of the Romantic era, Tchaikovsky, excelling as violinist and (in an arrangement of the famed Rococo-Variations for viola and string ensemble) a violist.

PIANO MASTERS celebrates our tradition of recording the greatest pianists of each age. From Argerich to Zimerman the series combines treasures of our archive with the broadening range and variety of music from the new recordings of our artists of today. Setting Martha Argerich alongside Murray Perahia, Daniel Barenboim alongside Paul Badura-Skoda, Daniil Trifonov alongside Sviatoslav Richter, Evgeny Kissin alongside Wilhelm Kempff, Piano Masters will also feature further new recordings by Seong-Jin Cho, Víkingur Ólafsson, Maurizio Pollini and Krystian Zimerman. 

Sir Karl Jenkins presents Symphonic Adiemus, the new album, of epic proportions. Brand new recordings of the greatest moments from the Adiemus series features an extended orchestra of over 100, including over 20 layers of classical and ethnic percussion, and a choir of 80. with judicious use of multi-tracking, and  on occasion over 400 participants can be heard at any one time!

Symphonic Adiemus – the best of Karl Jenkins as you’ve never heard it before.

Last Week's #DriveCDPick

Three exceptional artists join forces for an operatic treat! Star tenor Rolando Villazón, who was just named artistic director of Salzburg Mozart week, Ildar Abdrazakov, one of the most sought-after young basses in the operatic world (Vanity Fair), who is debuting on Deutsche Grammophon with this album and the in-coming music director of the Metropolitan Opera Yannick Nézet-Séguin – a conductor full of vim and vigor – with Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal.

Following Rolando’s and Yannick’s latest successful collaboration in DG’s Mozart opera cycle (Le Nozze di Figaro), this recording includes a wide range of beautiful French/Italian duets for tenor and bass presented with dedication and passion!

Rolando and Ildar go back to 2009 when they first performed together in a production of "Lucia di Lammermoor" at the Met. They re-unite to sing a colorful variety of beautiful opera duets from nineteenth century drammi giocosi and opéras comiques, such as the beloved "Au fond du temple saint" from Les pêcheurs de perles (Bizet) or "Ah, quando fia… Se inclinassi a prender moglie" from L’italiana in Algeri (Rossini) as well as the duet "Je suis Escamillo" from Bizet’s famous opera Carmen.

Besides the renowned repertoire the artists also recorded two tracks with special arrangements referring to their personal life: the legendary Granada, standing for Rolando’s Latin heritage, Ochi Chernye as a tribute to Ildar’s home country Russia.

Finghin Collins’s programme on this CD covers the major period of Chopin’s artistic activity and demonstrates the influence of Italian opera, particularly that of Bellini’s sophisticated bel canto style, and his own inherent dramatic impulses. With its release date due in October, you can pre-order on iTunes and Google Play.

Jonas Kaufmann pays homage to a magnificent era of opera that defined musical splendor and elegance, in his new album of 19th-century French opera arias and duets. His selection of music for tenor spans this momentous period, starting with "Rachel, quand du Seigneur" from Halévy’s La Juive (1835), through two of Bizet’s greatest works, "La fleur que tu m’avais jetée" from Carmen (1875) and "Au fond du temple saint" from Les Pêcheurs de perles (1863), by way of Gounod’s "Ah! lève-toi, soleil!" from Roméo et Juliette (1867) and ending with the latest aria "Pourquoi me réveiller" from Massenet’s masterpiece Werther (1892). Plus many more along the way.

Evgeny Kissin playing Beethoven...Selected by the artist himself, this double album represents his personal journey with the composer's solo work over the last decade and includes some of Beethoven's greatest and best-loved solo piano works. The release also marks Evgeny’s collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon marking 25 years after shooting to international fame as a piano sensation in the 80s, entrancing international audiences with captivating interpretations of Romantic masterworks during his teens and has since flourished as one of the world’s most charismatic and visionary performers.

The popular Ensemble Marsyas returns with a diverse programme of concerti, wind music and Scottish songs by composers Francesco Barsanti and George Frideric Handel, centered around the music composed for The Edinburgh Musical Society.

Nelson Freire made his recording debut with the Brahms F minor sonata in 1967. Now, half a century later, he returns to this monumental work. The perfect repertoire at the perfect moment in his career: still in his prime at 72, Nelson Freire invests Brahms’ music with unrivalled colour and imagination.

This recital presents a portrait of Brahms across his entire oeuvre for solo piano, culminating in a selection of the celebrated late intermezzi. This is Freire’s first Brahms recording since the 2007 Gramophone Record of the Year concerto set with Riccardo Chailly: still the reference recording.

Six New Vinyl Reissues on the Decca Label 

To celebrate the 80th birthday of pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy, Decca presents six iconic recordings on vinyl (with lacquers cut from original analogue tapes at Abbey Road) reissued with their original artwork and spanning Ashkenazy’s wide repertoire. From Bach to Rachmaninov, Mozart to Scriabin, this collection perfectly showcases the diverse musical palette of one of the most versatile and admired musicians of the past century.

The vinyl reissues are:

RACHMANINOV – Second Piano Concerto · Etudes Tableaux
BACH – Concerto No.1, BWV 1052 · CHOPIN Piano Concerto No.2
SCRIABIN – Prometheus · Piano Concerto
BEETHOVEN – Piano Concerto No.4 · Overture "Leonore No.3"
MOZART – Piano Concertos Nos.17 & 21
TCHAIKOVSKY – Piano Concerto No.1

Soprano Leontyne Price is joined by Jon Vickers, Rita Gorr, Robert Merrill, the Coro del Teatro dell' Opera di Roma, and the Orchestra del Teatro dell' Opera di Roma conducted by Georg Solti in this remastered original recording of Verdi's Aida released on the Decca label.

Decca marks the 90th birthday of Leontyne Price with the soprano leading casts conducted by Sir Georg Solti and Herbert von Karajan. Each deluxe hard- back edition with original covers, includes recordings remastered to true 24-bit Audio from the original analogue tapes, presented on CD, on Blu-Ray Audio at 24-bit and with libretti and synopsis in English, French and German.

Every classical music collector has a wish list of favourite recordings from the past that they wish would be released onto CD. Now, with Deutsche Grammophon's new limited-edition ORIGINAL MASTERS series, these wishes will come true. From its rich archives DGG has rescued rare tapes that have remained hidden for too long - as buried musical treasure. In direct tape-to-disc transfers, these original master recordings are presented in unadulterated, pristine form.

Stylish covers, with original sketches of the artists set in designs that exude Fifties' flair; full documentation of original sources and recordings; new liner notes in three languages by leading international critics; original photos and documentation - all these elements combine to produce attractive packages at remarkably low prices.

A collection of the 100 most beautiful Baroque moments with the greatest period performers of the music of the era.

This stylishly presented 6 CD set features favourite works which include Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Handel’s Messiah, Pachelbel’s Canon, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, Tartini’s "Devil’s Trill" Sonata, Rameau’s Overture Les Indes Galante and Monteverdi’s L'Orfeo. Beyond that, a wide array of composers offer a fascinating historical and geographic tour of the era – Among others, Scarlatti and Vivaldi from Italy, Lully and Marais in France, Bach in Germany, Blow and Purcell from England.

Following the success of her debut, Sibelius·Glazunov Violin Concertos Esther Yoo reveals her second album Tchaikovsky, which has one of the most famous classic repertoire, Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and short works of Tchaikovsky such as Pas de Deux, Danse Russe from Swan lake, Sérénade mélancolique, Valse-Scherzo and Souvenir d’un lieu cher. Born in New Jersey, she came to international attention as she won the First Prize in the Junior Section of the International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in 2006. She has performed with renowned conductors such as Lorin Maazel and as you're going to hear all this week with Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Our #Drive CDPick this week comes from Korean-born British violinist Joo Yeon Sir,  a name to watch! The Strad magazine reviewing a Wigmore Hall concert commented "Exuberant,feline and seductive, rattling off the fiendish cadenza with bravura and oodles of personality". That personality comes to the fore in this eclectic and emotionally wide-ranging recital of suites and fantasies by a group of composers you won’t often find together on a concert programme.looking forward to playing tracks from the cd everyday this week...

Celebrating extraordinary partnerships between legendary conductors and great orchestras, Deutsche Grammophon's Conductors and Orchestras series features eight albums in their original jackets.

Perhaps the most unexpectedly successful of Abbado's various musical associations was the four outstanding years he spent as principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, it proved a match made in heaven. He inspired the Chicagoans to produce a sparkling, lithe, shimmering intensity, underpinned by a brooding sense of sonic power.

Listen to a collection of the most beautiful, exciting and moving pieces for piano from the Moonlight Sonata to Clair de lune. Performances come from Deutsche Grammophon's unrivalled roster of pianists from Martha Argerich to Daniil Trifonov and Vladimir Horowitz to Murray Perahia.

Celebrating extraordinary partnerships between legendary conductors and great orchestras, Deutsche Grammophon's Conductors and Orchestras series features eight albums in their original jackets. In Bernstein's hands, the finale of Mozart's "Jupiter" is experienced as waves of joyful affirmation, the "Surprise" of Haydn's Symphony No. 94 as a heart-pounding shot of adrenaline and the finale of Beethoven's "Choral" Symphony as an exultant cry for universal brotherhood.

This week we celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Ella Fitzgerald. Verve and UMe celebrate Ella Fitzgerald's centennial by packaging 100 of her most popular songs as a new 4CD box set entitled 100 Songs For A Centennial. The collection spans Fitzgerald's Decca and Verve years, beginning with her earliest recordings with Chick Webb and his orchestra in 1936 and culminating with the Grammy Award-winning "Mack The Knife," her famous live recording from 1960's Ella in Berlin: Mack the Knife. Some of the many highlights include "Summertime," "A-Tisket, A-Tasket," "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons," and "I've Got You Under My Skin."

Dubbed "The First Lady of Song," Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996) was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century. In her lifetime, she sold more than 40 million albums and received nearly every honor a performer could dream of winning. In her six decade long career, the Queen of Jazz recorded more than 200 albums and roughly 2,000 songs, making her the most recorded female – and the second most recorded – performer in history. Among those recordings are works with some of history's greatest musicians and legendary songwriters.

An absolute must for piano fans! This weeks Drive CD Pick, including an additional DVD documentary, features the legendary Russian pianist Grigory Sokolov in two historic recordings: Mozart's Piano Concerto No 23 in A Major recorded in 1995 and Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor recorded in 1995. 

Writing about Mozart's Piano Concerto K 488, the Saltzburger Nachrichten noted that "such is his intensity that Sokolov sweeps everything and everyone along with him." The Independent described his reading of Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto as "ecstatic" and as "an outstanding performance", while The Times  wrote that "Sokolov swept through the concerto like a hurricane".

Featuring a bonus DVD documentary by Nadia Zhdanova, tracing the career of Sokolov with unseen footage from the archives.

Towering above the late Renaissance and early Baroque, Claudio Monteverdi was called the "Shakespeare of music" by John Elliot Gardiner, whose recordings feature in this cross-section of the Italian master's most important sacred and secular works. In both realms, says Gardiner - singling out L'Orfeo, opera's first masterpiece - Monteverdi conveys "the whole range of human emotions."

Paul McCreesh, one of the album's other authoritative  Monteverdi conductors, used the words "dazzling", "breathtaking" and "electrifying" to describe another of its highlights, the glorious Vespers of 1610. Monteverdi's sensuous melodies, succulent harmonies and spellbinding rhythms also typify the other works of genius performed here by some of early music's finest singers and players.

Following the success of her first two albums, which established Vanessa Benelli Mosell as a successful classical artist (pupil of Stockhausen and devotee to the development of classical music), her third album with Decca focusses on mainstream repertoire.

Accompanied by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Kirill Karabits, this album presents Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2, considered one of the most popular pieces for piano. Featured in several films (including The Seven Year Itch), it appears very often in concert programmes worldwide.

The concerto is coupled with one of Rachmaninov’s most popular pieces for solo piano, Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op. 42, which traditionally combines strong virtuosic playing with deep thinking.

Our #DriveCDPick this week features a remastered original recording of Pucini’s Tosca. This remains one of the finest versions, with American Soprano Leontyne Price at the peak of her form and "Golden Voice" Italian tenor Giuseppe di Stefano singing most sensitively. Puccini’s orchestration brought out with such prevision Herbert Von Karajan conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra with the Vienna Staatsopernchor.

The Beaux Arts Trio performed and recorded exclusively for Philips Classics until 1995. Through the years, the Trio has maintained its freshness and preserved its distinctive musical heritage while the membership has changed.The Trio is considered by many as having set the standard for performance of piano trio literature and this box set offer a more accessible way to enjoy their complete cycle of Mozart piano trios, previously collected together in Decca’s 60-CD Complete Philips Recordings.

Austrian Clarinettist Andreas Ottensamer presents a dazzling selection of the clarinet’s early repertoire from 18th Century Mannheim, with works by J. and C.P. Stamitz, Mozart and Danzi, together with the Kammerakademie Potsdam.

Featuring duets with Albrecht Mayer and Emmanuel Pahud - two of the great wind soloists of our time and Ottensamer’s friends and colleagues at the Berliner Philharmonic Orchestra. It promises to be the chamber recording of the year.

After ten years since the victory in the 15th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 2005 Rafal Blechacz has achieved a position of the truly world-famous artist. Better known for his dedication to the works of Chopin, the pianist has now turned his attention to Bach with a CD exploring the range of the composer's solo music for piano. The Washington Post described Rafal Blechacz's playing of Bach's Partita No.1 thus: "It was immediately clear from the first sweet, liquid notes that Blechacz is a musician in service to the music, searching its depths, exploring its meaning and probing its possibilities."

1917 was a year of turbulence – both artistically and politically. It was the penultimate year of World War One, the year of the Russian Revolution, and a year that saw artistic and cultural changes take place. This compilation explores the music inspired by the turbulent times at the beginning of the twentieth century.  Each work in this 2-CD set tells part of the story of this pivotal year and also includes newly written notes (in English, German and French) by Michael Stegemann, professor of musicology at the University of Dortmund, journalist and former pupil of Oliver Messiaen, which explore the stories behind the music.

Slava! is a special release celebrating what would have been "Slava’" Rostropovich’s 90th birthday, this March. Deutsche Grammophon presents some of his greatest and most popular recordings on 3 CDs including: The legendary Dvorák Cello Concerto with Karajan, the Chopin Cello Sonata with Martha Argerich, and the Brahms Cello Sonata No. 1 with Rudolf Serkin. Plus a selection of hard-to-find and beautiful encores. 

A cellist, a conductor, a pianist and a trained composer, Rostropovich was – in the words of his pupil David Geringas – "an entire universe unto himself!"

The world’s greatest composers – the world’s greatest music. Need we say more? 2 CDs of the world’s best-loved classics featuring renowned composers and prolific artists released in January on the Decca label.

To celebrate his inauguration as Music Director at the Teatro alla Scala, Riccardo Chailly conducts a programme of orchestral music from operas premiered at la Scala.

"Chailly and the Orchestra of La Scala Milan are surely a match made in heaven."

~ The Sunday Times

John Finucane’s first GENUIN release is an exquisite combination of French Romanticism and Post-Romanticism. The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra's Principal Clarinetist is joined on the recording by piano partner Elisaveta Blumina and does not betray the slightest hint that he is performing some of the most challenging pieces written for his instrument. Works by Debussy, Françaix, Saint- Saëns, and Widor are played with such joy and naturalness that we feel transported to the world of Paul Verlaine or Marcel Proust.

Daniel Barenboim’s first solo recording on the remarkable new concert grand Barenboim-Maene which he developed in collaboration with instrument maker Chris Maene.

Barenboim has selected works by four keyboard masters Scarlatti, Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt to display his piano’s timbral and tonal capabilities

Nemanja Radulovic's eagerly awaited new album "Bach" turns to the roots of classical music and to one of the most popular composers of our time Johann Sebastian Bach. He has recorded a unique and very personal collection of Bach hits, including new arrangements of the famous Chaconne, the Air on a G String and the Toccata + Fugue

The Album includes Johann Christian Bach’s delightfully poetic and rarely performed Viola Concerto. Radulovic plays both the violin and the viola on this recording – it’s his recording debut as a viola player.

Breaking stereotypical expectations of a ‘seasonal’ album, Voces8’s new release 'Winter' paints a portrait of the season through a sparse and powerful aural landscape, invoking a meditative, inspiring feeling of solitude and union - featuring tracks from Ólafur Arnalds and Rebecca Dale as well as sibling duo Mari and Hakon Samuelsen.

Over the last 15 years, Juan Diego Flórez has become the lyric tenor of choice among cognoscenti, colouring his notes like an artist does a canvas. This week's pick sees Juan Diego Florez celebrating the last 15 years with a collection of his finest arias, some from 2016's Last Night of the Proms and three tracks appearing on CD for the first time: Puisqu’on ne peut flêchir, Ave Maria and Amapola.

He was awarded Peru's highest honour, the Gran Cruz de la Orden del Sol del Perú and his philanthropic projects now include a Foundation in Peru encouraging the development of national youth and children's choirs and orchestras.

Click here for the 2016 Drive CD Pick


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