Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Slow Period

For someone who enjoys staying on top on newish releases this is the time of year that stinks. Between mid December and early February new releases come almost to a halt. So unless you're a fan of early 20th Century British orchestral music (in which case you'll be happy to know Lyrita will be popping them out again in no time) the selection may be a little sparse for some.

So far this year, nothing really eye catching has come out, but I'm expecting things to pick up right around the end of January. In the meantime though, I've come up with some titles that I haven't personally listened to, but based on reputation, reviews, and what little I have heard of from these discs I'll recommend them.

Schoenberg: Gurrelieder
Michael Gielen, Bavarian Radio Chorus, South German Radio Symphony Orchestra, Middle German Radio Chorus Leipzig
Hänssler #93198

One of Schoenberg's more approachable pieces, Gurrelider combines two of his earlies influences, Brahms and Wagner by blending his love of structure and form with a more bombastic lushness. For those audiophiles out there this is on SACD and would be great to addition to the collection.

Dim Sum
Ying Quartet
Telarc #80690

The Ying Quartet have shown in the past that they can give some other quartets a run for their money. Now they've come out with a disc of strictly Asian pieces for string quartet with composers ranging from fairly well known (i.e. Tan Dun or Bright Sheng) to completely obscure. Sounds like an adventure to me.

Victorious Love - Purcell Arias
Carolyn Sampson, et company
BIS #1536

Ok, so I know I'm kind of a sucker for baroque and classical era aria collections, but Carolyn Sampson is really exceptional. Her disc of Handle arias (Hyperion #67627) was fantastic and now she's handpicked some Purcell, it's going to be good, it just doesn't come out until the 29th. Sampson's voice is rich and strong making her idealy suited for a number of styles of singing. Any disc where she's the star is worth having.

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