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Sony Music Masterworks Announces October 2018 US Classical Releases
Source: Jensen Artists
02/10/2018

Alexander Brailowsky Plays Chopin: The Complete RCA Recordings

Reviewer Rate: $24.00

 

Available October 5:

 

Igor Levit: Life

 

Jonas Kaufmann: An Italian Night – Live from the Waldbühne Berlin

(CD available October 5 & DVD/Blu-ray available October 19)

 

Available October 12:

 

Placido Domingo & Pablo Sáinz Villegas: Volver

 

Rick Wakeman: Piano Odyssey

 

Available October 19:

 

Gregor Piatigorsky: The Complete RCA and Columbia Album Collection

 

Teodor Currentzis: Mahler’s Symphony No. 6

 

2CELLOS: Let There Be Cello

 

Available October 26:

 

Roberto Alagna / Aleksandra Kurzak: Puccini in Love

 

Yanni: Live at the Acropolis – 25th Anniversary Remastered Deluxe Edition

 

Roger Waters Narrates Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale

 

 

Alexander Brailowsky Plays Chopin

The Complete RCA Recordings

Reviewer Rate: $24.00

Available Now

 

Sony Classical is pleased to announce the first CD release of Alexander Brailowsky’s complete RCA Victor recordings, many of them never before available in the digital medium. Born in 1896 in Kiev, Brailowsky studied at the conservatory in his native city, which was then part of the Russian empire. In 1911, he went to Vienna to become a pupil of the legendary Theodor Leschetizky, who taught many of the 20th century’s outstanding pianists, including Artur Schnabel. During World War I Brailowsky also studied with Busoni in Switzerland and in 1919 he made his debut in Paris. Five years later came his first appearance in New York where he settled, then making regular coast-to-coast tours of North America while continuing to visit Europe.

 

There was one composer with whom Alexander Brailowsky was associated throughout his career – and has remained associated through recordings since his death in 1976: Frédéric Chopin. Brailowsky was the first pianist to present Chopin’s entire 169 solo works as a cycle, performing this feat before capacity audiences in New York, Brussels, Zurich, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, and Paris. Sony Classical’s new comprehensive reissue of Brailowsky’s RCA albums largely comprises music by Chopin. Both piano concertos are included – No. 1 with William Steinberg conducting the RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra in 1949 and No. 2 with Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1954. The set also features Brailowsky’s two traversals of the Waltzes (from 1942 and 1950) as well as his complete recordings of the Études (1948), Préludes (1951) and Nocturnes (1956–57), plus Sonatas Nos. 2 and 3 (1954) and the Écossaises and Berceuse (1958). This 8-CD box – with 7 CDs remastered from the original analog discs and tapes using 24 bit / 192 kHz technology –  also contains Brailowsky’s 1949 recording of the Symphonic Etudes by Robert Schumann.

 

 

Igor Levit: Life

Release Date: October 5, 2018

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Sony Classical releases Igor Levit’s latest’s album, Life, on October 5, 2018. The Berlin-based 31-year-old, who describes himself as a “maximalist,” loves big and complex, even physically challenging tasks. Levit’s first three Sony albums, all highly acclaimed, involved some of the greatest groups of works in the canon for solo piano: Beethoven’s late piano sonatas, Bach’s six Partitas, and the three most impressive piano variation works in the history of music by Bach, Beethoven and Rzewski.

 

Levit’s new album turns inwards. In Life, Levit shares some of his personal reflections of past years. Triggered by the tragic death of a close friend in an accident, Levit’s piano playing reflects upon an experience of loss encompassing grief, despair, resignation, and solace. He concentrates on works whose gloomy grandeur and melancholy beauty have occupied him for years. Each of them pays tribute to the virtuoso possibilities of the piano. Poetic moments of contemplative silence blend with life-affirming and extremely sensual music with a direct physical fascination. The title of the album is based on a piano piece by the American Frederic Rzewski, composed a few years ago by Rzewski in memory of a friend who was a New York performance artist; this is the world premiere recording.

 

Life was recorded in spring 2018 in Berlin’s famed Jesus-Christus-Kirche, well-known for its acoustics, on an excellently tuned new Steinway grand. Levit presents an imaginary recital encompassing a tremendous emotional range, extending from the intimate in Schumann’s Ghost Variations from Theme and Variations in E-flat major and Bill Evans’s Peace Piece, to the sublime and monumental in Liszt-Busoni’s Ad nos.

 

Levit’s strongly subjective selection of works ranges from 1720 to 2012, from Bach to Frederic Rzewski. The focus is on Ferruccio Busoni and his wonderful Bach transcriptions, the breakneck difficulty of his piano version of Ad nos ad salutarem undam for organ by Franz Liszt and Busoni’s own Berceuse. Busoni, the Italian cosmopolitan with German roots, eminent pianist, universal musical genius and inspiringly utopian champion of truly “free” music, is one of the great models for the Igor Levit.

 

 

Jonas Kaufmann: An Italian Night – Live from the Waldbühne Berlin

Release Date: October 5, 2018 (CD) & October 19, 2018 (DVD/Blu-ray)

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Two years after the release of his highly successful album Dolce Vita, Jonas Kaufmann reaffirmed his love affair with Italian music this summer with a special concert at the Waldbühne – Berlin’s renowned stage-beneath-the-stars. In what can be seen as a wondrous zenith of his dedication to Italy and her music, the concert has become one of this year’s biggest classical music events. Sony Classical is proud to announce the release of the magical concert on DVD, Blu-ray, CD and digital formats this fall. 

 

An Italian Night  Live from the Waldbühne Berlin features popular songs and canzone as well as passionate Italian opera arias and duets from Cavalleria rusticana, where Georgian mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili joined Jonas as a charming guest-artist and duet partner. Both were supported by Jochen Rieder conducting the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. 

 

Those who missed the amazing atmosphere of the concert at the 20,000-seater Waldbühne can now experience the attractive mix of opera, songs and italianità that brought the audience to their feet and resulted in seven incredible encores including “Parla più piano” (The Godfather theme), “Volare” in special duet form and the mighty “Nessun dorma” from Puccini’s opera Turandot. The evening’s delights also included Ponchielli’s “Cielo e mar” from his opera La Gioconda, as well as the popular songs “Torna a Surriento,” “Non ti scordar di me,” a unique solo rendition of Lucio Dalla’s “Caruso” by Anita Rachvelishvili, and a stirring duet of “Il canto” between Jonas and Anita. 

 

 

Placido Domingo & Pablo Sáinz Villegas: Volver

Release Date: October 12, 2018

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It was one of the most exciting and most unusual musical encounters to have taken place in recent years: Plácido Domingo, the world-renowned opera tenor, met Pablo Sáinz Villegas, the hugely successful Spanish guitarist. These two exceptional musicians first met onstage in June 2016 at a benefit concert marking Domingo’s seventy-fifth birthday held in Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium before an audience of 80,000 enthusiastic spectators. 

 

The concert gave the two musicians the idea of making an album together. Titled Volver, the Sony Classical recording features famous Iberian and Latin America songs alongside three solo works for the guitar: the Spanish coplas, nostalgic fado, and Mexican bolero. The album includes pieces such as Violeta Parras’s Gracias a la vida, which was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2013, as well as Volver by Alfredo Le Pera, and Carlos Gardel and Álvaro Carrillo’s immensely successful Sabor a mí, which is now also on the list of songs included in the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame. These arrangements were prepared by twelve-time Grammy winner Rafa Sardina, resulting in exciting new versions that capture Plácido Domingo’s voice in a uniquely intimate way. Pablo Sáinz Villegas is making his Sony Classical debut with this recording. The international press has hailed him as “a global ambassador of the Spanish guitar” (Billboard Magazine) and praised his “virtuosic playing characterized by its vividly shaded colors and his irresistible exuberance” (The New York Times). He was the first guitarist to win El Ojo Crítico, the highest honour awarded by Spanish critics in the field of classical music. He now appears regularly in all the world’s most famous concert halls, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Berlin Philharmonie, and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

 

 

Rick Wakeman: Piano Odyssey

Release Date: October 12, 2018

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Keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman, famous for his hugely successful rock career most notably with leading bands Yes and The Strawbs and for his sought-after collaborations with top artists of the day such as David Bowie, Cat Stevens, and Black Sabbath, is proud to present here his debut album for Sony Classical: Piano Odyssey. With all tracks personally chosen, crafted, orchestrated and arranged by Wakeman himself, this eagerly-anticipated album follows him on a very special journey across the span of his glittering career and celebrates key moments along the way. Fans will join Wakeman on this deeply personal voyage, encountering arrangements of familiar and favourite works by such diversity as Queen, Yes, Liszt, Handel, and David Bowie as well as repertoire from The Six Wives of Henry VIII and new solo compositions, all performed on the legendary Granary Steinway Model D grand piano. This former student and Fellow of the Royal College of Music has covered a lot of musical ground during his colourful and wide-ranging career and Piano Odyssey offers the perfect opportunity to share this with Rick Wakeman as – true to form – he presents familiar rock classics and classical themes in fresh, new and intriguing ways.

 

 

Gregor Piatigorsky: The Complete RCA and Columbia Album Collection

Release Date: October 19, 2018

 

He has been called the greatest string player of all time. His playing, which brought tears to the eyes of the immortal Fritz Kreisler, was noted for its exceptional technical control and wide range of expression. When Richard Strauss heard Gregor Piatigorsky perform with the Berlin Philharmonic, he exclaimed, “Finally I have heard my Don Quixote as I imagined him.” Sony Classical is pleased to announce a definitive 36-CD set collecting Piatigorsky’s celebrated RCA and American Columbia recordings for the first time in a single edition. Most of the performances on the first five discs, recorded between 1940 and 1947 have never before been transferred from the original analogue master discs and tapes for release on CD. For this release, 48 recordings have been transferred for the first time from the original analog master discs and tapes using 24 bit / 192 kHz technology, more than 20 works make their first appearance on CD in this edition.

 

Born in 1903 in what is now Dnipro, Ukraine, Piatigorsky studied with his father before entering the Moscow Conservatory. When only 15, he was invited to join Moscow’s foremost string quartet, the Lenin Quartet, and the same year he was appointed principal cellist at the Bolshoi. In 1921, he left the USSR to study in Leipzig with the renowned Julius Klengel, and in 1924 Furtwängler engaged him as principal cellist of the Berlin Philharmonic. A few years later, the cellist moved on to become a concert soloist. During the prime years of his long and extraordinarily successful career, on both sides of the Atlantic, Piatigorsky’s interpretations were documented by Columbia (in the 1940s) and RCA (in the 50s and 60s). 

 

 

2CELLOS: Let There Be Cello

Release Date: October 19, 2018

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The Croatian duo of Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, better known as 2CELLOS, return this fall with an all-new album, Let There Be Cello.  A follow-up to the 2017 release of Score, Let There Be Cello finds the pair exploring a diverse catalogue with their signature boundary-breaking playing style. “We’ve always said we want to break down pre-conceptions about the cello and the boundaries around musical genres,” says 2CELLOS on their latest project. “This album demonstrates that. We take inspiration from all sources, from pop smashes to timeless classical music, from classic rock through to our enduring love of film music. This album has the lot – including some 2CELLOS’ originals. There are no rules, just let there be cello!”

 

Co-produced by Sulic and Hauser themselves as well as Filip Vidovic, Let There Be Cello is a showcase of 2CELLOS’ exceptional talent for reinventing the music of any genre. The collection includes their take on the latest pop hits, including Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” and “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi, a fan-favorite rendition that has garnered over 30 million views on 2CELLOS’ YouTube alone. Known for bringing their explosive playing style to some of rock’s biggest anthems, 2CELLOS make no exception on Let There Be Cello, which features favorites “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor and The White Stripes’ iconic “Seven Nation Army,” which the pair most recently performed on-field to open May’s UEFA Champions League final in Ukraine. Taking their classical instrumentation to new heights, 2CELLOS round out the newest album with everything from celebrated classics (“Imagine” by John Lennon, “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen) to never-before-heard original compositions (“Concept2,” “Cadenza”) for a listening experience unlike any other. 

 

 

Roberto Alagna / Aleksandra Kurzak: Puccini in Love

Release Date: October 26, 2018

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Star tenor Roberto Alagna and his wife, the Polish 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. The new production features Riccardo Frizza conducting the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra. 

 

For many years, Roberto Alagna has been one of the world’s outstanding tenors. He has established himself at the international forefront, especially in Italian and French repertoire. He first appeared on stage with Aleksandra Kurzak in a London production of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore in 2012. The love potion’s effects spilled over into their private life – they married and have a daughter together. Among other venues, the two singers have appeared in concert in New York and Paris and were hailed for their performances in Halévy’s opera La Juive in Munich. Aleksandra Kurzak’s love for music literally began from birth, for her mother is an opera singer and her father plays the French horn. She frequently attended performances at the Wrocław Opera before she was able to sing herself. Since then, Kurzak has proven her status as an exceptional singer at the most important opera houses, among them New York, Milan, Vienna, London and Chicago, singing roles from Mozart to Rossini, and also as Lucia di Lammermoor and as Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto. This role so fascinated Aleksandra Kurzak that in her native country she completed a doctoral dissertation on the figure of Gilda.

 

The two singers will be appearing on stage again in Verdi’s Luisa Miller in Monaco, Bizet’s Carmen at the Met in New York and in Verdi’s Otello at the Bastille Opera in Paris.

 

 

Yanni: Live at the Acropolis – 25th Anniversary Remastered Deluxe Edition

Release Date: October 26, 2018

 

Legendary performer and composer Yanni has announced the release of a new limited edition of  his iconic and multi-million bestselling album, Live At The Acropolis. This deluxe edition celebrates the 25th anniversary of Yanni‘s historic concert, which took place on September 25, 1993. Live at the Acropolis was released in 1994 and is Yanni‘s first-ever live album and concert video. Recorded at the Herodes Atticus Theatre in Athens with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra from London, the concert took a year and a half to complete. The album was mixed and produced by Yanni in his home studio and was made into a TV special that aired in the States on PBS. Live at the Acropolis became an incredible success and is the second best selling music video of all time. Yanni's iconic performances at the Acropolis in Greece, the Taj Mahal in India, the Forbidden City in China, the Royal Albert Hall in England, The Pyramids in Egypt and El Morro in Puerto Rico have crossed countless borders and has resonated with billions of people across the globe. Yanni has been awarded more than 40 platinum and gold albums worldwide and has sold more than 25 million albums around the world. His most recent albums have seen chart-topping success. 

 

 

Roger Waters Narrates Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale

Release Date: October 26, 2018

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Rock legend Roger Waters has adapted the narration and recorded Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale – he narrates this harrowing modern fairy tale himself in this new recording. The Soldier’s Tale is a disturbing and implacably modern fairytale and at the same time an anti-war piece.

 

And yet we rarely hear The Soldier’s Tale, with the result that with Roger Waters’ new project a modern classic is rediscovered, a work which because of its particular design as a piece for chamber ensemble and narrator is all too rarely seen in major houses. The Soldier’s Tale may be regarded as the nucleus of Stravinsky’s early period. In the third section of Part One, for example, the composer quotes his own Rite of Spring, while elsewhere there are echoes of Petrushka and The Firebird. When the Devil and the Soldier argue toward the end of the opening section of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, the eavesdropper may well feel a very real sense of fear. Roger Waters articulates this violent dispute with so much energy and cold fury, building from climax to climax and thrillingly working himself up into such a rage, that we suddenly sympathize with the drama of the ordinary man who wants too much and who risks too much. In short, this rock star is an outstanding narrator – the founder of Pink Floyd speaks all three roles in Stravinsky’s piece of music theatre: the Soldier, the Devil and the Narrator.

 

This project is more than a foray into the field of high art. For years Roger Waters has been far more than just the frontman for Pink Floyd. His first work outside the world of rock music was the opera Ça ira, which was first performed in 2005 and which combines an astonishing atonality with a Neoclassicism in the style of a composer like Benjamin Britten. Both here and in other works Waters certainly feels an affinity with this moment in the history of music whenever he has to decide how atonal to make his music. How radical should it be? And how is music related to the Classical and Romantic tradition? This is arguably the most important question that progressive music has to ask itself today. This was also Stravinsky’s question when he wrote The Soldier’s Tale.

 

This album will be released on October 26, 2018 shortly before the centenary of the signing of the Armistice at Compiègne that brought the First World War to an end on 11 November 1918.

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