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    APRIL CD OF THE MONTH

    LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN - MASS IN C MAJOR

    £6.39 (£7.99)
    The custom of marking the name-day of Princess Esterházy with a newly composed Mass began in the 1790s and for many years was carried out by Joseph Haydn. In 1807 Beethoven was commissioned and responded with his Mass in C major. Coolly received at court, it is a
    celebratory work of large-scale brilliance. The cantata Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt is set
    to Goethe’s poems and contrasts calm with exuberance. In 1803 Beethoven set two numbers
    from Vestas Feuer, written by Emanuel Schikaneder, the librettist of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.
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    Leonard BERNSTEIN

    Songfest

    £7.99
    An American in Paris is one of Gershwin’s most vivacious works, an orchestral ballet saturated
    in homesickness and the blues. This recording, however, uses the new 2019 critical edition
    and offers Gershwin’s original orchestration, unheard for 75 years – leaner, more angular and
    transparent, it also employs the correct use of the iconic taxi horns, for a new sonic experience.
    The breezy vitality of Copland’s An Outdoor Overture is balanced by Bernstein’s Songfest – written to celebrate the Bicentennial Year in America, setting the verses of 13 of the country’s poets.
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    Ludwig van BEETHOVEN

    Chamber Works

    £17.99
    In his first decade in Vienna, Beethoven seems to have been preoccupied with music for wind instruments. The best-known example is his Quintet in E flat major, Op. 16, which he arranged at the same time for piano quartet. He also wrote music for dances and settings of folk songs, and reflected the public’s interest in automata by writing for musical clock. The Napoleonic wars were mirrored in Beethoven’s music of the period,
    especially in his military compositions such as a series of Marches and the Equali, scored for trombones, which were later played at his funeral.
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    Thomas ADES

    Works for Solo Piano

    £7.99
    Composer, conductor and pianist Thomas Adès has been described by The New York Times as ‘among the most accomplished all-round musicians of his generation’. His Concert Paraphrase on Powder Her Face reflects the glamour of the opera’s subject in the grand manner of Liszt or Busoni, while Still Sorrowing and Darknesse Visible explore John Dowland’s haunting lute works. Heard here in its world premiere recording, competition piece Blanca Variations is lyrical and flowing in character, and Traced Overhead is a vivid description of ascent and flight. Adès captures and transforms Polish style in his Mazurkas, and the spirit of Satie and Ravel in a Souvenir from the film Colette.
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    Nigel CLARKE

    Mysteries of the Horizon

    £7.99
    Nigel Clarke has always been fascinated by virtuosity and timbre – it is the brass band genre that has lent itself most to his passion for musical athleticism. Dial ‘H’ for Hitchcock is an imaginary film score in the film noir vein, complete with classic and chilling sound effects, while the heroic, brooding and violent Swift Severn’s Flood was inspired by a line from Shakespeare. Cornet concerto Mysteries of the Horizon examines the atmosphere of paintings by René Magritte, and Earthrise celebrates one of the most iconic photographs in history and the drama of the Apollo 8 mission.
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    Alberic MAGNARD

    Orchestral Works

    £7.99
    Although Albéric Magnard’s oeuvre is relatively small, the uncompromising perfectionism with which he worked created a catalogue that is filled with expansive, complex and beautifully crafted music. Composed while he was still a student of Vincent d’Indy, the Suite d’orchestre dans le style ancien follows 18th-century models and is simultaneously solemn and joyful in mood, while the Chant funèbre is seen as his first true masterpiece. The importance of justice in Magnard’s life is expressed in the Hymne à la justice, while the Hymne à Vénus reflects every aspect of love, from tenderness to elation.
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    Douglas WEILAND

    String Quartets Nos.4 and 5

    £7.99
    British composer Douglas Weiland has long been acclaimed as one of contemporary music’s most outstanding composers for the string quartet medium, and his evolving cycle has won much admiration. Composed between 2011 and 2012 the Fourth and Fifth Quartets show him at the height of his artistic powers, where he seeks connections across time, and shows a Classical commitment to form, invention and melodic beauty. His conceptions can be Schubertian in scale and scope, while also displaying the influence of Haydn and Bartók.

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