Vasily Petrenko has been awarded the Artist of the Year at the Gramophone Awards – perfect timing to herald the new recording of Scriabin’s Symphony No 2, coupled with the Piano Concerto performed by Kirill Gerstein, accompanied by the exceptional Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. Other Proper Music new releases include a bumper crop of Australian Eloquence discs, a batch that pays homage to the much-loved British soprano Jennifer Vyvyan, many of whose Decca recordings appear on CD for the first time. These include ‘Mr. Bach at Vauxhall Gardens’ (J.C. Bach), Scarlatti duet-cantatas with Elsie Morison, the first complete recording of The Fairy Queen (Anthony Lewis) two litany settings by Mozart, and scenes/arias by Mozart and Haydn. Further Jennifer Vyvyan recordings are scheduled for 2018.
Recent reissues of Eduard van Beinum on Decca Eloquence have been critically appraised, and this month sees the great Dutch conductor in Baroque dress. His affectionate reading of the Bach Orchestral Suites appears on a single CD for the first time, newly remastered. His incandescent accounts of two of Johann Christian Bach’s Sinfonias are coupled with the Handel-Harty Fireworks Music and Water Music suites, as well as an ‘explosively performed’ (High Fidelity) Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke).
A trailer highlighting many of these recordings is now available: https://youtu.be/DNNQkGl8Jac
The label released some wonderful recordings over the Summer which I have also added into the excel listing just in case you missed them. They includes the release of Dame Nellie Melba’s Farewell (Covent Garden, 1926) remastered from the original metal masters and restored to Melba’s preferred French pitch. The extensive booklet includes an essay by the historian of voices, Roger Neill, who co-compiled the recent critically-acclaimed Eloquence set ‘From Melba to Sutherland: Australian Singers on Record’ (482 5892) as well as rarely-seen photographs.
Eduard van Beinum’s legacy for Philips and Decca continues to be mined on Eloquence with all the symphonies and concertos of Mozart he was to record – a slim, but invaluable collection which includes several titles like the B-flat Symphony KV319 (Decca) and the Clarinet Concerto (with Bram de Wilde, Philips) receiving their first Decca CD release. Also beautifully remastered for this release is a Berlioz collection on Decca.
The dynamic relationship of Karel Ančerl with the Czech Philharmonic has been well documented but his brief but productive partnership with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (for Philips) has long been forgotten. Accompanied by a keenly detailed booklet appreciation, this valuable collection makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of an unfailingly warm and astute musician.
Two 2CD sets of music by Auber round off this month’s Eloquence releases. Both are conducted by Richard Bonynge. The first is a reissue of his recording of Le Domino noir, which starred Sumi Jo in the title role and won a Penguin Rosette award. The second, curated by Bonynge himself, brings together Auber’s theatrical and orchestral works, ranging from the First Cello Concerto and the ballet substantial music for Marco Spada, to shorter balletic works and operatic arias with Joan Sutherland, Huguette Tourangeau, Richard Conrad, and, from the ABC’s archive, Angela Denning, Heather Begg and Anson Austin. The recordings span from 1963-80.