"Tony Bennett Celebrates 90" is an album by Tony Bennett, released by Columbia Records on December 16, 2016. Guest artists include Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bublé, Billy Joel, Elton John, Diana Krall, Lady Gaga, k.d. lang, Leslie Odom Jr., Kevin Spacey, Rufus Wainwright, and Stevie Wonder. It will be followed by the television special Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come, set to air on NBC on December 20, 2016.
Following the ‘Gramophone Record of the Year’ award-winning set of the Brahms Symphonies, Riccardo Chailly turns his “rare talent for transforming music ripe for rediscovery” to Brahms’s Serenades. This exquisite recording renews these unjustly neglected and rarely performed works in performances of “trademark clarity” (Gramophone Record of the Year 2014) and marks the first Decca recording of these works since Kertesz in 1968.
One of the finest singers of our time and the world’s leading tenor, Jonas Kaufmann presents his personal tribute to one of opera’s most beloved composers, Giuseppe Verdi.
What did it mean for Guillaume Du Fay (ca. 1397-1474), chameleon-like expert in every musical genre of his day, to compose four settings of the Mass Ordinary toward the end of his life? Looking back from the vantage point of the next generation, when the polyphonic mass reigned supreme, it might be tempting to interpret these works as a self-conscious summa of Du Fay’s career – an achievement akin to Haydn’s London Symphonies or Beethoven’s late string quartets. On a purely musical level these comparisons are apt. Each mass stakes out unique musical terrain; they are often strikingly experimental; and the entire set is shimmeringly beautiful from beginning to end, revealing a composer at the height of his powers.
These performances come from the first ever complete set of the Mozart symphonies, dating from the 1960s, and they still represent 'big orchestra' Mozart at its most congenial. The contrast here between Bohm's sparkling Mozart, both elegant and vigorous, and the much smoother view taken by Karajan with the same orchestra, works almost entirely in Bohm's favour. Interpretatively, these are performances very much of their time, with exposition repeats the exception (as in the first movement of No. 40) and with Minuets taken at what now seem lumbering speeds. Yet slow movements flow easily, and finales bounce along infectiously. Consistently they convey the happy ease of Bohm in Mozart, even if the recording is beefy by today's standards, not as transparent as one now expects in this repertory, whether on modern or period instruments.
In seventeenth-century Germany, a Wunderkammer (typically translated as “Cabinet of Curiosities”) was a type of private museum collection in the home of an aristocrat. Always in search of the most fascinating music from this era, ACRONYM has unearthed a large number of previously unrecorded manuscript sonatas written by long-forgotten composers. Some of these pieces contain harmonic eccentricities, rhythmic or metric irregularities, or structural curiosities. This disc includes ten such works, ACRONYM's own musical Wunderkammer. The composers are Samuel Capricornus, Adam Drese, Johann Philipp Krieger, Andreas Oswald, Antonio Bertali, Daniel Eberlin, Philipp Jakob Rittler, Georg Piscator, Alessandro Poglietti, and Clemens Thieme.
This very attractive release from Channel Classics features the terrific British period instrument ensemble Florilegium in performances of three Vivaldi concertos and two sacred vocal works. The group plays without a conductor and the players' shapely unanimity of phrasing and nuanced expressiveness give the performances the character of chamber music. It sidesteps the metric squareness that can plague performances of Vivaldi and let the music breathe and surge organically. The strings have the slight tartness of Baroque instruments and the overall sound of the orchestra has an appealing burnished sheen. This is relatively obscure repertoire and includes a flute concerto that was only discovered in 2010 and is recorded here for the first time, played beautifully by Ashley Solomon, the artistic director of Florilegium.