Franco Fagioli, Andrea Mastroni & il pomo d’oro: Handel Serse
“Even in a concert performance, he completely inhabits the part, sportingly alert to its absurdities and to Handel’s tongue-in-cheek writing, quietly sending up opera seria of the day. He flounces, he preens, he purrs, he prowls … you cannot but admire the extraordinary facility and artistry of this singer, who decorates and embellishes with astonishing ease and supreme musicality.” Bachtrack reviews a concert performance of Serse at Barbican Centre
Maxim Emelyanychev directs il pomo d’oro and a fantastic cast in this first recording of Handel’s Serse with a counter-tenor in the title role. Franco Fagioli’s eccentric Persian King is joined by Andrea Mastroni as Ariodate, Vivica Genaux as Arsamente, Inga Kalna as Romilda, Francesca Aspromonte as Atalanta, Delphine Galou as Amastre, and Biagio Pizzuti as Elviro. The release follows il pomo d’oro’s previous recordings of Handel operas; Tamerlano, Partenope and Ottone.
The first counter-tenor to sign an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon, Franco’s previous releases on the Yellow Label showcase both Handel and Rossini arias.
Franco is currently touring Serse with il pomo d’oro, with performances in Llubljana, Paris, London, Lisbon, La Coruña, Toulouse and Essen.
Johannes Moser & Thomas Søndergård: Lutoslawski & Dutilleux Cello Concertos
Recorded with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Johannes Moser’s latest release combines the cello concertos of Witold Lutosławski and Henri Dutilleux. Both premiered in 1970, the works showcase different aspects of the musical landscape of the late twentieth century.
The recording marks Johannes’ fourth album as an exclusive Pentatone artist, following releases with the cello concertos of Dvořak and Lalo (2015), Elgar and Tchaikovsky (2017), and works for cello and piano by Rachmaninov and Prokofiev (2016, awarded with a diapason d’or and ECHO Klassik 2017).
In her new recording for Orchid Classics – Variations Sérieuses – Armenian pianist Lilit Grigoryan explores the art of the variation, with stunning interpretations of Busoni’s re-imagining of the Chaconne from Bach’s D minor Partita, Beethoven’s 32 Variations on an original theme in C minor, and Mendelssohn’s Variations sérieuses. The release also includes two rarely-heard gems: Bizet’s Variations chromatiques and Szymanowski’s Variations in B flat minor.
Lilit’s discography already includes several recordings: Onslow, Mendelssohn and Kalliwoda Viola Sonatas with Hiyoli Togawa, Prokofiev and Schubert with violinist Sarah Christian, and a solo recording of Scarlatti, Schumann, Bartók and Khachaturian.
“Artistry of that kind is rare in pianists of any age; to find it in a 20-year-old is simply astounding.”
Ivan Hewitt, The Telegraph, 16 September
Recorded live at the 2018 Leeds International Piano Competition with The Hallé and Edward Gardner, Eric Lu’s first recording on Warner Classics features Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, and two works by Chopin: Ballade No. 4 in F minor and Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor.
Eric’s performances won him first prize at the competition, for which he received a new package designed to redefine what a music competition can offer young performers. This included management with Askonas Holt and an international album release on Warner Classics, with both companies aiming to ensure that the winner has the opportunities, support and advice to develop a significant long-term international career.