New releases: Ailyn Pérez, Xuefei Yang, Trevor Pinnock, Anna Prohaska & Alisa Weilerstein

Released last week, Trevor Pinnock and Alisa Weilerstein share first recordings of key pieces of repertoire for their respective instruments, Ailyn Pérez and Xuefei Yang release an EP of songs for soprano and guitar, and Anna Prohaska explores the story of Eve in her collaboration with pianist Julius Drake.

Ailyn Pérez & Xuefei Yang: Mi Corazón

Collaborating together for the first time, soprano Ailyn Pérez and guitarist Xuefei Yang present passionate interpretations of much-loved Spanish and Portugese songs, including selections by Manuel de Falla, Manuel Ponce, and Hector Villa-Lobos.

“Together, Xuefei and I found how much we relate to that feeling of comparing and contrasting our cultures, and finding our voices in this repertoire that is so perfect for our instruments: voice and guitar,” says Ailyn.

“Perhaps it’s in the historical relationship between the voice and guitar, made famous through the troubadours of the ages on to modern pop and bolero, that we found such a rich place to collaborate – not only in sound, but with our souls. It takes great care and risk to find an artistic partner, and it’s a journey for a lifetime of friendship and experience.

“We hope our stories and our voices will find a place in your heart and in your imagination’s ear, to listen and connect to the music, and to each other.”

Parallel to the release of Mi Corazón, Ailyn encourages donations to support two non-profit organizations: The Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance and the Sphinx Organization. Both are exemplary in their guidance and encouragement of emerging artists, particularly through their performance and educational opportunities with a focus on equality, diversity, and inclusion.

Produced by Ailyn Pérez and Askonas Holt in collaboration with Platoon, this new release was recorded at London’s famed Tileyard Studios. Available exclusively on Apple Music.

Trevor Pinnock: Bach The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1

Harpsichordist and conductor Trevor Pinnock – perhaps surprisingly given his extensive discography – releases his first ever recording of Book I of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier on Deutsche Grammophon.

Trevor discusses his new album in the video below, part of a series of vlogs, telling us why he finally chose to record Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, and revealing his thoughts about choosing the right instrument.

Anna Prohaska: Paradise Lost

More than two years in the making, Anna Prohaska’s latest release on the Alpha Classics label explores the themes of Eve, paradise and banishment. Alongside pianist Julius Drake, Anna presents songs including Faure’s Paradis (in which God appears to Eve and asks her to name each flower and animal), and Purcell’s Sleep, Adam, sleep (with references to Genesis). Exploring Eve’s status as a tempter who leads man astray, the duo also share Brahms’ Salamander, Wolf’s Die Bekehrte or Ravel’s Air du Feu.

Watch the video below for a taste of the recording:

Also available via the Outhere Music website.

Alisa Weilerstein: Bach Cello Suites

Alisa Weilerstein continues her relationship with PENTATONE, presenting a complete recording of Bach’s Cello Suites; a pinnacle of the cello repertoire.

“The Bach cello suites present the player with infinite possibilities,” says Alisa. “Each note, each phrase, carries abundant varieties of expression and musical nuance. The suites are too rich with ideas, too full of subtleties, and too dense with the burden of history for any particular interpretation to be exhaustive, any particular choice definitive. All great pieces of music carry with them this sense of contradiction — they must be played, yet they can’t be played. Every expressive gesture both realizes and limits the intentions of the composer.

“With their delicacy and nakedness, their strength and restraint, the cello suites present a unique and humbling challenge. After many years telling family, friends, and myself that I would attempt a recording only when I was much older, I decided that what had seemed like prudence was, in fact, a misunderstanding of the suites’ nature. The intrinsic impossibility of this music is the very source of its freedom.”

Throughout the current health crisis and lockdown, Alisa has been recording and sharing a single movement from the Suites each day on her social media channels. Follow her journey using the hashtag #36DaysofBach.

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