I am trying something a little different with this post: giving advance notice of new releases, starting with Hyperion’s schedule for April. I have the discs already and have been dipping in and, below, are a few comments of first encounters. If the words are emboldened and italicised it’s me; anything else it’s Hyperion’s text. My mentions do not preclude a more-detailed review. Colin
Here are details of Hyperion’s three new releases for the month of April 2022.
The official release date for all titles is Friday 1st April 2022.
Please click the links to take you to each album page for more details and 1-minute sound samples of each track.
Record of the Month
Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Piano Sonatas D664, 769a & 894
Stephen Hough (piano)
The late G major sonata followed such landmarks as the ‘Great’ C major symphony and Schubert’s last string quartet, and explores similarly expansive terrain; the A major is an earlier, genial work. These frame the brief D769a fragment, which adds to the uniqueness of Stephen Hough’s marvellous recital.
A few minutes in the company of Stephen Hough’s deeply considered playing suggests that this release should delight Schubertians and pianophiles in equal measure; numerous insights.
Woldemar Bargiel (1828-1897)
Piano Trios Nos 1 & 2
Leonore Piano Trio
The name of Woldemar Bargiel may be little known today—although he was the half-brother of Clara Schumann, no less—but he was highly regarded by Brahms and the Schumanns. These are two delightful, richly melodic works.
They are indeed, real discoveries, superbly played and recorded. These expansive works will appeal to lovers of music by Brahms, Mendelssohn and Schumann, yet Bargiel is not a copycat of any of these composers. What is immediately apparent in all eight movements is that he is a distinctive and skilled creator, and invites our attention.
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
On Wenlock Edge & other songs
Nicky Spence (tenor), Julius Drake (piano)
Nicky Spence and friends perfectly capture the urgency and thrill of the opening of On Wenlock Edge; with its varied and imaginatively chosen couplings, this is an album which every RVW aficionado will want to own.
Nicky Spence and his collaborators give intense and searching accounts of VW’s vocal music, whether scenic, sacred or secular; emotional & picturesque. A valuable seventy-minute collection for VW150.