The death last weekend of Mariss Jansons, who enriched the classical music world for the past three decades (he was, according to Sir Simon Rattle, 'the best of us'), is a terrible loss and I've bookended this week's playlist with two of his recordings - the consoling soprano solo from Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem and, in far lighter mood, Lumbye's delightful Copenhagen Steam Railway Galop (live from the 2012 New Year's Day Concert). Jansons's recorded catalogue is substantial and full of wonderful things - do explore!
Among ear-catching recent releases I've included substantial fare from Maxim Emelyanychev and the Scottish CO in Schubert's Great C major Symphony, an exciting portent of things to come (he talked to me recently for a Gramophone Podcast) and Beethoven's Second Piano Concerto in a vibrant new version played by Martin Helmchen and the DSO Berlin under Andrew Manze (who also directs the RLPO in a lovely performance of Vaughan Williams's The Lark Ascending with James Ehnes).
Music of earlier ages comes courtesy of the wonderful Alison Balsom, directing her own ensemble in four of Purcell's limpid and poised Funeral Sentences and Rinaldo Alessandrini directing his Concerto Italiano in Bach's Third Orchestral Suite (the one with the famous Air on the G string).
As always, piano riches abound: Busoni from Gianluca Cascioli (from an intriguing programme of 20th-century Italian piano music), Tchaikovsky's Dumka – a staple of the Tchaikovsky Competition and a work that really connects with the attendant Moscow audience – played by Peter Donohoe, Ravel played by Javier Perianes and this year's Instrumental Award winner Yuja Wang joining Gautier Capuçon for Franck's Violin (here Cello) Sonata.
I've also taster of one of the BBC's New Generation Artists, the trumpeter Simon Höfele playing Arutunian, some ravishing choral fare from Siglo de Oro and Wagner conducted by Daniele Gatti.
Listen on Apple Music
Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem - ‘Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit’
Genia Kuhmeier; Netherlands Radio Choir; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra / Mariss Jansons (RCO Live)
Purcell Funeral Sentences - Nos 1, 6, 3 & 7
Balsom Ensemble; Alison Balsom (Warner Classics)
JS Bach Orchestral Suite No 3, BWV1068
Concerto Italiano / Rinaldo Alessandrini (Naïve)
Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending
James Ehnes; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Andrew Manze (Onyx)
Busoni Sonatina No 4, ‘in diem nativitatas Christi MCMXVII’
Gianluca Cascioli (DG)
Schubert Symphony No 9, ‘Great’
Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Maxim Emelyanychev (Linn)
Peter Donohoe (Signum)
Wagner Parsifal – Good Friday Music
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra / Daniele Gatti (RCO Live)
Beethoven Piano Concerto No 2
Martin Helmchen; Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester / Andrew Manze (Alpha)
Arutiunian Trumpet Concerto – Andante maestoso
Simon Höfele; BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Duncan Ward (Berlin Classics) PRE-RELEASE TRACK
Franck Cello Sonata – Largo
Gautier Capuçon; Yuja Wang (Erato) PRE-RELEASE TRACK
Ravel Miroirs – Alborada del gracioso
Javier Perianes (Harmonia Mundi)
Werrecore Cantuum Quinque Vocum Quos Motetta Vocant, Book 1 - No. 17, 'Inviolata, Integra et Casta Es Maria'
Siglo de Oro / Patrick Allies (Delphian) PRE-RELEASE TRACK
Lumbye Copenhagen Steam Railway Galop
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra / Mariss Jansons