New Releases: Classical Music (November 2018)

New Releases: Classical Music (November 2018)

A round-up of new and recent classical music releases

Featured below: Irish National Opera, Chanticleer, Anja Lechner/Pablo Márquez, Xiayin Wang with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Igor Levit.

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Each week The Journal of Music compiles news on new and recent releases in contemporary, classical, jazz, traditional, folk, indie and more. Please send details of all releases to newreleases [at]

Irish National Opera: Robert O’Dwyer’s ‘Eithne’
RTÉ lyric fm 
12 October 2018

Robert O’Dwyer’s 1909 Irish-language opera Eithne was revived in a concert performance last year by Opera Theatre Company (now Irish National Opera) for its first outing in over a hundred years. This recording is based on that performance, a double-CD on the RTE Lyric FM label with extensive sleevenotes. In his review of the performance in The Journal of Music, Brendan Finan wrote: ‘In hearing the music… the most striking thing is often the language itself… the language suits the medium, perhaps surprisingly well. It is bold, earthy and rich, with hard, throaty consonants and long, warm vowels.’ Specifically on the music, he wrote, ‘For all that O’Dwyer’s orchestral writing can be unimaginative, his vocal counterpoint is tight. There are several charming duos and trios, and some bright, almost Mahlerian songs for the female section of the choir.’ Eithne features performances from Orla Boylan, Robin Tritschler and Gavin Ring with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Fergus Sheil.



Chanticleer: Then and There, Here and Now 
Warner Classics
12 October 2018

Vocal ensemble Chanticleer’s latest album, marking their 40th anniversary, covers a huge range of repertoire, from Palestrina to Michael McGlynn. Twelve male voices create a unique sound, managing to both stripped of all excess and joyous. Stand-out performances on the album include Byrd’s ‘Ave verum corpus’ and Bates ‘Stelle, vostra merce l’eccelse sfere’. 


Anja Lechner/Pablo Márquez: Die Nacht
2 November 2018

The theme of ‘night’ is at the heart of this beautifully curated collection of works arranged for cello and guitar by the performers, which is bookended by two renditions of Franz Burgmüller’s Nocturne No. 1, and features works such as Die Nacht and Nacht und Träume by Schubert. The playing of cellist Anja Lechner is remarkable – direct but expressive, with different registers occupying seemingly different worlds and moods – especially throughout the central work, Schubert’s Arpeggione sonata.


Xiayin Wang: Tchaikovsky Piano Concertos No. 1&3 / Scriabin Piano Concerto, Op 20
Chandos Classical
2 November 2018

Wang celebrates her virtuosity here with the Romantic style for which she is best known. For these recordings of Tchaikovksy and Scriabin, she is joined by the Royal Scottish National Opera conducted by Peter Oundjian for this collection of piano concertos. Both orchestra and pianist superbly manage the balance of powerful statements and sweeping gestures required for these big, energetic works.


Igor Levit: Life
Sony Classical
5 October 2018

The works on this beautiful two-disc album explore grief and solace, selected by Levit after the death of a friend. The album is therefore appropriately solemn, with Levit’s gentle and considered playing embuing it with an introspective delicacy, especially in works such as the piano transcription of J.S. Bach’s Chaconne from Partita for Solo Violin No. 2, or Busoni’s Elegies. The album ends though on a note of hope and openness, with jazz pianist Bill Evans’ Peace Piece.



Please send details of all new releases to newreleases [at]

Published on 2 November 2018

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