We would like to announce that in May PENTATONE releases five enthralling additions to the catalogue: Beethoven Cello Sonatas with Alisa Weilerstein and Inon Barnatan; Brahms Symphony No.3 and 4 with Gewandhausorchester and Herbert Blomstedt ; Minne with Holland Baroque, Bastarda Trio; My Paris with Ana de la Vega, Paul Rivinius; Verdi La Traviata with Lisette Oropesa, René Barbera, Lester Lynch, Sächsischer Staatsopernchor Dresden, Dresdner Philharmonie, and Daniel Oren
Equal, Profound Partnership of Cello and Piano
Alisa Weilerstein and Inon Barnatan
Cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Inon Barnatan present a complete recording of Beethoven’s cello sonatas. Composed over a span of nearly twenty years, these works not only contain some of the most appealing and lyrical music Beethoven wrote, but also allow the listener to trace his exceptional artistic development. The third sonata, moreover, is a watershed in sonata writing, arguably presenting the cello and piano as fully equal partners for the first time in music history. The richness of these works fully comes to life in the interpretation of Weilerstein and Barnatan, who have – besides glorious solo careers – also proven to be one of the most congenial chamber music tandems of our times. Their wonderful musical partnership and profound friendship shine through in each of these sonatas.
Since signing an exclusive contract with PENTATONE, Alisa Weilerstein has released Transfigured Night (2018) as well as Bach’s Cello Suites (2020), while also featuring on Old Souls (2019) and Inon Barnatan’s Beethoven Piano Concertos Part 1 (2019), on which she performed the composer’s Triple Concerto. This album was part of Inon Barnatan’s complete Beethoven piano concertos recordings on PENTATONE, of which Part 2 appeared in 2020. 2021 saw the release of his solo album Time Traveler’s Suite.
Digital Release Date: 6 MAY 2022
Brahms’s Masterclass in Symphonic Variation
Herbert Blomstedt and Gewandhausorchester
Maestro Herbert Blomstedt and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig close their acclaimed PENTATONE Brahms cycle with the composer’s Third and Fourth Symphonies. Compared to the epic First and gloomily pastoral Second, Brahms’s Third Symphony is a glorious exploration of the chamber-musical possibilities of the symphony orchestra. While the musical variation of elementary motifs already plays an important role in this work, Brahms shows his absolute mastery of that technique even more impressively in The Fourth. Blomstedt’s keen eye for analytical detail never goes at the cost of the music’s emotional resonance, and the Gewandhausorchester plays these symphonies glowingly, demonstrating their extraordinary ensemble sound.
Blomstedt’s work as a conductor is inseparably linked to his religious and human ethos, and his interpretations combine great faithfulness to the score and analytical precision with a soulfulness that awakens the music to pulsating life. In the more than sixty years of his career, he has acquired the unrestricted respect of the musical world. The Gewandhausorchester Leipzig is the oldest civic orchestra in the world with a glorious history and is still counted among the world’s leading ensembles. Their PENTATONE releases of Brahms’s First Symphony and Tragic Overture (2020), as well as his Second Symphony and Academic Festival Overture (2021), received rave reviews.
Digital Release Date: 13 MAY 2021
Fresh Perspective on Medieval Love Poetry
Holland Baroque & Bastarda Trio
Holland Baroque presents Minne, an improvised programme inspired by the love poetry of medieval mystic Hadewijch from Brabant. Hadewijch was a 13th-century beguine who wrote an impressive oeuvre of love poetry, providing an original, female perspective on medieval life. For this project, Holland Baroque works together with Bastarda Trio, a folk-jazz group combining the unique sonorities of clarinet, cello, and contrabass clarinet. Inspired by medieval poetry, the result is a playful, passionate, truly contemporary album.
Holland Baroque is an original and innovative baroque orchestra that approaches baroque repertoire through a fresh and contemporary approach, with a focus on improvisation and collaborations with outstanding artists from different traditions. Minne is their fourth PENTATONE album, after having released Brabant 1653, Polonoise (both 2021), and Silk Baroque (2019) with the label. Bastarda Trio makes its PENTATONE debut.
Digital Release Date: 13 MAY 2022
Declaration of Love to the Capital of the Flute
Ana de la Vega, Paul Rivinius
Flautist Ana de la Vega’s fourth PENTATONE album My Paris is a declaration of love to the glorious French capital and its rich flute history, as well as a trip down memory lane, featuring some of the greatest gems of French music history, including works by Debussy, Ravel, Fauré, Massenet, Saint-Saëns, Satie, Poulenc, Mozart, Chaminade, Lili Boulanger, Von Paradis, as well as Bizet. De la Vega plays these pieces with verve and charm, full of reverence to centuries-old French flute-teaching traditions to which she still feels deeply connected and absorbed. She performs them together with the esteemed pianist Paul Rivinius.
Flautist Ana de la Vega’s presents her fourth PENTATONE album, after having released Bach Unbuttoned (2021), Haydn Stamitz (2020), and Mozart Mysliveček (2018). Paul Rivinius makes his PENTATONE debut.
Digital Release Date: 20 MAY 2022
A Heartrending and Provocative Tragedy
Lisette Oropesa, René Barbera, Lester Lynch, Sächsischer Staatsopernchor Dresden, Dresdner Philharmonie, Daniel Oren
The Dresdner Philharmonie, Sächsischer Staatsopernchor Dresden, and conductor Daniel Oren present Verdi’s masterpiece La Traviata, together with a stellar cast including René Barbera as Alfredo, Lester Lynch as Germont, and world star soprano Lisette Oropesa as Violetta. Verdi’s opera from 1853 was revolutionary in the sense that it presented a subject of its own time, rather than the usual historically remote stories. Interestingly enough, this tragic story of a woman sacrificing her love to save the honour of her beloved’s family still feels as fresh and topical as ever before, explaining its unrelenting popularity. La Traviata is an endless outpour of memorable melodies with a gripping dramatic pace, as well as a tale that is both heartrending and provocative. The main soprano role gradually shifts from coloratura virtuosity to a more lyrical, dramatic idiom when the tragedy progresses, and this performance shows Oropesa’s fluency in both styles. After having sung the title role in the greatest opera houses worldwide, this studio recording captures her unparalleled interpretation for generations to come.
Star soprano Lisette Oropesa made her PENTATONE debut with Ombra Compagna; Mozart Concert Arias in 2021. Lester Lynch has a vast PENTATONE discography, including Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, La Fanciulla del West (both 2021), and Il Tabarro (2020), as well as Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana (2020) and Verdi’s Otello (2017). The Dresdner Philharmonie featured on those recordings of Puccini’s Il Tabarro and Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, while also releasing an acclaimed recording of Beethoven’s Fidelio (2021) on PENTATONE. Daniel Oren and René Barbera, who both enjoy thriving careers on the operatic stage, make their PENTATONE debut.
Digital Release Date: 27 MAY 2022