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EMI Classics & Virgin Classics March 2010 releases

Thomas Adès:  Violin Concerto, Concentric Paths; Tevot; Couperin Dances
Berlin Philharmonic/Rattle; Anthony Marwood, violin, with Chamber Orchestra of Europe/ Adès; National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain/Paul Daniel
CD and downloads available March 23 from EMI Classics

“Five stars out of five. Tevot (2007), written for the Berlin Philharmonic, is Adès’s largest orchestral work. It shows a Sibelian mastery of development and transition – even when the harmonic material is, like Sibelius, relatively conservative and the melodic content reminiscent of 20th century neo-romantics.  Like a latter-day symphonist, Adès takes the listener on a vivid sonic journey, juxtaposing tensile motifs on woodwinds, strings and percussion with constantly moving, seductively textured blocks of sound.” Financial Times [Andrew Clark] 

EMI Classics presents the world-premiere release of three of Thomas Adès’s new works recorded live, partly conducted by the composer himself, and, in the case of Tevot, by Sir Simon Rattle with the Berlin Philharmonic.

“Tevot” means “arks” in Hebrew but another meaning is “bars in a piece of music.” In an interview with The Guardian, Adès said: “I liked the idea that the bars of the music were carrying the notes as a sort of family through the piece. And they do, because without bars, you’d have musical chaos. But I was thinking about the ark, the vessel, in the piece as the earth. (…) It sounds a bit colossal, but it’s the idea of the ship of the world.” The work was commissioned by the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker and the Carnegie Hall Corporation; it was premiered by the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle at the Philharmonie in Berlin in February 2007 and received its US premiere, also with the Berlin Philharmonic and Rattle, at Carnegie Hall in November 2007. Sir Simon Rattle considers Adès “perhaps the most extravagantly gifted (of young UK composers),” and he and the Berlin Philharmonic program Adès’s works frequently.

In September 2005 Adès’s Violin Concerto written for Anthony Marwood was premiered at the Berliner Festspiele and the BBC Proms, with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by the composer.

The album is rounded out with Adès’s Three Studies after Couperin (2006) and a three-movement suite (2007) from the opera Powder Her Face

Since the release of Adès’s opera The Tempest on EMI Classics in June 2009, the recording has received attention on a global scale. In France, the disc was recently awarded the prestigious Diapason d’Or de l’année, and in the U.S. the album was a ‘Critic’s Choice’ pick in Opera News.


Special compilations, boxed sets, and reissues

First 20 titles; various artists
CDs and downloads available March 30 from EMI Classics

EMI Classics launches a definitive new series of landmark recordings drawn from a treasure trove of the most revered classical recordings ever made.   Available on CD and by digital download, the first set of 20 titles celebrates classic recordings by a “Who’s Who” of the leading artists of the 20th century.  All performances were recorded, mastered or re-mastered at the internationally renowned Abbey Road Studios.  These are, without any need to exaggerate, some of the most famous classical recordings ever made.

A list of featured artists and repertoire follows.

Pablo Casals
Bach: Cello Suites
Stephen Kovacevich
Beethoven: Popular Piano Sonatas
Itzhak Perlman
Beethoven: Violin Concerto
Sir Simon Rattle
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
Otto Klemperer
Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem
Yehudi Menuhin
Bruch/Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos
Dinu Lipatti
Chopin: Waltzes
Walter Gieseking
Debussy: Preludes I & II
Jacqueline du Pre
Elgar: Cello Concerto; Sea Pictures
Andre Cluytens
Fauré: Requiem
Sir Thomas Beecham
Grieg: Peer Gynt etc.
Sir Simon Rattle
Mahler: Symphony No. 5
Emmanuel Pahud
Mozart: Flute Concertos
Dennis Brain
Mozart: Horn Concertos Nos. 1 – 4; Quintet K452
Angela Gheorghiu
Puccini: Opera Arias
Alban Berg Quartet
Ravel/Debussy: String Quartets
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
R. Strauss: Four Last Songs
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin
Maurice André
Trumpet Concertos
Itzhak Perlman
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons


Sir John Barbirolli: The Great EMI Recordings
Specially-priced 10-CD set available March 9 from EMI Classics

The EMI Classics catalog includes many unique treasures by the great musicians of the 20th century, but few are greater than those made for the company by Sir John Barbirolli. This specially-priced 10-CD set is being released to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his death on July 29, 1970. The set includes not only some of the truly incomparable interpretations he made for EMI but also some he made during the period he was with Pye. Many of these performances are with his beloved Hallé Orchestra, the orchestra with which he became most closely associated during the last 30 years of his life.


CD 1
Ireland: A London Overture
Vaughan Williams: A London Symphony (No. 2)
Bax: The Garden of Fand
CD 2
Delius: A Village Romeo and Juliet – The Walk to the Paradise Garden
In a Summer Garden
Butterworth: A Shropshire Lad
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 5 in D
CD 3
Sibelius: Finlandia – Symphonic Poem, Op.26
Karelia Suite, Op.11
Pohjola’s Daughter – Symphonic Fantasia, Op.49
Valse triste – from Kuolema – Incidental Music, Op.44
Lemminkäinen Suite, Op.22
Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85
CD 4
Mahler: Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor
CD 5
Debussy: La mer
Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé – Suite No. 2
La Valse
Ma Mére l’oye Suite
CD 6
Tchaikovsky: Serenade in C for Strings, Op.48
Symphony No.4 in F minor, Op.36
CD 7
Elgar: Introduction and Allegro, Op.47
Serenade in E minor, Op.20
Elegy, Op.58
Sospiri, Op.70
Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Fantasia on “Greensleeves”
Bax: Tintagel
CD 8
Elgar: Sea Pictures, Op.37
Symphony No.1 in A flat, Op.55
CD 9
Brahms: Tragic Overture, Op.81
Symphony No. 3 in F, Op.90
Elgar: “Enigma” Variations, Op.36
CD 10
Puccini: Madama Butterfly – Act 2 excerpts
Berlioz: Les nuits d’été, Op.7
Mahler: Fünf Rückert-Lieder


Paul Tortelier: The Great EMI Recordings
Specially-priced 20-CD set available March 9 from EMI Classics

Born in Paris in 1914, Paul Tortelier became very well known in Britain through his remarkable and insightful masterclass program for BBC TV.  As a performer himself he communicated his enthusiasm and genius to his audience as well as to his fellow musicians; it seemed as if the cello was a natural extension of his body.

While he had an enormous range of musical sympathies, Tortelier always returned to the music of Bach, so it was no coincidence that he made two recordings of the six suites: the first in 1960 in Paris and the second one nearly 22 years later in London.

Tortellier’s engaging personality and his genuine love of music endeared him to his many fans around the world, and his death at the age of 76 was a great loss to music-lovers. This 20-CD set, providing a comprehensive overview of the most important repertoire for the cello, is being released to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his death on July 18, 1990. Highlights include solo, chamber and concerto repertoire from the Baroque (such as the Bach cello suites and Vivaldi cello concertos) and classical eras (including the complete Beethoven cello sonatas), to the great Romantic masterpieces of Brahms, Dvorak, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. 

The Wolf Edition – 150th Anniversary
Various artists
Specially-priced 8-CD set and downloads available March 9 from EMI Classics

EMI Classics celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of Hugo Wolf (1860 – 1903) with the release of an 8-CD box set containing some of the Austrian composer’s most notable works, including his collections of Mörike-Lieder and Eichendorff–Leider.

Great singers have long been associated with the name of Hugo Wolf; before World War II Walter Legge was the inspiration behind the Hugo Wolf Society edition, which still remains a benchmark for the performance of Lieder. Legge’s wife, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau have long been icons in the performance of Lieder and those of Wolf in particular. In this collection they are featured alongside singers of today, including Thomas Allen, Olaf Bär, Ian Bostridge, Dawn Upshaw, Anne Sofie von Otter, Helen Donath, Brigitte Fassbaender and Monika Frimmer, as well as Gerald Moore, Geoffrey Parsons, Helmut Deutsch and Antonio Pappano, all of whom have been instrumental in ensuring that the music of Hugo Wolf continues to grace the halls where great Lieder are performed.

ICON Series
Six new titles
Specially-priced boxed sets and downloads available March 23 from EMI Classics

EMI Classics’ handsomely-designed ICON series pays homage to some of the greatest recording artists of the recent past, with elegantly-packaged multi-CD sets devoted to their finest recordings.  The next installment in the series offers six titles showcasing the artistry of singers Tito Gobbi, Beniamino Gigli, Kirsten Flagstad and Nicolai Gedda, and pianists Samson François and Arthur Rubenstein. 

24 ICON titles are already available in the series featuring these classic EMI artists: Dinu Lipatti, Dennis Brain, Michelangeli, Solomon, Giuseppe di Stefano, Mirella Freni, Janet Baker, Andreas Segovia, Jussi Bjorling, Jascha Heifetz, Victoria de los Angeles, Sviatoslav Richter, Alfred Cortot, Artur Schnabel, Franco Corelli, Fritz Kreisler, Walter Gieseking, Montserrat Caballé & Hans Hotter. Since the series’ initial release date in June 2008, these titles have sold more than 50,000 units worldwide.

A brief summary of each new title follows.  For track lists and other info please visit this link: 


This 5-CD set, devoted to the outstanding Italian baritone Tito Gobbi, is a new release in the EMI Classics ICON series. The bulk of this set is devoted to all the solo recordings that Gobbi made during his entire career, brought together for the first time.


This 5-CD set, devoted to Arthur Rubenstein’s Chopin recordings, is a new release in the EMI Classics ICON Series. Arthur Rubenstein is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century, not just in solo and concerto repertoire but also in chamber music, collaborating with such greats as Heifetz, Piatigorsky and Szeryng. More than half of Rubenstein’s substantial discography is dedicated to the works of Chopin, and it is with this composer that he is most associated, although Brahms and the Spanish composers also figure largely.


The famous Norwegian soprano Kirsten Flagstad joins the ICON series with a 5-CD set showcasing her incomparable work singing the music of Richard Wagner. Flagstad enjoyed a successful career singing opera and operetta in Scandinavia, and she was considering retirement when she was catapulted to international fame in 1935 after a sensational appearance at the Metropolitan Opera in New York singing Sieglinde, Isolde and Brünnhilde. Her powerful, radiant voice and seemingly inexhaustible vocal stamina were ideally suited to the most taxing roles in Wagner’s operas and she was universally acclaimed, especially as Isolde and Brünnhilde. She scored a particular success at Covent Garden and sang there under the three most famous Wagner conductors of the time: Reiner, Beecham and Furtwängler.


Samson François’s early recordings, dating from the end of the 1940s, were mainly devoted to Frédéric Chopin, who already occupied a prominent position in the pianist’s concert programs. The height of Samson’s art is probably to be found in the ballades (recorded between 26 and 28 October 1954, and first issued as an immensely successful 10″ LP) and the dazzling interpretation of the nocturnes (recorded in May and June 1966), which are among the highlights of this remarkable 10-CD set. 


Swedish tenor Nicolai Gedda was famous as both an opera singer and a recitalist. Having made some 200 recordings, Gedda is said to be the most widely recorded tenor in history. Gedda is best known for his beauty of tone, vocal control, and musical perception. This 11-CD collection encompasses all areas of his career and many of his finest recordings, including operatic selections from his favorite composers – Mozart, Donizetti, Puccini, Bizet and Massenet, and Lieder by Schubert (including a complete Die schöne Müllerin). Gedda’s talent for languages is evident as he presents arias, Lieder and choral works sung in German, French, Italian, Russian, English, Norwegian, Swedish, Finish and Spanish. This collection also contains some of the German light songs and all the Russian folksongs


Beniamino Gigli was the most popular and successful Italian tenor of the first half of the 20th century. Dubbed the ‘second Caruso’, he was a popular favorite both on the operatic stage and on the concert platform, from his debut in 1914 to his retirement in 1955. Gigli recorded extensively for HMV (now EMI) and his records were among the company’s best sellers for many years. This 7-CD ICON set covers the whole of Gigli’s recording career, starting with his very first records made in Milan in October and November 1918 and ending with his farewell concert at Carnegie Hall, New York, in April 1955.

The Ultimate Romantic Guitar
Various artists

2CDs-for-the-price-of-1 set and downloads available March 30 from EMI Classics

The soft sounds of the guitar create the perfect atmosphere for relaxation and romantic intimacy. EMI Classics’ generous new collection, The Ultimate Romantic Guitar, brings together some of the most memorable and evocative tunes ever written, performed by such great masters as Andrés Segovia, John Williams, Julian Bream, Christopher Parkening, Manuel Barrueco and many more.  Highlights include classics by Spanish composers, such as Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and works by Albéniz and Granados; popular favorites such as the Cavatina from the movie The Deer Hunter, the Beatles’ classic Yesterday and Paul Simon’s poignant Bookends; as well as original works and transcriptions of works by Bach, Vivaldi, Satie and Debussy.


Andreas Brantelid makes New York recital debut

The young Scandinavian cellist Andreas Brantelid is quickly establishing an international reputation, and this month he adds to his already considerable achievements by giving his New York recital debut at Carnegie’s prestigious Weill Recital Hall.  On Friday, March 12 at 7:30 PM Brantelid is joined by veteran pianist Bengt Forsberg for a meaty and wide-ranging program that includes Schubert’s “Arpeggione” Sonata and cello sonatas by Fauré, Debussy and Prokofiev.

Brantelid made his debut with EMI Classics in 2008 with a program of Romantic-era music for cello and orchestra.  Last month, EMI Classics released an all-Chopin album that featured Brantelid with violinist Vilde Frang and pianist Marianna Shirinyan in a chamber music program comprised of the Cello Sonata in G minor (Op. 65), the Grand Duo on Themes from Meyerbeer’s Robert le diable, and the Piano Trio (Op. 8).  A critic for the Daily Telegraph praised the album, noting, ““[Brantelid brings] stylistic insight, elegance, and emotional power to match his striking technical aplomb.  This is an imaginative and fruitful combination of young talents on a disc that will be relished long after the [Chopin] bicentenary year is over.”


EMI Classics and Virgin Classics: artists on tour – winter/spring 2010

Artemis Quartet continues Beethoven tour

March 9:  Houston, TX (Rice University, Shepherd School Concert Hall)
March 10:  Urbana, IL (Krannert Center for the Performing Arts)
March 12:  Kansas City, MO (Folly Theater)
March 13:  Durham, NC (Duke University, Reynolds Industries Theater)
March 14:  Philadelphia, PA (Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts)
March 15:  New York, NY (Carnegie Hall)


Other EMI and Virgin Classics artists on tour

Mar 9, 12, 15, 18, 20, 22, 24, 27
Joyce DiDonato: Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro
Lyric Opera of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
March 10
Alexandre Tharaud: recital (Poulenc, Debussy, Schubert, Bach)
Bates College (Lewiston, ME)
March 11 and 13
Ingrid Fliter: Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D major
Seattle Symphony (Seattle, WA)
March 12
Alexandre Tharaud: recital (Poulenc, Debussy, Schubert, Bach)
Library of Congress (Washington, DC)
March 12
Andreas Brantelid, cello:  New York recital debut
Carnegie’s Weill Hall (New York, NY)
March 13
Alexandre Tharaud: recital (Poulenc, Debussy, Schubert, Bach)
Shriver Hall (Baltimore, MD)
March 20 and 21
Gautier Capuçon: Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33
Spokane Symphony (Spokane, WA)
March 22
Ingrid Fliter: Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21
Cleveland Symphony / Ashkenazy
(Fort Myers, FL)
March 24
Ingrid Fliter: Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21
Cleveland Symphony / Ashkenazy
(Miami, FL)
March 24
Gautier Capuçon and Gabriela Montero: recital
Savannah Music Festival (Savannah, GA)
March 27
Gautier Capuçon: recital with pianist Menahem Pressler
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY)
April 7, 8, 9 and 10
Antonio Pappano conducts the New York Philharmonic
Avery Fisher Hall (New York, NY)
May 5 – 8 
David Fray: Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2
San Francisco Symphony/Eschenbach
(San Francisco, CA)
May 19, 22, 24, 27, 30, June 1, 4
Diana Damrau is Ophélie in Ambrois Thomas’s Hamlet
Washington Opera (Washington, DC)
May 20
Yundi:  all-Chopin recital
Carnegie Hall (New York, NY)


For further information:

Visit EMI Classics’ YouTube Channel for video previews of many of its new and recent releases:


Glenn Petry, 21C Media Group: (212) 625-2038,  [email protected]

Mariko Tada, EMI Music: (212) 786-8964,  [email protected]

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© 21C Media Group, March 2010

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