Music News 1/15/2020


Cecilia Bartoli & Il Giardano Armonico, FARINELLI (Decca, $16.98) – Mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli has explored repertoire written for castrati on past albums; here she sings works written for and performed by the most iconic castrato singer of all, Farinelli, the stage name of Carlo Maria Broschi (1705 – 1782). Included are arias by Porpora, Hasse, and Giacomelli, among others. She is accompanies by Il Giardino Armonico, led by Giovanni Antonini.

BRAHMS: The Final Piano Pieces (Hyperion, $19.98) – Stephen Hough plays Fantasias Op 116, Intermezzos Op 117, and two sets of Clavierstücke, Ops 118 and 119.

NOTE: Stephen Hough will be at Politics & Prose this April 19. He will be presenting his new book, Rough Ideas.

Jean-Guihen Queyras & Alexandre Tharaud, COMPLICES (Harmonia Mundi, $19.98) – Cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and pianist Alexandre Tharaud have worked together on many projects over the years.  They reunite here for a “collection of short stories”—short works and transcriptions by Haydn, Kreisler, Vecsey, Brahms, Popper, Tchaikovsky, Shchedrin, Chopin, Zimmermann, Falla, Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Poulenc, Coltrane and Dutilleux.

Jakob Lindberg, JAN ANTONÍN LOSY: Note d’Oro (BIS, $19.99) – One of my favorite albums of the past two years was Nocturnal by lutenist Jakob Lindberg, which explored works by Purcell, Holborne, and Britten (arrangement). Lindberg now explores works composed by the Bohemian count and lute virtuoso Jan Antonín Losy (ca 1650 – 1721). Losy, based in Prague, combined both the French and Italian approaches to the lute.


KISS ME KATE: 2019 Broadway Cast Recording (Ghostlight, $18.98) – Cole Porter’s 1948 musical in the well-received 2019 revival directed by Scott Ellis, and starting Kelli O’Hara, Will Chase, Corbin Bleu, and Stephanie Styles. Listen to the Porter gems like “Too Darn Hot,” “Always True to You in My Fashion,” “So in Love” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.”

OCTET: A Chamber Choir Musical (Nonesuch, $16.98) – Dave Molloy (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812) wrote an a cappella theater piece for eight characters, with a libretto “inspired by internet comment boards, scientific debates, religious texts, and Sufi poetry.” Octet was an Off-Broadway hit last year at the Signature Theater