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Andrew McGregor with Marina Frolova-Walker

A round-up of the best new classical releases, and in Building a Library Marina Frolova-Walker picks her favourite from among the recordings of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 2.

with Andrew McGregor

Building a Library: Marina Frolova-Walker picks her favourite from among the recordings of Sergei Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor.

After the disastrous 1897 premiere of his First Symphony Rachmaninov had a nervous breakdown and went into years of depression, unable to compose. In 1900 his doctor prescribed intensive courses of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy and the Second Piano Concerto was the breakthrough piece. Premiered in 1901 it's become one of the most popular of all piano concertos, represented in the catalogue by a seemingly never-ending list of performers, a veritable who's who of pianists, beginning with the composer himself.

Andrew chooses an outstanding new release as his Disc of the Week.

3 hours, 13 minutes

Music Played

  • Cole Porter

    High society (Overture)

    Orchestra: John Wilson Orchestra. Conductor: John Wilson.
    • Warner Classics.
  • Richard Strauss

    4 Lieder, Op. 27, TrV 170: No. 4, Morgen! (Arr. for Voice, Violin, Harp & Organ)

    Performer: Nils‐Erik Sparf. Performer: Margareta Nilsson. Performer: Bengt Forsberg. Singer: Anne Sofie von Otter.
    • A Simple Song.
    • BIS.
    • 7.
  • Antonín Dvořák

    Quartet No.12 in F Major, Op.96: I. Allegro ma non troppo (Arr. for Wind Quint

    Conductor: Amaury Viduvier. Ensemble: Ensemble Ouranos.
    • Ligeti, Nielsen & Dvorak: Woodwind Quintets.
    • NoMadMusic.
    • 10.
  • Manuel Cardoso

    Missa pro Defunctis a 4: I. Introitus: Requiem aeternam

    Choir: Cupertinos. Director: Luis Toscano.
    • Hyperion.
  • Francesco Geminiani

    Concerto Grosso Op.7 No.3 in C major H. 117

    Performer: Café Zimmermann.
    • Alpha.
  • Frank Bridge

    Cello sonata: I. Allegro ben moderato

    Performer: Natalie Clein. Performer: Christian Ihle Hadland.
    • Hyperion.
  • Claude Debussy

    Estampes, CD 108: II. La soirée dans Grenade. Mouvement de habanera

    Performer: Javier Perianes.
    • Debussy: Préludes du 1er Livre.
    • harmonia mundi.
    • 14.
  • Havergal Brian

    The vision of Cleopatra (conclusion)

    Singer: Claudia Huckle. Choir: English National Opera Chorus. Orchestra: English National Opera Orchestra. Conductor: Martyn Brabbins.
    • Dutton Epoch.
  • Franz Liszt

    Soirées de Vienne S427, No. 6

    Performer: William Youn.
    • Sony.
  • Alexander von Zemlinsky

    Albumblatt (Errinerungen aus Wien)

    Performer: William Youn.
    • Sony.
  • Johann Strauss II

    Aschenbrodel: (Act 1 opening)

    Orchestra: ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Ernst Theis.
    • CPO.
  • Maurice Ravel

    String Quartet in F: II. Assez vif

    Ensemble: Tesla Quartet.
    • Orchid Classics.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Scherzo in E flat minor, Op.4

    Performer: Garrick Ohlsson.
    • Hyperion.
  • Aaron Jay Kernis

    Violin Concerto: III. Toccatini

    Performer: James Ehnes. Orchestra: Seattle Symphony. Conductor: Ludovic Morlot.
    • Onyx Classics.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Serse: Overture & Act 1 Scenes 1-6

    Performer: Maxim Emelyanychev. Singer: Franco Fagioli. Singer: Vivica Genaux. Singer: Inga Kalna. Singer: Biagio Pizzuti. Singer: Francesca Aspromonte. Ensemble: Il Pomo d’Oro.
    • DG.

Record Review



Songs and music by Gershwin, Rodgers & Hart, Porter, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Kern & Berlin
John Wilson Orchestra
John Wilson (conductor)
Warner Classics 0190295551230,0190295551230/john-wilson-orchestra-the-best-of-the-john-wilson-orchestra

Ligeti: Six Bagatelles for wind quintet; Nielsen: Woodwind Quintet; Dvorak: Quartet No.12 in F Major, Op.96 arr. for wind quintet
Ensemble Ouranos
NoMadMusic NMM056D

‘A Simple Song’ – songs by Bernstein, Copland, Ives, Mahler, Strauss, Part, Duruflé, Messiaen, Poulence, Martin, Liszt & Rodgers

Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo soprano)
Bengt Forsberg (piano)

Manuel Cardoso: Requiem, Lamentations, Magnificat & Motets
Cupertinos (choir)
Louis Toscano (conductor)
Hyperion CDA68252


9.30am – Building a Library – Marina Frolova-Walker on Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2


Composer: Sergei Rachmaninov

Reviewer: Marina Frolova-Walker


Recommended Recording:

Leif Ove Andsnes (piano)

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Antonio Pappano (conductor)
Warner Classics 4 74813 2

Other Recommended Recording:


Daniil Trifonov (piano)
Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nezet-Seguin (conductor)
DG 483 5335 4


Lang Lang (piano)
Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre
Valery Gergiev (conductor)
DG 477 5231 8

Nikolai Lugansky (piano)
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Sakari Oramo (conductor)
Warner Classics 2564619462



10.20am – New Releases

Francesco Geminiani: Concerti Grossi, Op.7
Café Zimmerman (ensemble)
Alpha 396


Clarke: Viola Sonata; Bridge: Cello Sonata, Serenade, Spring Song, Scherzo; Vaughan Williams: Six Studies in English Folk Song
Natalie Clein (cello)
Christian Ihle Hadland (piano)

Hyperion CDA68253



Debussy: Préludes (book 1) & Estampes
Javier Perianes

Harmonia Mundi HMM902301!/albums/2467


Havergal Brian: The Vision of Cleopatra, Two Choral Pieces, Concert Overture, Fantastic Variations on an Old Rhyme
Claudia Boyle (soprano)
Angharad Lyddon (mezzo soprano)
Claudia Huckle (contralto)
Peter Auty (tenor)

Dutton Epoch CDLX 7348 (SACD Hybrid)


Piano music by Schumann, Schubert & Liszt
William Youn (piano)

Sony 1907586 0902


Johann Strauss II: Aschenbrödel (Cinderella)
ORF Radio Symphonieorchester Wien
Ernst Theis (conductor)

CPO 777 950-2


Ravel: String Quartet in F major, Menuet sur le nom d’Haydn, Menuet antique, Menuet in C sharp minor; Haydn: String Quartet in C major, Op.54 No.2; Stravinsky: Concertino for string quartet
Tesla Quartet

Orchid Classics ORC100085


Brahms: Fantasias Op.116, Intermezzos Op.117, Klavierstucke Op.118, Scherzo in E flat minor Op.4

Hyperion CDA68226

Kernis: Violin Concerto, Howard: Violin Concerto, Tovey: Stream of Limelight
James Ehnes (violin)
Seattle Symphony
Ludovic Morlot (conductor)
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Cristian Macelaru (conductor)
Andrew Armstrong (piano)

Onyx Classics ONYX 4189





11.45am – Disc of the Week

Handel: Serse
Franco Fagioli (countertenor)

Inga Kalna (soprano)
Vivica Genaux (mezzo soprano)

Francesca Aspromonte (soprano)
Delphine Galou (contralto)

Andrea Mastroni (bass)
Biagio Pizzuti (baritone)
Il Pomo D'Oro (ensemble)
Maxim Emelyanychev (conductor)
Deutsche Grammophon 483 5784




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