Every Saturday night at 9pm-10pm, David Mellor reviews all the latest classical music releases.
"It's worth saving up the pennies for this one!" That's David's opinion on the new recording of Rachmaninov's Symphony No.2 performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Vasily Petrenko. This album isn’t released until 15 October and David has the UK exclusive first play – meaning you’ll hear it here before anyone else this Saturday night!
Connoisseur’s Choice (1)
Joseph Calleja: A Tribute to Mario Lanza
BBC Concert Orchestra
What David says: "This new Decca CD is superb and one of the best crossover albums I’ve heard. There are 18 songs and arias all made popular during the 1950s by concert artist and film star Mario Lanza. Interestingly I was told by both Calleja and also by Pavarotti about how they were both were hugely impressed by Lanza’s movies and it was Lanza who really inspired them to see if they could pursue a career as a singer."
Choice for the Curious
Frederick Delius: French Masterworks
Aarhus Symphony Orchestra
What David says: "Danish label Danacord’s release French Masterworks is an album devoted to Delius’s French inspired music by conductor Bo Holten. This is the fourth Delius album that Bo Holten has released and is excellently titled, as Delius was, in a very real sense more of a French composer than a British one as he spent most of his life in France. The more you listen to Delius’s French inspired music the more you can hear echoes of Debussy. The album has two substantial works including Paris: A Nocturne and In a Summer Garden, which is fifteen minutes of pure magic. None of the pieces are frontline Delius pieces but maybe they should be - as tributes go to a British composer this is very good indeed."
Connoisseur’s Choice (2)
Felix Mendelssohn: Elijah: 1846
Gabrieli Consort & Players/ Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir/ Gabrieli Young Singers Scheme
What David says: "A beautifully produced and remarkably impressive double album devoted to Paul McCreesh’s reading of Mendelssohn’s Elijah. The recording features a distinguished team of soloists - Rosemary Joshua, Sarah Connolly, Robert Murray and Simon Keenlyside and no fewer than three choirs so it’s a very imposing sound that they make. This is a splendid album!"
Album of the Week
Sergei Rachmaninov Symphony No.2 & Dances From Aleko
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
What David says: "An excellent performance of Rachmaninov’s monumental Symphony No.2. Vasily Petrenko and The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic are playing phenomenally well and Petrenko’s own restless dynamic account of this large opulent score makes this a really marvelous album. It's worth saving up the pennies for this one!"
Best for Beginners
John Lunn: Downton Abbey – The Essential Collection
What David says: "This album is sure to be hugely popular featuring 23 tracks from the soundtrack to Downton Abbey and one or two vocal numbers inspired by some of John Lunn’s music. The album gives you some vivid orchestral music, which is very well written by John Lunn where you’ll hear echoes from some of the great composers, reflecting the period in which Downton Abbey is set. This album will also be a vivid memento for any Downton Abbey fan."