The Full Works Concert - Tuesday 25 March 2014

In the first of three programmes, Jane Jones showcases the best albums released so far in 2014.

Photo by Chris Christodoulou

Tonight's concert of the best new releases of 2014 opens with the pianist Ingrid Fliter. Since winning the silver medal at the 2000 Frederic Chopin Competition in Warsaw, she has built a reputation as a first-rate interpreter of the composer's work. Here she joins with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Jun Märkl, for an outstanding performance of Chopin 's first, great - and fiendishly hard to play - piano concerto.

The innovative Brodsky Quartet's latest album presents a programme of works from the ‘New World’ that explores an American sound for the string quartet. Very distinctively American in idiom is the music of George Gershwin whose Lullaby was his first attempt at classical composition.

Felix Mendelssohn had a great reception in Birmingham where he conducted many of his own works, including premieres. After his first four days of concerts at the Town Hall in 1837, he reported that he had never had 'such a brilliant success'. The album Mendelssohn in Birmingham is the first in a series - which will also include live concerts - featuring the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under its Principal Guest Conductor, Edward Gardner  (pictured). Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 5 - known as the 'Reformation' symphony - is a standout track. Recorded in Birmingham Town Hall in October 2013, it zings along, every section of the CBSO whipped into life under the taut control of Gardner.

Composer Patrick Hawes ' new release Angel is an imaginative and intriguing approach to the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. In it, the composer explores the idea of angels as guardians and guides, specifically the Angel of Mons, an apparition that supposedly took place in front of soldiers on 23 August 1914.

Hyperion’s Romantic Cello Concerto series continues to bring forgotten works into the instrument's repertoire. In the latest release Alban Gerhardt performs the three concertos by Hans Pfitzner, a composer remembered most for his opera Palestrina. Pfitzner’s early Cello Concerto in A minor was scorned by his teachers, although liked by the composer himself, and the manuscript disappeared during his lifetime. It was first performed in public on 18 February 1977 and published the following year. It's a lost work, well worth discovering.


Frederic Chopin: Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor Opus 11
Piano: Ingrid Fliter
Jun Markl conducts the Scottish Chamber Orchestra

George Gershwin: Lullaby
The Brodsky Quartet

Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony No.5 in D major Opus 107 ‘Reformation’
Edward Gardner conducts the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Patrick Hawes: Angelus Domini
Edward Higginbottom directs the Choir of New College, Oxford

Hans Pfitzner: Cello Concerto in A minor Opus post.
Cello: Alban Gerhardt
Sebastian Weigle conducts the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra

The Full Works Concert