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This week the Full Works Concert profiles some of the finest new albums to have been released so far this year.
Our week of impressive new recordings kicks off with one of Haydn's most popular concertos - the Keyboard Concerto in F major. Tonight it is played by Marc-Andre Hamelin whose stylish playing combines exuberance and brilliant technique with a real sense of joy. One critic wrote that 'Hamelin weaves an enchanting spell…' This splendid new release sees him paired with the award-winning Canadian chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy and their director Bernard Labadie.
The versatile composer Nigel Hess, pictured above, is best known for his music for the film, Ladies in Lavender, and a piano concerto he wrote at the request of HRH The Prince of Wales as a posthumous tribute to the Queen Mother. In The Lochnagar Suite, Hess is inspired by Prince Charles' book, The Old Man of Lochnagar which tells of a character who lives in the cliff caves near the royal estate of Balmoral. In 2007, the National Youth Ballet of Great Britain created a new ballet based on this story, for which Hess wrote the score. It's played brilliantly by the Central Band of the RAF on its recent album, New London Pictures.
The cellist Jamie Walton joins forces with conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy to bring us a captivating version of Schumann's Cello Concerto in A minor. Walton has received high praise for his concerto and sonata recordings, and as a festival founder and director for the North York Moors Festival.
Jane's concert climaxes with Brahms' Symphony No. 1 in C minor performed by Swedish conductor Thomas Dausgaard with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. Their performances are often informal and the recordings are bright and breezy with a smaller ensemble, often employing historical performance techniques. So, this is not Brahms on a grand romantic scale but rather a performance that brings out elements of the work that might normally get buried under bigger orchestral forces.
Franz Josef Haydn: Keyboard Concerto in F major
Piano: Marc-Andre Hamelin
Bernard Labadie conducts Les Violons du Roy
Nigel Hess: The Lochnagar Suite
Nigel Hess conducts the Central Band of the Royal Air Force
Robert Schumann: Cello Concerto in A minor
Cello: Jamie Walton
Vladimir Ashkenazy conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.1 in C minor
Thomas Dausgaard conducts the Swedish Chamber Orchestra