A Compelling Quartet of Recent Releases

1. Malcolm Hayes, writing on UK classical-music site Sinfini.com, marvels at the technical fidelity of this recording, made live at St. Paul’s Cathedral in June of 2012: “Don’t expect scampering pace and excitement. But if your taste runs to serious epics, then this recording offers a remarkable experience.” Click on the album cover to get it on Amazon.

2. “If you like Vivaldi played in the raw, this album will wash the Four Seasons right out of your ears,” says British reviewer Norman Lebrecht. The recording of six violin concertos feels at times like a jam session, he adds. Click to listen on Spotify, or click on the album cover to get it on Amazon.

3. Yundi Li came to world attention via his mastery of Chopin. Embarking on a tour of Europe in the spring of 2013, he’s turning his focus to Beethoven, releasing a recording of the most famous sonatas. The album is “a cheery whistle-stop tour through some of Beethoven’s most famous piano music, placing Yundi firmly among the world’s finest pianists,” says a reviewer for UK broadcaster ClassicFM. Click on the album cover to get it on Amazon.

4. American pianist Jonathan Biss is working his way through all of Beethoven’s sonatas – a nine-year quest. His just-released second volume presents Sonatas no. 4, no. 24 and the “Moonlight,” – no. 14, one of the three featured on Yundi’s album. NPR’s Tom Huizenga says “Biss unreels the music like a prayer to the universe.” Click on the album cover to get it on Amazon.