Yi-Heng Yang’s latest recording on the fortepiano covers three early Romantic composers: Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert. She makes the case for the music, but equally for use of the fortepiano in this repertoire.
A champion of under-performed 18-century treasures for cello, Elinor Frey’s latest recording is high in virtuosity and appeal. As the cover suggests, she has two instruments at her disposal: one a standard Strad-model cello, the other a 3/4 size cello that allows several of the works to really sing.
This fantastic new disc, the Concerto di Margherita’s debut recording, includes an array of madrigals, arias, and villanelles for two to five voices, interspersed with instrumental works. The quality of the vocal production throughout is top-notch, and it is matched by that of the instruments, which shine as much in their various accompanying roles as in the standalone instrumental works.
In Three Notch’d Road’s latest recording, ‘Shining Shore: Music of Early America,’ the Charlottesville group has mined the rich heritage of its own musically fertile region, presenting a fresh, inviting line-up of short songs and instrumental works that were likely heard in Virginia or its preceding colony from the late 17th-to mid-19th-centuries.
Pietro Castrucci is not well enough known. He studied violin with Arcangelo Corelli, moved to London in 1715, and served as leader of Handel’s opera orchestra. Castrucci often performed with Handel and another of Corelli’s students in London, Francesco Geminiani. Although Castrucci’s compositional output is relatively small, his incredible invention and skill are much to be admired. This recording is the first complete set of his Op. 1 sonatas, a welcome addition to the Baroque violin repertoire.
American pianist David Hyun-su Kim’s historically informed recording of three familiar Robert Schumann masterworks—Papillons, Carnaval, and Arabeske—is brilliant artistry indeed. And his instrument is of special interest: a copy of an 1830s Graf fortepiano, made in 2013 by Rod Regier of Freeport, Maine, and based on an instrument given by Conrad Graf to Robert and Clara as a wedding present. Kim is sensitive to Schumann’s mercurial mood shifts, and he uses the fortepiano for sounds and effects that are hard to achieve on a modern instrument.