Kathryn Lewek & Joel Prieto Lead New CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

This week, audiences will be able to experience a world premiere, a rarely performed operetta, a new version of Mozart’s Requiem, and a Shostakovich symphony. Here are the new releases we recommend you stream this weekend.

Shostakovich – Symphony No. 13 Babi Yar

The Russian National Orchestra continues its Shostakovich cycle with Symphony No. 13, “Babi Yar”, together with bass Oleg Tsibulko, the Popov Academy of Choral Arts Choir, the Kozhevnikov choir, and maestro Kirill Karabits.

This new recording is the Russian National Orchestra’s collaboration with a Ukrainian bass soloist and conductor, underlining the shared cultural and political heritage of both countries.

Ian Venables’ Requiem

SOMM Recordings releases the world premiere recording of Ian Venables’ Requiem with the Choir of Gloucester Cathedral conducted by the Cathedral’s Director of Music Adrian Partington and Assistant Director of Music Jonathan Hope playing the organ.

In a press release, Ian Venables said, “Composing a Requiem is a daunting creative challenge because so many great settings have been written in the past. However, as a composer of songs, words are always crucially important to me and I found that the words of the Mass for the Dead came to appeal to me strongly. I felt an overwhelming desire to set them to music.

“It was a great thrill for me to attend the recording sessions last November and I am delighted that Adrian Partington, his excellent choir and Jonathan Hope have brought my music so vividly to life.”

The disc also includes shorter pieces by Ivor Gurney, John Joubert, John Sanders, and Venables.

Mozart’s Requiem

Completed in lockdown by cellist Tony Woollard while recovering from Covid-19, Mozart Requiem arranged for Cello is a brand new arrangement for 20 cellos. The work is a brand new arrangement by Woollard with the virtuoso performing all 20 parts.

In a press release, Woollard said, “My biggest musical passion is Mozart’s Requiem. It is the greatest piece of music ever written. An idea to record it for cellos hatched six years ago with an arrangement I made of the Lacrimosa. It became popular on YouTube but there was never time to finish the whole arrangement. When the lockdown was announced I was stuck at home with all work canceled and left wondering what on earth would happen next.

“It became more apparent as daily death tolls became the new normal that it might be the right time to finish the Requiem. My living room has been used many times for recording sessions and I immediately started arranging and recording at home. At the end of each recording day, I would email audio files and video footage to my closest friend and producer, Andrew Holdsworth, who would mix the 20 cello parts together and create multi-screen videos for each movement.”

The new recording will be available to download or stream on Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, and Deezer.

Orphée aux Enfers

Offenbach’s renown operetta gets a release by C Major entertainment from the Salzburg Festival. The production Barrie Kosky stars Kathryn Lewek as Eurydice, Joel Prieto as Orpheus, Anne Sofie von Otter as Public Opinion, and Max Hopp as John Styx. Enrique Mazzola conducts the Vienna Philharmonic.


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