Nicky Spence, Mariya Kaganskaya & Stéphanie d’Oustrac Lead New CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

This week audiences will get to hear music from Britain, Kenneth Leighton, and a rarely-heard Offenbach work. Here are the new releases:

Kenneth Leighton (1929-88) Every Living Creature

SOMM Recordings has released the latest offering from the chamber choir Londinium, directed by Andrew Griffiths, titled “Every Living Creature.” This album commemorates the 35th anniversary of the death of Kenneth Leighton and serves as a recital of his choral music, including five premiere recordings.

Folk Songs of the British Isles

Janis Kelly, Yvonne Howard, Maria Jagusz, Elaine Delmar, Wynne Evans, Nicky Spence, Mark Llewelyn Evans, Kevin Whately, Fiona Kelly, Jean Kelly, Caroline McCausland, Michael Pollock, and John Wilson are featured on SOMM Recordings’ new release. The album takes listeners on a musical journey across the four nations of the United Kingdom, celebrating the “living, breathing heritage of British and Irish folksong down the ages.” With 27 tracks, the album includes beloved classics such as “She Moved Through the Fair,” “The Last Rose of Summer,” “The Foggy Dew,” and “Down by the Salley Gardens.”

Royalties from the album will be donated to the Gwyn Williams Bursary Fund, which supports young violists at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and endows three viola chairs in the CBSO Youth Orchestra.

To My littler Dreamer 

Lexicon Classics has released Mariya Kaganskaya’s latest album, which is a heartfelt dedication to classical and folk lullabies from various cultures. The recordings feature collaboration with Alla Gladysheva, a pianist and professor at the SF Conservatory, as well as Kaganskaya’s own mother. The album was recorded during the weeks preceding the birth of Kaganskaya’s son, and it concludes with a special composition by Elinor Armer, created exclusively for him.

Secret Nights

The sibling duo of Sonja and Astrid Leutwyler, showcasing their talents as a mezzo-soprano and violinist respectively, along with pianist Benjamin Engeli, have released an album that reveals their unique exploration of vocals, violin, and piano. Through their performances, they bring to light lesser-known works by renowned composers in the genre of lieder. Adding depth to the trio, cellist Benjamin Nyffenegger performs in songs by Amy Beach and the composition “At Nighttime” by Arash Safaian.

Offenbach: La Périchole

Naxos has released a recording of Offenbach’s work from a 2022 production at the Opéra Comique. The cast features Stéphanie d’Oustrac, Philippe Talbot, Tassis Christoyannis, Éric Huchet, and Lionel Peintre. The Les Élements choir and Orchestre de chambre de Paris perform under conductor Julien Leroy. The production is directed by Valérie Lesort.


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