Hyperion is delighted to present Angela Hewitt’s third volume of Mozart piano concertos. Writing in The Observer, Stephen Pritchard wrote of the first volume that ‘Judging from this first example, it’s going to be a journey as revelatory as her exploration of all the major keyboard works of Bach’.
The Amadeus Quartet developed a reputation as one of the finest string quartets from the second half of the twentieth century. Its tradition and style were Viennese and its repertory was largely Austro-German: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms were at the core, though it performed works by Smetana, Franck, Bruckner, Bartók, Britten, Tippett, and other twentieth century composers. They also regularly performed quintets and sextets (Mozart, Brahms, Schubert, etc.), usually adding cellist William Pleeth and/or violist Cecil Aronowitz. The Amadeus was one of the longest-lived quartets, performing for 40 years without a personnel change, and it was also among the most popular string quartets in England, Germany, the United States, and parts of Europe. It made numerous recordings – many still available – for several labels, including DG, Decca, and EMI.
Ultimate Violin Classics: The Essential Masterpieces would be an appropriate title for this five-disc set of performances taken from EMI's archives, if it weren't for the word "The." These are certainly many of the greatest works for violin, but there are too many obvious omissions - solos by Bach, concertos by Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Brahms, to name just a few - for this to be considered a definitive collection of violin masterpieces. The collection is diverse: sonatas by Beethoven; concertos by Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Bruch; and many small encore-type works for violin and piano.
Decca has pulled together a blockbuster collection of many of opera's greatest hits from the standard repertoire. The selection is heavily weighted to the nineteenth century, and to Italian operas, but it does indeed offer a generous sampling of what the general public understands as the staples of the repertoire. It includes one Baroque aria, from Handel's Rodelinda, and several from the Classical era - two arias from Gluck's Orfeo ed Eurydice, and seven from Mozart's operas - and the rest range from the bel canto of Rossini to the verismo of Cilea and Puccini. The selection is primarily made up of arias, but includes ensembles, choruses, and orchestral excerpts.