MSR Classics | What’s New from Newtown?
Recent Releases

Spring has arrived, and not a moment too soon. In celebration of the season of renewal, let's celebrate with some new listening material from MSR. From time-honored favorites to exciting discoveries, there's more than plenty here to entertain and enlighten. To paraphrase a beloved slogan: "You're going to like what you hear. We guarantee it." Read on below for brief introductions to What's New from Newtown, all of which is available on CD, and for streaming and download.

Just in the door is a brand new, state-of-the-art digital remastering of BRAHMS' PIANO CONCERTO NO.2 IN B-FLAT as performed by Joshua Pierce with the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra under Kirk Trevor in top form. Pierce's handsome, inflected and often bold performance is heard in true digital clarity, but with an unmissable analog warmth. Coupled with the Brahms are attractive works by FRANCK and WEBER, each given an interpretation as convincing as that given the Brahms, again with engaging orchestral support and fine sonics. Right behind Pierce's Brahms is Volume 9, the final installment, of James Brawn's critically acclaimed BEETHOVEN ODYSSEY series of the complete piano sonatas. In this magnificent series wrap, Sonatas Nos.28 and 29 "Hammerklavier" are heard in clear, nuanced and highly individual performances. Brawn is in top form throughout. Also just in is another piano title, DANCES AND DREAMS - PIANO MUSIC FROM AROUND THE WORLD, performed in his solo debut recording by Hanren Zhang. Our gifted young soloist explores music rooted in dance from 13 countries, four continents and two centuries. Each of the composers represented brings a distinct palette that is inspired by indigenous influences, celebrated charismatically at the keyboard by Zhang. Also just in is Volume 1 of PIANO MUSIC OF CHARLES-VALENTIN ALKAN as performed in another MSR debut, this one by Igor Do Amaral. In the repertoire heard here, Amaral brings a light touch, employing plenty of energy when required, and always with the big picture (the arc) in sight. His playing exhibits youthful enthusiam, tempered here and there, perhaps, by a welcome touch of "old soul" tenderness. Also just in the door is SOLI DEO GLORIA, a truly grand organ recital performed on two instruments (full organ and portativ) made by the highly regarded C.B. Fisk company. At the keyboards is Barbara Bruns, whose technique and musical approach bring about magnificent results. Organists and music lovers in general are sure to derive great pleasure from this album. The full range of the organs are reproduced beautifully by the engineers. Also just in is the second release on MSR by the Auerbach-Pierce Duo, featuring violinist Dan Auerbach and pianist Joshua Pierce. In performing a program of engaging 20th CENTURY MUSIC FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO, the Duo displays hand-in-glove music-making. Auerbach and Pierce strike the perfect balance between adhering to the score and manifesting their own natural expressiveness. The recording (made at the fabled Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Albany, New York) puts the players decidedly in the listening space. Right behind the Auerbach-Pierce offering is a new soloist-with-orchestra title by Joshua Pierce that displays virtuosic-but-nuanced performances. The fourth installment in a Joshua Pierce "sub-series" on MSR that features works from Bach to Bloch and back to Haydn, RACHMANINOFF, RESPIGHI and CASELLA are on the ticket. The famous Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is given the performance of a lifetime, as are equally as compelling lesser-known large-scale piano-and-orchestra works by Respighi and Casella. Pierce's rendering of the famous Variation No.18 from the Rachmaninoff work is straight out of the mind's ear - don't miss it!


FINES FACULTATIS COGNITOS TRANSGREDERE

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."

[William H. Murray]

New Releases
BRAHMS: PIANO CONCERTO NO.2 IN B-FLAT
FRANCK: LES DJINNS; WEBER: CONCERTSTÜCK
Johannes Brahms, César Franck, Carl Maria Von Weber

JOSHUA PIERCE


2024 Digital Remastering

[MS1844]
NIGHTSONGS
Trumpet Impressions with Piano and Harp
Johann Sebastian Bach, Peter Maxwell Davies, Manuel De Falla, Jean Francaix, Carl Höhne, Richard Peaslee, Verne Reynolds, Toru Takemitsu

MAX OTTO MATZEN


[MS1818]
DISCOVERING THE CLASSICAL STRING TRIO
Volume 4
Johann Christian Bach, Luigi Boccherini, Joseph Haydn, Simon Leduc, Joseph Schmitt, Maddalena Lombardini Sirmen

THE VIVALDI PROJECT


[MS1624]
A BEETHOVEN ODYSSEY - VOL.9
A BEETHOVEN ODYSSEY - VOL.9
Piano Sonatas Nos.28 & 29
JAMES BRAWN

[MS1473]
DANCES AND DREAMS
DANCES AND DREAMS
Piano Music from Around the World
HANREN ZHANG

[MS1758]
CHARLES-VALENTIN ALKAN: PIANO MUSIC
CHARLES-VALENTIN ALKAN: PIANO MUSIC
Volume 1
IGOR DO AMARAL

[MS1851]
SOLI DEO GLORIA
SOLI DEO GLORIA
C.B. Fisk Organ Recital
BARBARA BRUNS

[MS1834]
SONATAS, SONGS AND CHANT
SONATAS, SONGS AND CHANT
20th Century Music for Violin and Piano
AUERBACH-PIERCE DUO

[MS1748]