New Releases: Pablo Heras-Casado, Midori Seiler and Pavel Kolesnikov

Email a Friend

This week's featured albums include two releases by the German period-instrument ensemble Concerto Köln, featuring the music of Haydn and works associated with Farinelli. Plus, we hear a new traversal of Tchaikovsky's The Seasons.

Joseph Haydn: Violin Concertos
Midori Seiler
Concerto Köln
Berlin Classics

Not to be confused with Japanese-American violinist Midori Goto, Midori Seiler was raised in Salzburg, Austria and came to specialize in Baroque and Classical repertory. Today, she is a professor of Baroque violin and viola at the Liszt School of Music in Weimar, Germany and has made several recordings of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. Seiler's latest release fills in a historical gap in this trajectory, focusing on Haydn's three violin concertos. Joined by the period-instrument Concerto Köln, the violinist favors a purist approach with crisp attacks, scant vibrato, brisk tempos and a healthy sprinkling of Haydn's characteristic wit.

Pablo Heras-Casado, conductor
Concerto Köln
Archiv Production
Available at

No, this isn't another collection of arias associated with the legendary Italian castrato known as Farinelli. Rather, as the title suggests, the album is mostly instrumental, aside from two vocal tracks, and focuses on Farinelli's tenure as a sort of impresario to King Philip V in Madrid. There are rarely-performed symphonies by C.P.E. Bach and Johann Adolf Hasse; Spanish-inspired overtures by Jommelli, Traetta and Conforto; and two arias featuring the fine countertenor Bejun Mehta: Nicola Porpora's aria "Alto Giove" and "Vendado amor it, no ciego" by José de Nebra. Two Seguidillas by the latter composer will leave you in high spirits for the summer.

Tchaikovsky: The Seasons
Pavel Kolesnikov, piano
Available at

Summer arrives this Saturday and while there are plenty of warhorses to feature in celebration of the solstice, Tchaikovsky's 12 character pieces offer a more intimate, charming and atmospheric take on seasonal change. The young, Russian-born, London-based pianist Pavel Kolesnikov brings out the melodic beauties of this music, investing each with care and nuance, but retaining the structural lines of each piece. Also on the recording are the Six Morceaux, Op 19.

Below: Heras-Casado discusses the Farinelli album in a promotional trailer.