October’s priority releases have a strong focus on the piano. Bach expert Angela Hewitt explores The Art of Fugue, Andreas Staier continues his survey of the music of Schumann and Denis Kozhukhin plays sonatas by Haydn. Volume 64 of Hyperion’s Romantic Piano Concerto series features works by Oswald and Napoloão played by Artur Pizarro and Maria João Pires plays the Schumann concerto in a set launching Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s new Mendelssohn symphony cycle for LSO Live. October’s wealth of concerto recordings also includes Jack Liebeck playing Bruch on volume 17 of Hyperion’s Romantic Violin Concerto series. Valery Gergiev leads the LSO in Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique and conducts the Mariinsky Orchestra on an opulent DVD and Blu-ray set of Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet. Baroque music is also featured this month, with a recording of early Italian works played by violinist Rachel Podger, an album of Vivaldi recorder concertos featuring Maurice Steger, acclaimed countertenor Lawrence Zazzo singing a selection of arias by Handel, Bononcini and Ariosti and new artists Raphaël Pichon and his ensemble Pygmalion performing J.S. Bach’s little-known Köthener Trauermusik. Hyperion’s star ensemble Polyphony returns to the music of Arvo Pärt for their second album of the Estonian composer’s choral works.
In non-classical releases, our top priority is Daniel Lavoie’s charming reading of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf in a jazz arrangement featuring The Amazing Keystone Big Band. Other key releases include Afrobeat legend Tony Allen’s Jazz Village début Film of Life, an album that features a cameo from rocker Damon Albarn, and quirky French band Lo’Jo’s special set celebrating their 35-year career.