Schumann’s rarely recorded Das Paradies und die Peri featuring a superb lineup of soloists is set to become Sir Simon Rattle's debut recording on LSO Live with the release of this special boxset containing two SACDs and a Pure Audio Blu-ray disc. Well known as a champion of this rarely heard work, this is the first audio recording Rattle has made of Schumann’s great oratorio.

As Sir Simon Rattle says: "It’s the great masterpiece you’ve never heard, and there aren’t many of those now.... This is just something else, a complete anomaly if you think about it. In Schumann’s life it was the most popular piece he ever wrote, it was performed endlessly. Every composer loved it. Wagner wrote how jealous he was that Schumann had done it and he’d stolen this subject that he wanted to do and how extraordinary it was... It was a playground for composers and the piece was extraordinary."

Based on an episode from Thomas Moore’s epic poem Lalla Rookh, which was inspired by tales from Persian mythology, Das Paradies und die Peri reflects the 19th-century craze for all things oriental. Completed in 1843, Schumann’s ‘secular oratorio’ tells how the Peri, a legendary creature, was expelled from paradise and follows her quest to redeem herself by giving the gift that is most dear to heaven.

Soprano Sally Matthews gives a soaring performance as the Peri – showcasing Schumann’s imaginative and emotive vocal writing – and there are superb supporting performances from Mark Padmore, Kate Royal, Bernarda Fink, Andrew Staples and Florian Boesch.

The Schumann Das Paradies und die Peri concert was recorded live at the Barbican in January 2015 and goes on sale on 2 October 2015. It's available from all good music stores and digital music services and you can pre-order it here.