viernes, 30 de diciembre de 2016

Göttinger Symphonie Orchester / Christoph-Mathias Mueller CLAUDE DEBUSSY The Edgar Allan Poe Operas

Admired for his ability to manipulate tone color, Claude Debussy’s opera Pelleas et Melisande is regarded as a special masterpiece, even if it is a solitary one. Debussy was not known for opera. While Pelleas et Melisande was his only successful opera during his lifetime, it was not the only opera he composed. He made plans for future operatic projects, and he dedicated himself to two projects based on texts by Edgar Allen Poe. As the final years of his life were plagued by poor health, Debussy worked on “La Chute de la maison Usher” (The Fall of the House of Usher) until just before his death. The composer was distraught at the thought of leaving the work unfinished. He also was working on “Le Diable dans le Beffroi” (The Devil in the Belfry), but this work only survived in sketch form. English musicologist Robert Orledge, who is renowned for his expertise in early twentieth century French music, reconstructed both of these works with immense sensitivity to Debussy’s style, filling in all of the missing passages. While Debussy was alive, he promised the New York Metropolitan Opera the premiere of both of the operas, believing he would survive through their completion. This production featuring the Gottinger Symphonie Orchester is the world premiere of the works, in the way that Debussy would have had the Metropolitan Opera perform them. (Arkiv Music)

jueves, 29 de diciembre de 2016

Emmanuelle Bertrand LE VIOLONCELLE AU XXe SIÈCLE

Through these selected masterpieces of the repertoire for solo cello, Emmanuelle Bertrand invites us on a journey to the heart of languages of popular inspiration. When music takes over the idioms characteristic of each culture, pushing back the limits of instrumental technique, reshaping and dismantling the rules the better to express a specific identity, then the cello truly ‘speaks’ and takes us beyond frontiers, where the souls of a people take root.
This title was released for the first time in 2000/11.

miércoles, 28 de diciembre de 2016

James Ehnes / Andrew Armstrong ELGAR - DEBUSSY - RESPIGHI Violin Sonatas

The shadow of death hovers over Debussy’s Violin Sonata though you would never guess from its generally genial disposition: in 1915, with his creative urges stifled by the slaughter of the Great War (he wrote barely anything during 1914), Debussy discovered that he had cancer of the rectum, his mother died on 23 March, and his mother-in-law six days later. In the summer of 1915 he and his wife rented a house at Pourville on the Normandy coast and he began to compose again. ‘I want to work,’ he wrote to his publisher Durand, ‘not so much for myself, as to provide a proof, however small, that thirty million Boches can’t destroy French thought...’
Among the works produced in this creative outburst were the Sonatas for cello and piano and for flute, viola and harp. These were the first of a planned Six sonates pour instruments divers, par Claude Debussy – musicien français (as he now signed himself). The Sonata for violin and piano to which he turned in 1916 was to be the last of these he completed – and indeed his last major work – before his death. Debussy found its composition difficult, finishing the final movement, Très animé, in October 1916, four months before completing the two preceding movements – Allegro vivo and Intermède (marked Fantasque et léger). The composer himself with the violinist Gaston Poulet gave the premiere on 5 May 1917 in the Salle Gaveau in aid of the charity Foyer du soldat aveugle. He played the Sonata again in September that year at two concerts in Biarritz, concerts which proved to be his last public performances.
Debussy died aged just 55 on 5 March 1918. Just two days earlier in Bologna, Ottorino Respighi with his old violin teacher Federico Sarti had given the premiere of his new Sonata in B minor. Completed within months of Debussy’s, it was composed shortly after Fontane di Roma, the first triptych of Respighi’s great trilogy of Roman tone poems which shot the composer to international fame, and contemporary with his most popular work, La Boutique fantasque (the ballet, based on Rossini’s music, written for Diaghilev’s Ballets russes).
Respighi had, in fact, written a violin sonata prior to the B minor masterpiece – the Sonata in D minor completed in 1897. The influences of Schumann, maybe Franck and certainly Brahms are readily discernible in this assured student work. Respighi, whose own instruments were the violin, viola and piano, had then gone on to study composition with Giuseppe Martucci and afterwards Rimsky-Korsakov. Yet the B minor Sonata, while naturally more confident and individual, still retains a Brahmsian flavour. Witness the first movement, Moderato, with its constantly changing meters and soaring lyrical line which leads to the Andante espressivo second movement in E major, rising to a passionate climax. The finale, Allegro moderato ma energico, was inspired by the last movement of Brahms’s Fourth Symphony, a passacaglia. Interestingly, instead of a conventional eight bar phrase, the theme is ten bars long. It is repeated eighteen times within the movement through various modulations before a muscular, intense coda brings the work to a conclusion with its final bars (Largo) marked ffff.
Some five and a half months after the premiere of Respighi’s Sonata – on the morning of 20 August 1918 to be precise – Sir Edward Elgar noted laconically, ‘Wrote some music’. The music was the preliminary sketch for what was to be his Violin Sonata in E minor op.82. Having produced virtually nothing in the previous twelve months, a sudden burst of energy saw Elgar’s three great chamber works – the Sonata, String Quartet op.83 and Piano Quintet op.84 – composed at Brinkwells, his Sussex home, between that August morning and early 1919.
Like the violin sonatas by Debussy and Respighi, Elgar’s has three movements (Allegro, Andante, Allegro non troppo) but here, while it has an important and busy part, the piano plays the more traditional role of accompanist than in the French and Italian works. W.H. Reed, who gave the first public performance with Landon Ronald (Aeolian Hall, 21 March 1919) thought that the Andante, with its central section anticipating the third movement of the Cello Concerto, was ‘utterly unlike anything I have ever heard in chamber or other music: it is most fantastic, and full of subtle touches of great beauty’. Elgar himself described the finale as ‘very broad and soothing like the last movement of the 11nd Symphy’ [sic].
There is nothing in the work to hint of the existence of composers like Bartók and Schoenberg but, as the critic L. Dutton Green wrote of the Sonata, ‘[it] seems like a protest against the far-fetched devices of the ultra- moderns – it seems to say: See what can be done yet with old forms, the old methods of composing, the old scales: if you only know how to do it your work may yet be new, yet original, yet beautiful.’
Jean Sibelius gained a comprehensive knowledge of the violin, having studied the instrument at Helsinki Conservatory in his youth. The Violin Concerto displays to the full a formidable grasp of the instrument’s capabilities, and Sibelius toyed with the idea of a second violin concerto during the period of the sixth and seventh symphonies. However, like the mystical eighth symphony these plans came to nothing. What we do have however, is a wonderful collection of shorter works for violin and piano which unaccountably have remained in relative obscurity. Opus numbers 78 to 81 date from the years of World War I. Finland’s communications with the rest of Europe during the conflict were almost cut off, and for Sibelius this period of isolation was one of financial and spiritual hardship. The short works for violin and piano provided a way to make ends meet as Scandinavian publishers were happy to take less challenging fare during this period. The charming Berceuse op.79/6, the last of a set of six pieces, is a calm, melancholy lullaby. (Jeremy Nicholas / October 2015)

domingo, 25 de diciembre de 2016

Annelien Van Wauwe / Lucas Blondeel WEINBERG - PROKOFIEV Clarinet Sonatas

The young clarinetist Annelien Van Wauwe earned victory at the prestigious 61st Int’l ARD Music Competition in Munich 2012. On her debut GENUIN CD, recorded with pianist and fellow Belgian Lucas Blondeel, the duo features a three-piece program of Prokofiev and Weinberg. Highlighted by Prokofiev’s Op. 94 Sonata, the release is united in part by the Jewish themes and legacies apparent in the latter two of the works on this disc. Miss Van Wauwe is a regular festival invitee where she appears as both soloist and chamber musician, and has appeared as a soloist in prestigious halls throughout Europe.

sábado, 24 de diciembre de 2016

Isabelle Faust / Il Giardino Armonico / Giovanni Antonini WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Violin Concertos

The five most brilliant concertos for violin, all penned before the age of 19! Mozart was not even 15 years old when he began composing violin concertos that would serve as a backdrop at Salzburg receptions. An insatiable drive for independence would however lead the young Konzertmeister to overtly challenge musical forms, innovate with genres, humour and frivolity, all of which can be heard in this delightful first collaboration between Isabelle Faust and the musicians of Il Giardino Armonico.

“These wonderful performances have the air of chamber music, of close listening between soloist, band and director. Faust isn’t spotlit…but seems part of the ensemble, her sound growing out of the corporate entity to glitter, coax, snarl and soar as required…[a] thought-provoking and eminently enjoyable cycle” (Gramophone)

Faust and Il Giardino Armonico bring out the shades of colour in the music and revelling in the characteristic phrases, but never forcing the issue. It goes without saying that Faust's tone is just as sweet here as in her other recordings, and she puts just the right amount of playful rubato into the cadenzas without straying into self-indulgence.” (Presto Classical)

lunes, 19 de diciembre de 2016

Katia & Marielle Labèque INVOCATIONS

Katia and Marielle Labèque are sibling pianists renowned for their ensemble of synchronicity and energy. Their musical ambitions started at an early age and they rose to international fame with their contemporary rendition of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (one of the first gold records in classical music) and have since developed a stunning career with performances worldwide.
They are regular guests with the most prestigious orchestras such as the Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonic, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Filarmonia della Scala, Philadelphia Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle and Vienna Philharmonic, under the direction of Semyon Bychkov, Lionel Bringuier, Sir Colin Davis, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Kristjan Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Georges Prêtre, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas and Jaap van Zweden.
They have appeared with baroque music ensembles such as The English Baroque Soloists with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Il Giardino Armonico with Giovanni Antonini, Musica Antica with Reinhard Goebel and Venice Baroque with Andrea Marcon, il Pomo d’Oro and also toured with The Age of Enlightenment & Sir Simon Rattle.
Katia and Marielle have had the privilege of working with many composers including Thomas Adès, Louis Andriessen, Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, György Ligeti and Olivier Messiaen. On the 26th May 2015 Katia and Marielle gave in Los Angeles at Walt Disney Hall the world premiere of Philip Glass’s new Concerto (written for them) together with Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel. A new concerto by Bryce Dessner, written specially for the piano duo, will be ready in 2018.

sábado, 17 de diciembre de 2016

Les Paladins / Jérôme Correas MOLIÈRE À L'OPÉRA Stage music by JEAN-BAPTISTE LULLY

With Molière à l’opéra Jérôme Correas and Les Paladins bring their much-admired combination of Baroque musical stylishness and use of the technique of “parlé-chanté”, adding colour and contrast to the sung text, to comédies-ballets composed by Jean-Baptiste Lully and Marc-Antoine Charpentier during the reign of Louis XIV. The musical and theatrical partnership involving Lully and Molière – they were dubbed “les deux Baptiste” – was one of the most invigorating ever entered into, marrying melody, words, acting and a shared hunger for fame.
The collaboration spanned ten works over a decade from 1661. Although Molière never provided the words for a Lully “opera”, the great dramatist clearly inspired the composer who was ten years his junior, in his later tragédies lyriques, a view upheld by the essayist for this recording, Elizabeth Giuliani. 
As well as presenting scenes from Le Bourgeois gentilhomme, this new Glossa recording draws on the humorous end of the Molière/Lully partnership in Monsieur de Pourceaugnac as well as more tragic airs from Psyché, by way of the trio grotesque from Charpentier’s score for Le Mariage forcé. In Luanda Siqueira, Jean-François Lombard, Jérôme Billy and Virgile Ancely, Jérôme Correas has brought together a versatile vocal quartet, alive to the daunting and frequently crazy characterizations demanded by Lully and Molière. (GLOSSA Music)

Angela Hewitt JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Goldberg Variations

Hewitt's remake for Hyperion deploys her personal Fazioli concert grand. The instrument's hair-trigger response to note attacks and release yields complex hues that contrast with the rounder, relatively uniform sonorities of the beautiful Steinway featured on Hewitt's 1999 recording (4/00). More importantly, the pianist's enviable polyphonic acumen and dance-orientated conception continue to operate at full capacity, albeit on a deeper and subtler level, as comparative listening reveals.
As they say, the devil is in the details. For example, Hewitt tosses off Var 5's challenging cross-handed leaps more playfully, tempers Var 6's erstwhile fluctuations with greater expressive economy and allows Var 7's dialogue to flourish. Note, too, her nimbler dispatch of the Fughetta and the canon at the fourth (Var 12). By contrast, Var 19's heightened polyphony and slower tempo impart extra gravitas to the music's quasi-minuet character. Hewitt's octave doublings in Var 29 are grander and heftier, with closer attention to the cascading passagework's bass-lines.
Perhaps differences between Hewitt I and Hewitt II emerge most tellingly in the slower variations, including those three in the minor mode. Var 15 remains brisk and steady as before but the canonic voices now take on sharper focus as Hewitt follows through each line to its final destination.
The tender, yielding Var 21 of 1999 contrasts with a new-found urgency. In the celebrated 'Black Pearl', Var 25. Hewitt embarks on an intricate and thoughtful journey; earlier he pursued a less inflected more direct path. However, the way that Hewitt ravishingly fuses elasticity of line and eloquent proportion in the aria-like Var 13 is worth the price of admission, at any cost. It is piano playing for the ages. (Gramophone)

miércoles, 14 de diciembre de 2016

Collegium Vocale Bydgoszcz FINE KNACKS FOR LADIES

Collegium Vocale consort from the very beginning of its artistic path (1992) have incorporated Dowland’s songs in its repertoire, and performed them for many years in various configurations. Several presentations of solo performances and duets can be heard on the album “Bonjour, mon cœur” of 2006. The idea of recording the present CD is based on the consistent use of four-voice vocal ensemble. Why? We wanted to see, how songs, which are familiar to us in solo interpretations of Emma Kirkby, Barbara Bonney, Anne Sophie von Otter, Michael Chance, Nigel Rogers, Andreas Scholl and... Sting (among others), would sound in full 4-parts vocal performance. Do they lose its lightness, appeal and charm, or—in the contrary—the listener would discover more nuances, new layers of expression, hard to find in instrumental interpretations lacking words? Of course, we leave the evaluation of the effect to the audience. 
We invite to listen to a selection of most popular songs of John Dowland, interspersed with graceful instrumental miniatures performed on lute by Magda Tomsińska. We would like to encourage all vocal amateurs to actively perform this kind of music. 
We believe that the music lovers of today can appreciate it and get much pleasure and satisfaction from performing it, and it is really worth it to resurrect the great seventeenth-century tradition of home musicmaking. (Michal Zielinski)

Isabelle Druet / Anne LeBozec SHAKESPEARE SONGS

There are thousands of vocal and instrumental settings of Shakespeare's texts, drawn from his comedies, tragedies and sonnets alike. The music celebrating his verse covers more than four centuries: this fascination has lived on into the 20th century and does not appear to be running out of steam.
A linguistic virtuoso, a master of human emotions, an expert in Machiavellian stories of intrigue and tyranny, and a bard of love and of the moment - these are but a few of the many facets of the Shakespearian message. We follow him into the heart of humanity and its excesses, from madness to the
burlesque, from despair to bonhomie, from hatred of one's fellow man to universal love. So is it really surprising that so many composers in so many languages have used such a rich tapestry of humanity, or that we - the singers at the end of this great chain - have decided to devote a recital to him? Several figures recur: Ophelia “in her sweet madness” and Desdemona in her despair, two women of high birth, infinitely fragile, victims of the machinery of power, of the vengeance and jealousy that eats at the hearts of men. Also appearing regularly is the fool or jester, the only member of the court - where everyone is muzzled - who can tell the truth in the form of a caricature or lament.
But this program also has a certain lightness, for it too undergirds the world, and Shakespeare celebrates it with Silvia or Cymbeline: idealized female figures who are depicted with ardor, astonishment, and rapture.
Shakespeare shows us the path through this labyrinth. He knows where the world is headed.
Let's follow him! (Isabelle Druet & Anne Le Bozec)


martes, 13 de diciembre de 2016

Anne-Sophie Mutter MUTTERISSIMO The Art of Anne-Sophie Mutter

It was in August 1976 at the Lucerne Festival that Anne-Sophie Mutter first set foot on the world’s stage. She was thirteen at the time. The following year she made her Salzburg Whitsun Festival debut under Herbert von Karajan, and a year after that her first recording was released by Deutsche Grammophon. The words “child prodigy” inevitably appeared in the newspapers. “I was half-aware of what was being said,” the violinist recalls, “but it was of little interest to me. I knew that I was a child. And the ‘prodigy’ part struck me as somehow comical.” To become world-famous as a teenager practically overnight was gratifying, of course, but it was also an emotional and a mental challenge. “As a result I learnt from a very early age to adopt a realistic attitude to all that was written about me and to place a certain distance between it and my private life.” This down-to-earth attitude was to prove useful to Anne-Sophie Mutter, for what followed was an international career unlike that of any other subsequent violinist.

Universally considered as one of the greatest violinists of our time, Anne-Sophie Mutter’s stunning and multi-faceted music-making extends across masterworks from the full breadth of the violin repertoire.
Mutterissimo – The Art of Anne-Sophie Mutter is a selection of highlights from her discography, personally picked by Mutter herself, bringing together recordings that date for the most part from the last twenty years. It invites listeners to undertake two tours of Anne-Sophie Mutter’s multiple worlds of music:
The first explores the highways and byways of the core repertory and features well-known works for violin and orchestra by Dvořák and Schumann alongside less familiar pieces. The second one, often with Mutter’s long-standing piano partner, Lambert Orkis, combines virtuosity and light-heartedness; the popular and the surprising; and emotion and rhythmic energy. 
For many years Anne-Sophie Mutter has performed not only in major international concert halls but recently also in clubs, where a young audience, largely unconcerned with traditional rituals, reacts to the music much more spontaneously. It is only logical, therefore, that she increasingly uses social media to engage in a dialogue with her fans.

Hugues Chabert / Élisa Huteau SERGEI RACHMANINOV Études-Tableaux op. 39 - Sonate op. 19

Between chamber music and solo recital, Hugues Chabert has chosen not to choose, bringing together in his debut album the two inseparable components of his life as a pianist.
Oscillating between deep interiority and expressive generosity, the Etudes-tableaux op.39 and Cello sonata op.39 are pure jewels of instrumental lyricism, introducing two facets of Rachmaninov's music.

jueves, 8 de diciembre de 2016

Barbara Hannigan HANS ABRAHAMSEN / PAUL GRIFFITHS Let Me Tell You

“As this filtration process is itself worked through Abrahamsen’s half-hour score, however, the idea has undergone another transformation. The spare yet pregnant lines of text meet Abrahamsen’s finely spun textures and each word feels felt and weighed in music. Possibly you don’t even need to know that Barbara Hannigan is singing Ophelia’s words any more, yet her vehemence and passion suggest she thinks justice is finally being done to a woman who never did get much chance to tell her side of the story.
Hannigan premiered the piece in 2013 (then it was performed by the Berlin Philharmonic under Andris Nelsons; now the Latvian has recorded it with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra) and had reportedly coached the composer on the intricacies of vocal music for what was his first sung work. One imagines these sessions produced the use of stile concitato emphases on repeated syllables, a flick of Monteverdi added to a more usual Hannigan repertoire of jarring leaps and plunges across her formidable range.
The Bard’s Ophelia drowned in the brook; this one wanders into the snow, her tread hypnotically evoked by paper softly rubbed around the skin of a bass drum. It’s a tiny, tragic Winterreise, but its final sung echoes are defiant: ‘I will go on’. The rest is silence.” (Gramophone, February 2016)

domingo, 4 de diciembre de 2016

Anna Netrebko / Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor / Münchner Rundfunkorchester / Marco Armiliato PUCCINI Manon Lescaut

It is rare for an artist to break through the boundaries of classical music stardom and achieve recognition in the wider world, but Anna Netrebko has achieved that and more. In a recording career stretching a mere dozen years she has not only seduced the classical scene with the beauty of her voice, her superb vocal control and supreme musicality, she has also become an interna­tional icon. More than an operatic diva, Anna Netrebko is an enormously charismatic individual whose vivacious style and dazzling stage presence are as celebrated as her musical artistry.
Her future plans include her latest return to the Met, this time as Manon Lescaut (November / December 2016), and appearances as Lady Macbeth at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich (December 2016). Before that, she will give three concert performances of Manon Lescaut at this summer’s Salzburg Festival, starring opposite her husband, tenor Yusif Eyvazov, with whom she will also give concerts in Hamburg and Cologne as a prelude to the 2 September launch of Verismo, her latest album for Deutsche Grammophon. 
A passionate advocate for children’s causes, Netrebko supports a number of charitable organisations, including SOS-Kinderdorf International and the Russian Children’s Welfare Society. She is a global ambassador for Chopard jewellery. Her many and varied interests all contribute to her artistry and provide insight into her ability to immerse herself so deeply in a role, whether tragic or comic. It is easy to see why Gramophone enthused as follows: “When I hear Anna Netrebko sing, live, I don’t want her to stop … Remember the days of rapturous standing ovations, when the sound of a singer’s voice would really drive people wild? That’s the kind of voice Netrebko has … She is also a stage animal … she is fuelled by sheer talent and instinct … I’d take Netrebko over anyone out there, any time.” 8/2016

sábado, 3 de diciembre de 2016

MEREDITH MONK On Behalf Of Nature

“I work in between the cracks,” says vocalist/composer/performance artist Meredith Monk, “where the voice starts dancing, the body starts singing, the theatre becomes cinema.” In a way, everything she does is about ecology – that interconnectedness; those wild vocal noises – and On Behalf of Nature is a treatise without text, an outcry without words. She wants the work: “to expand our awareness of what we are in danger of losing”, and she does that by making music that sounds as if it comes from the earth, feet planted in the mud, voices erupting and gusting and keening. As a live show its physical gestures were a bit stilted and obscure; for me it’s more articulate as music alone. And though Monk’s incredible technical range is going, the softer stuff is still enthrallingly playful and ritualistic. Sometimes it feels weird being a bystander to her music: this kind of elemental rite should involve us all. (

Simon Rattle / Berliner Philharmoniker THE SOUND OF SIMON RATTLE

The Musical intoxication of a great era: on 7 September, 2002, Sir Simon Rattle was appointed new Principal Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, marking the start of a new and memorable era for the world of music. Rattle has opened up new repertoire channels for the musicians, endowed the tradition-steeped ensemble with a youthful image and established the inimitable 'Rattle Sound'. Great moments – brought together here for the first time on 3 CDs.

viernes, 2 de diciembre de 2016

Gustavo Dudamel / Wiener Philharmoniker MODEST MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition

Gustavo Dudamel and the Wiener Philharmoniker release their latest recording with Deutsche Grammophon, an all-Russian album out now.The album couples two selections by Mussorgsky – Pictures at an Exhibition, orchestrated by Ravel, and A Night on Bald Mountain – with Tchaikovsky's Waltz from Swan Lake
While making the album at Vienna's Musikverein in April 2016, Gustavo and members of the orchestra participated in workshops alongside young people from the El Sistema-inspired Superar. The program is based in one of Vienna's most ethnically and culturally diverse neighborhoods and offers music lessons to around 900 children between the ages of five and sixteen.
"For our current recording project, a wonderful program of Russian delights, the Wiener Philharmoniker and I have joined forces with children from Superar, offering young people of a range of backgrounds the opportunity to engage with themes from Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition," says Gustavo. "The sense of collective engagement through music – of individuals learning, listening and creating together – resonates in the living tradition of the Wiener Philharmoniker, inspires our artistic collaboration and fuels our desire to share music's transformative power with future generations."

miércoles, 30 de noviembre de 2016

Johannes Moser / Andrei Korobeinikov RACHMANINOV - PROKOFIEV Works for Cello and Piano

The achingly beautiful, haunting lyricism of early Rachmaninov and the soaring effusiveness of late Prokofiev are glowingly brought to life by the German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser and the Russian pianist Andrei Korobeinikov in this new release from PENTATONE of richly expressive 20th century cello sonatas and other works.
Composed during troubled periods in the composers’ lives, the cello sonatas are life-affirming works. Rachmaninov’s arresting sonata which he wrote following a nervous breakdown is not unlike his perennially popular Second Piano Concerto: a journey from brooding melancholy to untrammelled joy, with a transcendentally beautiful slow movement. Prokofiev wrote his outstanding sonata while labouring under considerable hardship. It is by turns restrained and movingly lyrical, but the hair-raising final movement with its bravura passagework ends the work in a blaze of defiance. 
“Both Rachmaninov and Prokofiev are genius musical storytellers,” Moser said in a recent interview. “Both have their own very personal and individual language, but they are at the same time deeply rooted in the epic Russian tradition…When we recorded the album, we were very inspired by images of wide open nature, Russian folklore, as well as the longing and humour that both composers share.”
“The Rachmaninov sonata is a piece that I’ve been avoiding for many  years,” he added, “because I was waiting for the right partnership. And so to have a champion of Rachmaninov’s music like Andrei … it’s been very exciting for me to go on that journey with him.”
Described by Gramophone as “one of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists” and by the LA Times as a musician who “…connects with the audience in a way that only great artists do”, this is Johannes Moser’s second outing for PENTATONE. His first album of concertos by Dvořák and Lalo was widely praised for his “performance of enormous flair and effervescence” (BBC Music Magazine) and “his dazzling virtuosity, free, passionate phrasing and immense energy … that recalls Pablo Casals’ iconic 1937 recording” (Strings). And he electrified audiences at this year’s BBC Proms in a performance of Dutilleux’s ‘Tout un monde lointain ...’
About this recording, Moser said “When we were talking about repertoire with PENTATONE, I thought about doing a really core repertoire Russian disc with this amazing Russian pianist [Andrei Korobeinikov]…He is a true master and true champion of this music and I feel very honoured to have him as a partner on this disc.”
Johannes Moser plays on a cello by Andrea Guaneri, made in 1694, from a private collection.

Alexander Melnikov PAUL HINDEMITH Sonatas for...

If there is a Cinderella among Hindemith’s three dozen(ish) sonatas, it’s not that for double bass, tuba, or even the Canonic Sonatina for two flutes, but the Sonata for althorn (1943). A tenor instrument, known in the US as the alto horn, it is so rare that Hindemith accepted his sonata could be played on the horn or alto saxophone. It is a delightful work for a delightful instrument, beautifully rendered here. 
Melnikov’s role parallels that of Glenn Gould but his accounts are less wayward than the Canadian’s, his soloists generally stronger. Indeed, in most of the sonatas, the primary competition comes from one-off recordings (now that Ensemble Villa Musica’s almost-complete sonata set, with pianist Kalle Randalu, is unavailable). On BIS, Roland Pöntinen is accompanist for three rival accounts. In the 1935 Violin Sonata, Wallin may now have been overtaken by Zimmermann, Becker-Bender and now Isabelle Faust but choice will depend primarily on couplings since the margins between these contenders is so fine. 
So, too, with the others, though Wendy Warner remains peerless in the Cello Sonata despite a fine challenger here from Rudin. I would not want to be without Lindberg’s Trombone Sonata, though BIS’s sound is a tad over-resonant. Costes’s superb interpretation is the finest since Antonsen’s, accompanied by Sawallisch (EMI – sadly nla), and certainly a match for Laubin’s. I prefer Costes to Tine Thing Helseth’s driven account with Kathryn Stott, in a comparatively fierce recording. In short then, this is a magnificent disc, with leading or contending versions of all the works in terrific, beautifully balanced Harmonia Mundi sound. Let’s hope Melnikov & Co return to record some more. (Gramophone)

martes, 29 de noviembre de 2016

Benjamin Grosvenor HOMAGES

Benjamin Grosvenor's fourth album on the Decca Classics label, Homages explores works by great composers paying tribute to their predecessors.
Mendelssohn and Franck look back to the Prelude & Fugue form made so popular by Bach. Busoni takes Bach's great solo violin Chaconne and reinterprets it in a bold and imaginative transcription for piano. Chopin breathes new life into the traditional Barcarolle of Venetian gondoliers, followed ten years later by Liszt's tribute to Italian folk song, Venezia e Napoli.  

"Benjamin Grosvenor has the art (and the patience and courage) to plan ingenious programmes which offer a multicoloured zig zag between styles and moods ... His pianistic ingenuity, his lyrical voice and aristocratic distinction, remind one of the young Josef Hofmann or Ignaz Friedman. The whole recital is charged with Romantic élan. [In the Bach-Busoni Chaconne] Benjamin Grosvenor's way is highly articulate and grandiloquent, rendering a flaming vision ... a feeling of unity despite the abundance of motifs; infinite fantasy in the ornamentation yet exactitude in the outlining structure; a sonorous framework arranged with distinction, like the overlapping sculptures that adorn doorways; moments of sweetness or of solemnity."
- Diapason, September 2016 (awarded Diapason d'Or)

lunes, 28 de noviembre de 2016

Rudolf Buchbinder / Zubin Mehta / Wiener Philharmoniker BRAHMS The Piano Concertos

This recording unites pianist Rudolf Buchbinder with his friend and conductor Zubin Mehta with whom he has built an intimate musical rapport. They are joined on this album by the Wiener Philharmoniker, an orchestra with which Buchbinder has appeared over many decades and enjoyed some of the greatest triumphs of his career.
Approaching his 70th birthday, Buchbinder once more revisits the concertos as a result of his increasing awareness of Brahms’ music.

“With Brahms, most people are struck only by the idea that his music is incredibly difficult and complex. But sometimes it requires a whole lifetime to become intimate with Brahms’ sound world and achieve the maturity that gives you a new freedom as a performer.” (Rudolf Buchbinder).

sábado, 26 de noviembre de 2016

Katia & Marielle Labèque SISTERS

“Whether Mozart or Stravinsky, their musical line always sounds as if it’s being woven for the very first time... But the illusion of improvisation is the genius of their performances. In all their recordings there is a deceptive sprezzatura that is born of throwing the preparation to the winds and hanging onto each others ears.” The Times

Katia and Marielle Labèque are sibling pianists renowned for their ensemble of synchronicity and energy. Their musical ambitions started at an early age and they rose to international fame with their contemporary rendition of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue (one of the first gold records in classical music) and have since developed a stunning career with performances worldwide.
Katia and Marielle Labèque also launched the KML Foundation, aimed at furthering research and developing awareness of the duo piano repertoire through meetings between artists of all fields. One of the Foundation latest projects is a concert around Moondog's music, in collaboration with Kings Place in London, in continuity to their work on Minimalist composers.
In May 2015 the show Love Stories with the new piece Star-Cross'd Lovers by David Chalmin was premiered at the Paris Philharmonie. This original composition for two pianos, electric guitar and drums is based on the Shakespearean drama Romeo and Juliet. The choreography for 7 dancers is created by world-renowned break-dancer Yaman Okur (Madonna, Cirque du Soleil). The show was also presented in Paris in June 2016 at Chatelet, and the European tour will last until October 2016.
A record audience of more then 100.000 attended the Vienna Summer Night Concert 2016 in Schönbrunn (now available on CD and DVD by Sony), where Katia and Marielle played with the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Semyon Bychkov. More then 1,5 Milliard viewer followed the event worldwide on the TV.
Labèque’s label KML Recordings joined in Summer 2016 the historical label Deutsche Grammophon. A 2 CDs re-edition of their album Minimalist Dream House follow their concert at the Philharmonie de Paris on the 25th of September together with the first recording of their project “Love Stories”.

Katia & Marielle Labèque MINIMALIST DREAM HOUSE

To be musically avant-garde in the 1950s meant to be difficult. Not by the end of the 1960s. That decade saw a group of American beatniks overthrow the musical givens of postwar Europe. In a series of disobediently straightforward compositions La Monte Young, Terry Jennings, Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Philip Glass declared that music could be clear, honest, pretty and experimental. Turning their backs on the conventional centres of musical power, the earliest minimalist works got their first public audience in La Monte Young's 1960-61 Chamber Street Series in Yoko Ono's New York loft. Through the 1960s in art galleries and alternative spaces, the minimalists slowly demystified, democratised and Americanised European modernism. They rejected the angst (what Philip Glass would call "crazy creepy music"). They rejected the invisible games. They rejected the theatricality. "I don't know any secrets of structure that you can't hear," wrote Steve Reich in his 1968 minimalist manifesto, Music as a Gradual Process. Minimalism claimed that there was enough interest in the sounding process itself and enough new territory to be explored in rhythmic patterning to sustain a work. If one removed the Baroque complications - the harmonic story-telling and thematic cleverness - that were obscuring the natural beauties of rhythm and sound, what would be revealed and discovered could provide classical music with a new lease of life. They were right. Minimalism was the last great musical revolution of the 20th century. And it became the most influential and successful ism of them all. In the spirit of the loft concerts we also present new works by David Chalmin, Raphael Seguinier.

viernes, 25 de noviembre de 2016

Cho Seong-jin / London Symphony Orchestra / Gianandrea Noseda CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 1 - Ballades

Cho Seong-jin, winner of this year's International Chopin Piano Competition, will release his debut album with the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Italian conductor Gianandrea Noseda, Deutsche Grammophon announced, Monday. He had initially planned to make his debut studio recording with conductor Chung Myung-whun, former music director of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO). 
Cho was scheduled to start recording Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Chopin's four Ballades in April under the baton of maestro Chung and the Staatskapelle Dresden Orchestra where Chung has been principal guest conductor since the 2012-13 season.  
Chung reportedly canceled the recording because of personal reasons. 
Also Chung will no longer conduct Cho's Chopin performance with the SPO at Seoul Arts Center, July 15. He will be replaced by French conductor Yan Pascal Torteller. 
The pianist will be performing the award-winning Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 that shot him to fame last October by making him the first Korean to win the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition. (Park Jin-hai)

I Solisti di Pavia / Enrico Dindo ANTONIO VIVALDI Cello Concertos

On the 9th December 2001, Mstislav Rostropovich accepted the honorary presidentship of the rising Chamber Orchestra I Solisti di Pavia, born from Enrico Dindo’s passion and the Banca del Monte di Lombardia Foundation’s sponsorship.
Thanks to the talent and enthusiasm of its conductor, Enrico Dindo, in over ten years of  activity I Solisti reached excellence, thus representing an important presence in Pavia and a well-established reality in the musical scenery, both in Italy and abroad.
In June 2002, I Solisti did their first international tour, performing in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Vilnius, followed by two important dates in Beirut and Algiers in 2002, where they played to celebrate the end of the six-month Italian Presidency of the European Union, and a long tour through the major South American theatres in 2006. In 2008 and 2009, they inaugurated the “Malta Festival” in the prestigious setting of Palace Cluyard.
In November 2011, I Solisti di Pavia debuted at La Scala in Milan and at the Hermitage Theatre in Saint Petersburg.
In autumn, they often perform monographic cycles of three concerts in Pavia, including not only Bach’s Six Brandenburg Concertos, but also his Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, early Mendelssohn’s Thirteen String Symphonies, Händel’s Twelve Grand Concertos, and Corelli’s Twelve Grand Concertos op. 6, chamber music by L.V. Beethoven and J. Brahms, and the traditional Easter Concert.

jueves, 24 de noviembre de 2016

Doric String Quartet / Allison Bell BRETT DEAN Epitaphs - String Quartet No. 1 - String Quartet No. 2

It is impossible to talk about the chamber music of the Australian composer Brett Dean without mentioning that he was principal viola of the Berlin Philharmonic. Inevitably he understands string textures from the inside, with compelling results. The excellent Doric Quartet rise to the challenges of these elegiac works. Eclipse (String Quartet No 1), particularly timely, conjures the despair of the boat people rescued from the Indian Ocean by the Norwegian freighter Tampa in 2001, then denied admission to Australia. The three movements flicker between light and dark, turbulence and calm. Five Epitaphs offer moving portraits of five dead friends, including the conductor Richard Hickox. The Quartet No 2, ”And once I played Ophelia” (2013), has a part, too, for soprano (Allison Bell) which began as the seeds of an unwritten Hamlet opera. Tense, tender and original, it’s a tough but rewarding listen. (The Guardian)

miércoles, 23 de noviembre de 2016

Giuseppe Albanese APRÈS UNE LECTURE DE LISZT

One of the most sought-after Italian pianists of his generation, Giuseppe Albanese has performed throughout Italy and abroad, with praise for his performances as "ravishingly beautiful" and "truly superlative". First prize winner at Premio Venezia, the most important national piano competition in Italy, Albanese also won the first prize at London 2003 Vendome Prize International Piano Competition, headed by Sir Jeffrey Tate and defined by Le Figaro as "the piano world's most prestigious award". He was also awarded the special prize for the 'best execution of contemporary music' at the 54th Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano.
In 2014, Albanese has made his debut on Deutsche Grammophon label with "Fantasia", a concept album featuring Beethoven's Sonata quasi una Fantasia Op. 27 No. 2, Schubert's Wanderer Fantasy Op. 15 and Schumann's Fantasy Op. 17.

martes, 22 de noviembre de 2016

Steven Isserlis / Richard Egarr BACH – HANDEL – SCARLATTI Gamba Sonatas

None of these pieces was written for cello and harpsichord, and at no stage does that matter one bit. Bach’s sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord may not have been conceived for that combination but they are such sublime creations that the identity of the instruments is perhaps the last thing that should worry us. Rather, it is the performers’ musicianship that counts, and in this case that is of high quality indeed. 
Steven Isserlis makes no attempt to make his cello imitate the wispy resonance of the gamba, instead claiming the music for his instrument with vigorously articulated lines, robust technical athleticism and ravishing cantabile. Indeed, it is this wondrous singing quality—which never loses its bearing and employs vibrato only as one of its discreet expressive elements—that stands out in these performances, its presence felt above all in the slow movements, of course, but also constantly governing the sense of line in busier ones. Also telling is the profound awareness of architecture and the inter-relationship of movements, for instance in the gathering joy with which the finale of BWV1027 picks us off the floor following the sudden shaft of desolation that has ended the preceding Andante (astutely likened by Isserlis to ‘Es ist vollbracht’ from the St John Passion). In short, these are full-blooded but sensitive readings which, far from being contrary to Bach’s spirit, seem rather to magnify it. 
Isserlis is excellently partnered at every turn by Richard Egarr’s bustling harpsichord-playing, though I would have liked a greater presence for it in the balance to give more definition to the unsupported bass-line. In the two non-Bach items—sonatas probably originally conceived for violin and continuo by Handel and Scarlatti (the latter working up a fiery head)—the balance works better, with Egarr typically inventive and Robin Michael’s lightly drawn doubling of the bass adding just enough weight without drawing attention to itself. Otherwise, they show the same quality in performance as the Bach—namely first-class. (Gramophone)

domingo, 20 de noviembre de 2016

Jenny Lin FEDERICO MOMPOU Música Callada - Secreto

Música Callada (Music of Silence) is a very special work, one of the most beautiful and elusive in the entire piano repertoire. It is extremely difficult to perform. On the one hand, there’s the temptation to stretch each piece out hypnotically, if monotonously, while quicker speeds preserve the music’s melodic essence at the expense of much of its atmosphere and harmonic richness. For although much of the music is indeed quiet, and none of it moves quickly, it is all meaningful.
Mompou himself found the perfect balance between incident and repose, and of all the pianists since, Jenny Lin arguably comes closest to doing the same, only in much better sound. It’s not so much that her tempos match Mompou’s own (she’s actually not copying him–it would hardly be possible in a work containing 28 individual pieces), but rather that her phrasing and sense of timing let the music breathe and sing with its own special poetry. To take just one example, consider the sadness that Lin finds in the fourth piece, “Afflitto e penoso”, by allowing the piece’s harmonic color time to speak simply and eloquently.
Another secret of her success is the splendid equilibrium between left and right hands. The treble gleams, bell-like, while the sonorous bass lines carry the music right through the many pauses, aided in no small degree by discretely timed use of the pedals. “Secreto”, from the early Impresiones intimas, makes the perfect encore and rounds out the program in a most satisfying way. If Música Callada represents Mompou’s masterpiece, then this beautifully engineered disc must be its finest modern recording. It deserves a home in every serious piano music collection. (David Hurwitz / Classics Today)

Céline Frisch JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Variations Goldberg

Here is a package that satisfies intellectual curiosity and is musically delightful. This two-disc set begins with a precise, but still musical, harpsichord performance of Bach's Goldberg Variations by Céline Frisch. Her Aria is clean, with both the melody and the bass line countermelody clear and phrased so that everything comes together well. Her ornaments fit naturally into the melodies throughout the variations, without drawing attention away from the tune, and she always has a sense of direction and forward momentum. The second disc contains the 14 canons on the first eight notes of the bass of the Aria from the Goldberg Variations and the two songs that are contained in the quodlibet near the end of the Variations. The canons are rich and warm performed by Café Zimmermann, a string sextet that includes a double bass, with excellent contrasts in the feel of each canon. The song Cabbages and Turnips Have Driven Me Away is the highlight of the two discs. Period instruments accompany Dominique Visse as he sings about a hunter bringing a girl home to meet his mother. Visse switches from a jolly, idiomatic tenor voice for the hunter to a smooth alto for the girl, and a slightly grating alto for the mother, often in mid-verse. The humor he and the musicians put into the song will produce a smile, and perhaps actual laughter from those who follow the lyrics included in the notes. The second song, Ich bin so lang nicht bei dir gewest, is a dance that begins with a slow, improvisatory violin solo over a hurdy-gurdy drone. The Baroque guitar, cittern, flute, and percussion join in as the dance goes on and accelerates, in lively spirits, stopping before reaching a dizzying speed. Altogether, as well as being a good listen, the programming and the performances of this package give a little more insight into Bach's talent and what inspired him. (Patsy Morita)

Marie Hallynck / London Symphony Orchestra DIRK BROSSÉ Cello Concerto for Isabelle

To me music is an all encompassing vital need. This universal language has since time immemorial had the strength to unite people and cultures beyond the frontiers of time and space. It is contagious and has an addictive effect; it is ubiquitous and is never disappointing. It has become my master and gives the energy and inspiration to translate the world around me into sounds. Every day it gives the strength to move that one stone in the river one millimetre forward. It is the language that helps me articulate my thoughts and emotions and daily shows me the path towards greater wisdom and beauty.
Composing is a commitment; it is my life’s mission. For me composing means creating a vacuum around myself and allowing myself to be submerged by impressions. It is a continual struggle between fantasy and reality, between dream and reality. Out of chaos of sounds and emotions I try to order my thoughts by juggling shreds of melodies, original chords, striking sound colours and alternating rhythms. Melody, harmony, rhythm and sound colours are finally balanced to generate a harmonious universe. 
I wish to share this new music with all of you now, later and forever… 
My approach to conducting is altogether different. The notes help me to discover the person behind the composer. I try to decipher their codes until I perceive their sole. Only then can you truly understand and perform their music. This is the path I have adopted. 
I look forward to you joining me on this voyage of discovery…  (Dirk Brossé)

Jamie Barton / Brian Zeger ALL WHO WANDER

Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton burst upon the global opera and concert scene in recent years after having won many of the world's most prestigious prizes for vocal excellence and accomplishments. Delos has scored a major coup in releasing her debut album. Jamie's well-chosen program of late-Romantic repertoire begins with eight of Gustav Mahler's finest lieder- including his wonderful Five Ruckert Songs- before treating us to the rare delights of Antonin Dvorak's song cycle Gypsy Songs. Her album concludes with even more seldom-heard selections from the many lovely Swedish-language songs of Finnish master Jean Sibelius. This sublime release- further graced by pianist Brian Zeger's peerless collaboration- will take your breath away, and leave you hungry for more from Jamie Barton, considered by many of the world's top vocal and operatic experts to be the rising mezzo of our time.  

"A great artist, no question, with an imperturbable steadiness of tone, and a nobility of utterance that invites comparison not so much with her contemporaries as with mid-20th century greats such as Kirsten Flagstad.” (The Guardian) 

“The world has been waiting for this voice for a long time – one that reminds you of how capable the human voice is of creating something of absolute beauty. Jamie pours all of her heart into every phrase of this deeply personal debut album. You will be utterly transported.” (Joyce DiDonato)

sábado, 19 de noviembre de 2016

Cappella Amsterdam / Daniel Reuss ARVO PÄRT Kanon Pokajanen

Since his conversion to the Orthodox faith in the early 1970s, Arvo Pärt has composed a large number of works of religious inspiration. He is attached to the Latin language, and has borrowed numerous texts from the Roman Catholic liturgy (masses, Stabat Mater, Salve Regina and others), but he naturally feels particularly close to Orthodox spirituality, which has been the source of both instrumental compositions (Silouan’s Song, Trisagion) and vocal works. In his settings of Orthodox prayers, Pärt sometimes makes use of English translations (Litany, Triodion), but on certain occasions he prefers to retain Church Slavonic, the of cial language of the Russian Orthodox liturgy. This is the case with the Kanon Pokajanen (Canon of Repentance), at once his most monumental work and one of the very rare musical settings of a canon (kānon), a poetico-liturgical genre dating from the Byzantine era.
The Kanon Pokajanen (Canon of Repentance), premiered in March 1998, is Arvo Pärt’s most monumental composition. Its prolonged genesis, a meticulous process of assimilation of the text in Church Slavonic, the austerity and subtlety of its style embody the same sincerity, the same spiritual and contemplative radiance as icon painting. A dialogue with the Sacred in which time stands still.

Jérôme Pernoo / Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo / Jean-Christophe Spinosi GUILLAUME CONNESSON Lucifer

Listen blind and you’d never guess this was music by a Frenchman operating in the post-Boulez era, the best clues being the iridescent sonorities achieved throughout and the reliance on early Messiaen as a model for the paradisiacal element of the third movement of the Cello Concerto (2008). As Guillaume Connesson himself admits, Shostakovich, John Adams, pop and jazz mean more to him than his intellectualising predecessors, so it is perhaps inevitable that the great Russian should influence key moments in his own Cello Concerto. Of course Shostakovich was writing for Rostropovich in a very different, anti-hedonistic cultural climate. Connesson’s more accessible piece is dedicated to Jérôme Pernoo, who plays it here with evident authority and commitment. 
Now in his forties, Connesson is a professional to his fingertips, and should you warm to the work of the classier commercial composers and orchestrators you may find his world wholly congenial. It is those sympathetic to the traditional contemporary music scene who might be taken aback by the brazenness of it all. Connesson’s retro, razzle-dazzle eclecticism knows no bounds: a bouncy rhythm borrowed here, a shiny instrumental effect there, glass harmonica and all. Dangerously familiar shards of Adams, Lutosawski et al can be the one ‘modern’ element enlivening a conventional romantic texture. Blink and Lucifer (2011) reverts back into Daphnis or Jeux or Spartacus or The Rite of Spring. The list is almost endless. For a ballet score contemplating Satan’s casting out of heaven alongside the legends of Prometheus and the Grail, Connesson would seem to have gone easy on the metaphysics. 
Is his really a major voice? There’s no doubting the enormous effectiveness of the ballet music in particular. Unprofound yet glamorous and self-evidently danceable, it makes several recent full-length scores of its type seem that much thinner. But whatever happened to the old idea that a composer should craft an idiom if not indubitably new then at least indubitably his own? On its own terms the present disc is a conspicuous success. The Monte Carlo forces are galvanised by Jean-Christophe Spinosi into playing of fire and energy, and the booklet takes in a helpful composer interview. Non-sceptics should seek out the earlier Cosmic Trilogy (Chandos, 3/10), immortalising Connesson’s association with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and its erstwhile Music Director Stéphane Denève. DG’s sound is a little less spacious, its physical presentation oddly flawed. The album’s French-language text is not difficult to read but the English translation, grey then brown on grubbily framed off-white, is presumably not intended for the over-fifties. Perhaps we oldies aren’t expected to dabble in postmodernism. (Gramophone)

martes, 15 de noviembre de 2016

Daniel Barenboim ON MY NEW PIANO

Daniel Barenboim’s first solo recording on the remarkable new concert grand Barenboim-Maene which he developed in collaboration with instrument maker Chris Maene. 
Barenboim has selected works by four keyboard masters to display his piano’s timbral and tonal capabilities: 
“I’ve fallen in love with my new piano”, he exclaims, “and want to spend as much time with it as possible.” 
Conceived and commissioned by Barenboim himself, the new piano was developed and built by esteemed Belgian instrument maker Chris Maene, with support from Steinway & Sons. 
Barenboim was inspired to create a new piano after playing Franz Liszt’s restored grand piano during a trip to Siena in September 2011. Struck by the vital differences in sound of an instrument constructed with straight, parallel strings rather than the diagonal crossed ones of a contemporary instrument, he set out to create a brand new instrument that combines the best of the old and the new and offers a real alternative for pianists and music-lovers in the 21st century. 
Barenboim says: 
“The transparency and tonal characteristics of the traditional straight-strung instruments is so different from the homogenous tone produced by the modern piano across its entire range. The clearly distinguishable voices and color across its registers of Liszt’s piano inspired me to explore the possibility of combining these qualities with the power, looks, evenness of touch, stability of tuning and other technical advantages of the modern Steinway…”

PHILIP GLASS Book of Longing

Leonard and I first began talking about a poetry and music collaboration more than six years ago. We met at that time in Los Angeles, and he had with him a manuscript that became the basis of the collection of poetry now published as the Book of Longing. In the course of an afternoon that stretched into the evening, he read virtually the whole book to me. I found the work intensely beautiful, personal, and inspiring. On the spot, I proposed an evening-length work of poetry, music, and image based on this work. Leonard liked my idea, and we agreed to begin. Now, six years later, our stars are in alignment, the book is published, and I have composed the music.
For me, this work is both a departure from past work and a fulfillment of an artistic dream. (Philip Glass)

lunes, 14 de noviembre de 2016

Alina Ibragimova / Cédric Tiberghien RAVEL Complete Music for Violin & Piano LEKEU Sonata

Maurice Ravel’s mature works for violin and piano have established a central place in the core recital repertoire and are considered among the most popular of the genre. These diverse works acknowledge the influences of a range of musical styles from jazz to Impressionism and fuse the tonal colours of Debussy with the lyricism of Franck.
The posthumously published one-movement Violin Sonata, written by Ravel as a student, is a lyrical precursor to the composer’s stunning Violin Sonata in G major with its unique character and adoption of the ‘blues’ idiom. The spontaneity, tonal colours and exotic soundscapes in Ravel’s violin music call for immense skill in interpretation, and passages in the frenzied Tzigane test the limits of the performers’ virtuosity.
Violinist Alina Ibragmiova rises to these challenges with extraordinary verve. Recent winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s prestigious ‘Young Artist of the Year’ award, she displays a vast expressive range and interpretative maturity. She is accompanied by pianist Cédric Tiberghien, who gives elegant and flawless performances and relishes Ravel’s iridescent piano parts.
The addition of Guillaume Lekeu’s masterwork, the extensive and engaging Violin Sonata, makes this major new release a chamber disc to treasure. (Hyperion Records)

viernes, 11 de noviembre de 2016

Sirius Viols CHRISTOPHER SIMPSON The Four Seasons

Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons is one of the most popular works in the classical repertoire worldwide but Vivaldi wasn’t the only composer to be inspired by the change of seasons. Christopher Simpson (1605–1669) was one of the best viola da gamba players of the early English Baroque. His Four Seasons is one of those fascinating works that take us on a musical journey through the recurring parts of the year. Now Hille Perl and her ensemble, Sirius Viols, have recorded this colourful piece. Hille Perl is a German virtuoso performer of the viola da gamba and lirone. She is considered to be one of the world's finest viola da gamba players. The Sirius Viols was founded by Hille Perl, consisting of Perl alongside Marthe Perl and Frauke Hess.

jueves, 10 de noviembre de 2016

Yehudi Menuhin THE ART OF MENUHIN

“Now I know there is a God in heaven!”, exclaimed Albert Einstein when he heard the young Yehudi Menuhin play the violin. Not only was Menuhin an extraordinary musician, he lived through – and helped to shape – a momentous period in history. The Warner Classics catalog contains 70 years’ worth of his recordings and this 3-CD collection, Yehudi: The Art of Menuhin, provides a fascinating perspective on his achievements: Menuhin was a man of ideals who changed the world through music. (Arkiv Music)

As a musician, as a man of ideals, and as a citizen of the world, Yehudi Menuhin made an extraordinary mark on his era. 22nd April 2016 will mark the 100th anniversary of his birth. YEHUDI explores Yehudi Menuhin’s genius and artistry through his legendary recordings – the best-loved violin masterpieces, famed duets and collaborations and exclusive unpublished material - in a specially priced 3-CD compilation for the great violinist’s centenary year. (Presto Classical)

Anaïs Gaudemard / Orchestre de l'Opéra de Rouen Normandie / Leo Hussain GINASTERA - DEBUSSY - BOIELDIEU Harp Concertos

An internationally recognized soloist, Anaïs Gaudemard quickly stood out in the musical world among the best current harpists.
In 2012, she wins the First Prize at the prestigious International Harp Contest in Israel, and the special award for the best interpretation of The Crown of Ariadne by Murray Schafer, then in 2016 she wins the 2nd Prize and the Münchener Kammerorchester Prize at ARD Competition in Munich.
 In 2015, Anaïs wins the « Thierry Scherz Prize » at the Festival des Sommets Musicaux in Gstaad. This prize, awarded by the Foundation Scientia Pro Arte, offers to her the opportunity to record a CD with orchestra. Anaïs has chosen to dedicate it to the Concertos for Harp by Debussy, Boieldieu and Ginastera with the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen Normandie. It will be released the November 4, 2016 on the Claves Records label.
Anaïs Gaudemard has the privilege to collaborate with orchestras such as the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, the Münchener Kammerorchester, the Symphonie-Orchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israel Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen Normandie ; under the direction of Claudio Abbado, Leonard Slatkin, Kazushi Ono, Nir Kabaretti, Leo Hussain, Emmanuel Krivine, Constantin Trinks. She performs as soloist and gives master classes in China, Canada, Israel, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, USA, …
Anaïs Gaudemard studied at the CNSMD in Lyon, France (First prize unanimously awarded with the congratulations of the jury in 2013) then she continued her studies at the HEMU in Lausanne where she obtained the Master of Arts specialized « Soloist » with the highest honors and the First Jost Prize which recognizes the best performance of a concerto in 2015.
Since 2014, she is laureate of the Fondation d’Entreprise Banque Populaire which grants her an award to pursue this commitment in creation and the command of works for the harp.

miércoles, 9 de noviembre de 2016

Christian Tetzlaff / Tanja Tetzlaff / Lars Vogt BRAHMS The Piano Trios

Award-winning violinist Christian Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt are joined together with Tanja Tetzlaff in this exciting new recording of the Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Piano Trios.
The Brahms Piano Trios belong to the very core of the romantic chamber music repertoire. They span a period from the 1850s (the 1st version of Op. 8) to the 1880s, Op. 101 being completed during the last decade of Brahms' active career as a composer. Piano Trio No. 1 was also revised by the composer as late as in 1889.
Christian Tetzlaff has been considered as one of the world's leading international violinists for many years, and still maintains a most extensive performing schedule. Musical America named him "Instrumentalist of the Year" in 2005 and his recording of the violin concertos by Mendelssohn and Schumann, released on Ondine in 2011, received the "Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik". Gramophone Magazine chose his recording of the Schumann Violin Sonatas with Lars Vogtas "Disc of the Month" in January 2014. In addition, in 2015 ICMA awarded Christian Tetzlaff as the "Artist of the Year".
Chamber music plays a significant part in Tanja Tetzlaff's career. She gives regular recitals in renowned concert series and festivals. In addition to successes in many international competitions, she has collaborated with world-renowed orchestras and conductors.
Lars Vogt was appointed the first ever "Pianist in Residence" by the Berlin Philharmonic in 2003/04 and enjoys a high profile as a soloist and chamber musician. (Ondine)

martes, 8 de noviembre de 2016

Clara-Jumi Kang / Yeol Eum Son SCHUMANN - BRAHMS Sonatas - Romances

A double Second Prize winner at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in 2011 and at the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2009 Yeol Eum Son’s graceful interpretations, crystalline touch and versatile, thrilling performances have caught the attention of audiences worldwide.Yeol Eum first drew international attention in 2004, when she was chosen as the soloist for the New York Philharmonic’s tour of Asia; she subsequently reappeared with the Philharmonic and maestro Lorin Maazel in 2008. A favorite among other international orchestras, Yeol Eum has appeared with the Czech Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Mariinsky Theater Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Svetlanov Symphony (former USSR State Symphony), NDR Radio Philharmonie, St. Petersburg Academic Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony and Seattle Symphony Orchestra among others.

Albrecht Mayer VOCALISE

Vocalise is a compilation of favourite pieces from Albrecht Mayer's recent releases in which the oboe more than lives up to its reputation as a wind instrument remarkable for its singing tone
The artist personally selected this collection ranging widely from Baroque arias of great virtuosity to the charm of the French chanson
Even as a boy soprano with the Bamberg Cathedral Choir, Albrecht Mayer was already fascinated by the human voice, and although he later decided against pursuing a career as a singer and chose instead to become an oboist, he is unquestionably a magician who as soon as he breathes life into his instrument casts his spell on his listeners’ hearts and minds with the beauty of his playing, transforming the oboe into an irresistible Vox Humana.

lunes, 7 de noviembre de 2016

Anneleen Lenaerts / Dionysis Grammenos SCHUMANN & SCHUBERT Transcriptions for Clarinet & Harp

Belgian harpist Anneleen Lenaerts is one of the leading soloists of her instrument. In 2010 she was appointed Principal Harpist of the Vienna Philharmonic. She won no fewer than twenty-three prizes, amongst them the “Grand Prix International Lily Laskine”. Hailed by Télérama, France, as “the new Prince of the clarinet”, Dionysis Grammenos was the first ever wind player to win the Grand Prix d’Eurovision from the European Broadcasting Union. 
Anneleen Lenaerts released a first album on Warner Classics in 2014, with concertos by Jongen, Glière and Rodrigo. For this second album, Anneleen and Dionysis selected some of the most beautiful Romantic chamber music pages, amongst them Schumanns Fantasiestücke Op. 73 and Romanzen Op. 94, and Schuberts Arpeggione Sonata D 821.
Western art music has, in one way or another, always been recreative. It is about the spark between the musician(s) and the composer, be this through brilliant extemporisation on an early music Urtext, or a beautifully expressive performance of a Romantic work. Rarer instrumental combinations have always gravitated notably towards transcriptions. Sensitively-chosen transcriptions shed new light on their originals, because of the sounds, colours and identities they bring to the text. In the case of the harp and the clarinet, these colours are warmly unified, profoundly evocative of the works’ epoch, and of the emotional intensity of the music itself. (Warner Classics)

domingo, 6 de noviembre de 2016

TCHAIKOVSKY The Essentials

Five new collections of the most important works from the most popular composers performed by DG’s legendary artists – that’s ‘The Essentials’. The collections of 25 tracks display each inimitable master composer. 

Enjoy Chopin from the ‘Minute Waltz’ to the ‘Military Polonaise’, Debussy from the much-loved piano music to orchestral and chamber music masterpieces, as well as Beethoven’s landmark symphonies, concertos, chamber music and solo piano music, Puccini’s most performed operas and Tchaikovsky’s most important works. 

This album takes you through the most important of Tchaikovsky’s works: the groundbreaking ballets and monumental symphonies, the concertos and works for string orchestra, arias from Eugene Onegin and of course the 1812 Overture. Performers include Hilary Hahn, Herbert von Karajan, James Levine, Mikhail Pletnev, Msitislav Rostropovich and many others.

PUCCINI The Essentials

Five new collections of the most important works from the most popular composers performed by DG’s legendary artists – that’s ‘The Essentials’. The collections of 25 tracks display each inimitable master composer. 

Enjoy Chopin from the ‘Minute Waltz’ to the ‘Military Polonaise’, Debussy from the much-loved piano music to orchestral and chamber music masterpieces, as well as Beethoven’s landmark symphonies, concertos, chamber music and solo piano music, Puccini’s most performed operas and Tchaikovsky’s most important works. 

 Puccini wrote arias like no other composer, from O Soave Fanciulla to O Mio Babbino Caro and of course Nessun Dorma. His operas are among the most performed worldwide – La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, Manon Lescaut and Tosca are all featured here. Singers include Anna Netrebko, Plácido Domingo, Mirella Freni, José Carreras and Monsterrat Caballé among others.