sábado, 30 de abril de 2016

Karine Deshayes / Les Forces Majeures / Raphaël Merlin ROSSINI

The French mezzo-soprano, Karine Deshayes, obtained a degree in Literature and Music at the Paris Sorbonne University. She then studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique (Paris) with Mireille Alcantara. She has explored the baroque repertoire with specialists such as Emmanuelle Haïm, Christophe Rousset, William Christie, Il Seminario Musicale and Les Paladins.
Karine Deshayes was awarded first prize at the "Voix d'Or" 2001 and the "Voix Nouvelles" 2002 competitions. She was also nominated for the "discovery of the year" in the "Artiste Lyrique" category at the "Victoires de la Musique Classique " 2002. Karine Deshayes is sponsored by The Singer's Development Foundation.
 Karine Deshayes is one of the greatest Rossini singers on the international opera stage. In this first solo album, featuring excerpts from some of his most beautiful works, she traces the different stages in Rossini's life. She is accompanied by Raphaël Merlin (cellist of the Ébène Quartet) at the head of Les Forces Majeures, a collective bringing together musicians from prestigious chamber ensembles and top-flight orchestras.

jueves, 28 de abril de 2016

Martin Fröst / The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra ROOTS

Sony Classical pre-releases Roots today exclusively in Sweden in advance of next week’s premiere performances of “Genesis” in Stockholm with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic.
The album, which is Martin Fröst’s first recording on the Sony label is set for international release on 29 January 2016.
The stunning new recording and concert programme created by Martin features a kaleidoscope of repertoire ranging 2000 years, tracing the evolution of music through a continuous soundscape. ”The listener will search long and hard to find works and performances like these in which folk music, a religious atmosphere and an avant-garde technique are combined to create such inspired music for our age” writes Wolfgang Sander of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in the booklet note.
Describing the programme – in which Martin features as both soloist and conductor – he comments “My sound-world journey travels through the sources of classical repertoire, and draws a line from the earliest “roots” of music—music inspired by dance and folk, music drawn from sacred rituals of praise, and music as pure entertainment—and explores how, from these roots,  we can open up a new musical door into the future. My journey moves from Gregorian chant, Hildegard von Bingen and Telemann, via gypsy, klezmer and traditional folk music from a variety of countries, all the way through to new works and re-workings of classical pieces… I wanted to give the feeling that, by listening to this programme its like walking through from one room to the next and suddenly you are in a totally different sound world – that idea turns me on.”
Roots refers not only to the origins of classical music in religious music and folk music but also to the very personal roots of Martin himself. The final track is a setting of the beautiful and simple Scandinavian folksong Jag vet en dejlig rosa (I know a rose so comely) which comes from Dalarna in the heart of Sweden.

miércoles, 27 de abril de 2016

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin J.S. BACH Violin Concerto BWV 1052 - Double Concertos

This disc by the ever-outstanding Akademie für Alte Musik, Berlin, features "alternate universe" Johann Sebastian Bach concertos and includes a wholly new reconstruction of the Violin Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052R, by the Akademie's concertmaster Midori Seiler. Whereas earlier reconstructions, of which there are several, used Bach's own harpsichord arrangement of the now-lost violin original, as her point of departure Seiler has pressed into service Bach "Son Number 2's" slightly earlier harpsichord arrangement of about 1734. Ironically, the younger Bach's ineptitude in converting the violin part into an effective keyboard solo has, for Seiler, provided additional clues to its true nature. Certainly this is a very effective rendering of what Bach's original might have sounded like, and Seiler's own performance of the solo part is a passionate and winning outing that will make one forget about such messy editorial details.
Three other transcribed Bach concerti fill out the program; Bach's own arrangements of the Fourth Brandenburg Concerto (as BWV 1057), the "double" violin concerto for two harpsichords (BWV 1062), and the reconstructed Concerto for violin and oboe, BWV 1060R, heard in C minor here rather than D minor as is sometimes done. Of these, BWV 1057 seems the least successful, and that's just by virtue of the first-movement Allegro being as brisk as it is -- the tempo is so breathlessly zippy that it doesn't seem to give the music time to breathe, and sometimes the low instruments seem challenged in keeping up with the pace. Nevertheless, that's the only complaint; otherwise, Harmonia Mundi's Violin Concerto, BWV 1052, is about everything one could want from a disc of reconstructed concerti played by a period ensemble -- the sound is great and the performances are of such a high standard that it even puts the famous Neville Marriner recordings of similar Bach reconstructions on the defensive. (

Midori Seiler BACH The Violin Sonatas

This statement by Bach's biographer Philipp Spitta to sum up the Ciaconna in Partita No. 2 in D minor is in fact true of the entire Sei solo cycle. The sublimity and originality of these compositions can never be emphasised enough. Johann Sebastian Bach extravagantly draws on his rich fund of musical idiom to create harmonies and tone colours that reveal his masterstroke: by applying rigidly entrenched rules he gives free rein to the creative spirit. The rules of "pure composition", which until this cycle were applied only in large-scale polyphonic works for ensembles and in choral and keyboard works, are now being imposed by Bach on the little four-stringed violin in an uncompromising and, at times, awe-inspiring manner. Did I become a violinist to play Bach's solo works or do I play Bach's solo works in order to be a violinist? All I can say for sure is that my inner urge to play and master these pieces has been my motivation for many years, an ambition that continues to push me to the limits beyond. The Sei solo works are but a small part of Johann Sebastian Bach's phenomenal oeuvre. Yet, their performance is the most important part of my violin-playing career and the tribute to my many hours of practice. (Midori Seiler)

Esther Yoo / Philharmonia Orchestra / Vladimir Ashkenazy SIBELIUS - GLAZUNOV Violin Concertos

Now in her second year as a BBC New Generation Artist, Esther Yoo first came to international attention in 2010 when, aged 16, she became the youngest prizewinner of the 10th International Sibelius Violin Competition. In 2012, the American-Korean violinist was also one of the youngest ever prizewinners of the Queen Elisabeth Competition. 
In 2015/16, Esther returns to the Philharmonia, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony and Kansai Philharmonic orchestras and Orchestre National de Lille. She debuts with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, RTÉ Symphony, Iceland Symphony and KBS Symphony orchestras. Esther also revisits South America, following her successful tour with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy last season, performing with Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia and Filarmonica de Jalisco. Chamber music highlights include her Wigmore Hall debut with regular collaborator Zhang Zuo, and recitals in Oslo, Liverpool and Istanbul.
Last season, Esther performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Hallé, Philharmonie Südwestfalen, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra (Turkey) and Gävle Symphony Orchestra (Sweden), while past highlights include performances with the Finnish Radio Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Tenerife Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic and Seoul Philharmonic orchestras. In 2014, she made her London concerto debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra under the late Lorin Maazel, following their collaboration on a 2012 tour to China and Korea. More recently, she recorded the Glazunov and Sibelius concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Ashkenazy which will be released this autumn by Universal Music.
Recent and upcoming festival appearances include the Ghent Festival of Flanders, Festival de Fénétrange, Seoul International Music Festival (featuring Bach’s Double Concerto with Maxim Vengerov), Festival du Château de Chambord (France) and Dvořák Prague Festival.
Born in the U.S. and raised in Europe, Esther began playing the violin at the age of 4 and made her concerto debut aged 8. In 2006, she was given First Prize in the Junior Section of the International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition and also the European Union Award for Music Art for Youth. She is currently a student of Ana Chumachenco in the Excellence Bachelor Programme at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich and of Augustin Dumay in the Artist Diploma Programme at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Brussels. Prior to this, she worked with Zakhar Bron, Leonid Kerbel and Berent Korfker.
Esther plays the 1704 “Prince Obolensky” Stradivarius, generously lent to her by a private collector.

lunes, 25 de abril de 2016

Jean-Guihen Queyras 21st CENTURY CELLO CONCERTOS

Canadian-born French cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras has been the featured cello soloist for the Ensemble InterContemporain for some time and appeared in this role on DGG's 1992 recording of Pierre Boulez's the Ligeti Cello Concerto with that ensemble. Queyras, however, doesn't just make contact to new music through composers who come through IRCAM, but also seeks it out on his own; Harmonia Mundi's 21st Century Cello Concertos combines three such commissions from composers Bruno Mantovani, Philippe Schoeller, and Gilbert Amy. When approaching this disc, one must be prepared for the reality that in Europe much "new music" of the twenty first century sounds like that of the twentieth, particularly the new music of the 1960s and '70s. While there are those, like Nicolas Bacri for example, who are finding ways to move on, these composers are in a sense defined by the degree to which they orbit the core experimental literature of the '60s, with Mantovani cycling the furthest away, Schoeller quite a bit closer, and Amy altogether belonging to that tradition. 
It is partly due to his total absorption into the milieu of the '60s -- as a participant in that scene and the conductor who took over the Domaine Musicale concerts from Boulez -- that the Amy concerto seems the strongest of these three. Amy's Concerto pour violoncelle et orchestre (2000) is the longest of the concertos, maintains the most consistent overall mood, satisfying formal development, and sense of variety throughout its seven short movements, which effectively add up to a single-movement work, though feeling subdivided into the usual three. Amy's orchestration is beautifully done and the concerto is also reasonably free of "new music clichés," most certainly not the case in Schoeller's The eyes of the wind (2005). This piece is subdivided into four short movements that sound an awful lot like one another, although there is some variability in the third movement. Schoeller uses a relatively small number of gestures throughout the 20-minute work, and a distant, shimmering atmosphere as established in the string section of the ripieno is an important element overall. In the first movement, however, there is a cliché in the form of an intermittent woodblock figure that resembles the "organizing woodblock" of Xenakis' Akrata; after awhile, one wearies of hearing it go "tic-tic-tic" over and over again. 
Bruno Mantovani's Concerto pour violoncelle et orchestre (2003) begins like gangbusters with a riotously colorful range of ideas that are expanded well; ultimately, though, these ideas end up being caught in a cycle that grows gradually shorter in a contracting loop, and one loses patience during this section. Then this stops and a new section begins of weaker material until the piece is concluded; the concerto feels seamy and none too finished. While Harmonia Mundi's 21st Century Cello Concertos may not seem like the freshest new music one could encounter in the twenty first century, overall it is high-quality music with some measure of flaws, though at least some measure of provocative and evocative moments as one would expect in such music. All of the pieces provide a considerable showcase for Queyras as soloist, particularly a cadenza in the Amy concerto where he is required to keep a dialogue going between figures in three different ranges of his instrument. Throughout, Queyras is mightily impressive; the recordings are made on three different occasions, with the Mantovani being the most responsive and the Schoeller least so. (

domingo, 24 de abril de 2016

Sonia Wieder-Atherton VITA Monteverdi - Scelsi

French cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton is no stranger to developing projects that take her beyond the traditional repertoire; other CDs of her transcriptions include Chants juifs and Chants d'est: Songs from Slavic Lands. Here she juxtaposes her arrangements for three cellos of Monteverdi madrigals (some of which were made with Franck Krawczyk) with excerpts from Giacinto Scelsi's massive trilogy, The Three Ages of Man for solo cello. The Monteverdi selections are not from among his greatest hits, and divorced from the texts that the music so vividly illustrates, they come across as strangely abstract, more closely related to the sound world of Scelsi's modernism than it would have been possible to imagine. The Vita (Life) of the album's title is presented largely as a darkly meditative and sometimes disturbingly grim prospect; the tone is for the most part subdued, contemplative, and mysterious, with moments, particularly in the Scelsi, that erupt into angst and grief. This may not be the general listener's cup of tea, but it is well executed and could appeal to fans of somber string chamber music. Wieder-Atherton's playing is always intelligent and daringly honest. She is not afraid to allow her tone to become thin and white, and not particularly beautiful, in expressing empty, drained desolation when the music calls for it. Cellists Sarah Iancu and Matthieu Lejeune adopt a tone that matches Wieder-Atherton's. The tone of the performances couldn't be called warm, but it is expressive of a reserved, enervated sadness. The sound of Naïve's CD is present and vividly detailed. (

Anne Sofie von Otter / Sandrine Piau / Cappella Mediterranea / Leonardo García Alarcón SOGNO BAROCCO

Mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter is an artist who continues to amaze with the undiminished luster and beauty of her voice, the depth and daring of her interpretation, and her commitment to exploring unfamiliar repertoire. Sogno Barocco is a recital of Italian songs, scenas, and operatic solos and duets drawn from the early to middle Baroque era. It's a mix of familiar pieces like Monteverdi's solo madrigal Si dolce è'l tormento, and "Pur ti miro" from L'incoronazione di Poppea and some real rarities (not to say oddities) such as Luigi Rossi's eccentric, starkly dramatic Lamento della regina di suezia, and Francesco Provenzale's even stranger, highly entertaining parody of it, Squarciato appena havea. Von Otter brings a lifetime of experience and probing intelligence to this intensely expressive repertoire, yet her voice is youthfully fresh and radiant, making for performances of unusual depth and vocal loveliness. Her dramatic sensibility in these pieces, many of which are laments, is focused and subtle (except in the over-the-top comedy of the Provenzale, in which she cuts loose with abandon). Soprano Sandrine Piau joins her in three duets and their voices blend beautifully, especially in sensuality of "Pur ti miro" and the intimate urgency of "Signor, hoggi rinasco," also from Poppea.
Leonardo García Alarcón demonstrates exceptional insight into the music of the early and middle Baroque and further cements his reputation as one of the brightest stars in this repertoire to emerge in the second decade of the 21st century. He and Cappella Mediterranea opt for a spare, lean approach to the realization of the accompaniment, and while it is not the only possible interpretation, it works wonderfully well. It is understated but always inventive, and the ensemble is varied and colorful. Naïve's sound is characteristically immaculate, detailed, and realistic, with plenty of warmth. Highly recommended for fans of vocal music of the Baroque.

viernes, 22 de abril de 2016

Fabrizio Chiovetta BACH Keyboard Suites BWV 809 - 825 - 831

Fabrizio Chiovetta studied the piano and music theory at the Superior Conservatory of Geneva, his hometown. He obtained piano and writing diplomas in as well as the City of Geneva’s Adolphe Neumann Prize, an award bestowed upon particularly distinguished artists. He pursued his education with Dominique Weber at the Tibor Varga Academy in Sion until he obtained his Soloist Diploma in 2003 with the highest level of distinction. He has regularly worked with John Perry, Marc Durand and Paul Badura-Skoda - notably on the classical Viennese repertoire on original instruments - and has participated in the Master Classes of Gyorgy Sebok, Julian Martin, Yoheved Kaplinsky and Irwin Gage for the Lied. Recipient of the Göhner Foundation scholarship in 1999, he received the Audience Award at the Klaviersommer Festival (Cochem, Germany) in 2001 for his interpretation of Mozart. He has won the New Talents (Genoa, 2002) and the Orpheus (Zurich, 2003) competitions and has received the Honorary Mention Award of the Seventh International Web Concert Hall (USA, 2005). Fabrizio Chiovetta regularly gives concerts across Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia both in recitals and chamber music. His performing partners have included Henri Demarquette, Katia Trabé, Roman Trekel, Julian Bliss, Nicolas Gourbeix, Brigitte Fournier and Gérard Wyss. He has notably played under the direction of Gabor Takacs-Nagy and Ovidiu Balan and has accompanied Lady Jeanne’s and Sir James Galway’s Master Classes.

Angela Hewitt DOMENICO SCARLATTI Sonatas

This is Angela Hewitt’s first foray into Scarlatti on disc but she hopes there will be more. Sixteen down…539 to go! The ones we have here have been thoughtfully programmed so each is heard to the best advantage. Her booklet-notes are personal and engaging and, as ever, she wears her learning lightly.
With so much experience playing music of the Baroque, you’d expect something highly personal from Hewitt. Even in a sonata as well known as the lilting Kk9, we hear it afresh, with no turn of phrase going unconsidered. In the bustling Kk159, replete with horn calls, she reveals as much interest in the inner parts as in the outer ones.
Comparisons with other pianists are fascinating because they show how many different interpretative approaches these pieces can take. Hewitt’s view of Kk69 is relatively spacious, Romantic almost; Anne Queffélec is quite a bit faster here; but then turn to Marcelle Meyer and it’s quicker still, with an inevitability to her beautifully moulded lines.
Or try Kk87 in B minor—one of Scarlatti’s most poignant sonatas. Hewitt reveals its Palestrina-esque elements, while Pletnev shapes its lines with great freedom. In the same key, Kk27 is one of Scarlatti’s greatest sonatas, and Hewitt lays bare every detail, though to my mind Queffélec is the more instinctive musician, though that’s true of Sudbin too.
The main issue I have with Hewitt here is that I’m too aware of her musical decision-making, which seems to lie on the surface of her interpretations rather than being concealed. The other caveat is that when Scarlatti is at his most outlandishly demanding, you’re too aware of the fact. Repeated notes on the piano are, as Hewitt points out, a nightmare: those in the anarchic Kk141, for instance, are too audibly tricky; Pletnev makes them sound almost annoyingly easy.
Among the less common pieces, Kk140, with its unusual harmonic shifts, sudden silences and fanfares, is a gem and its shifts are well captured by Hewitt. I’m less persuaded by her drawn-out tempo for the profoundly melancholy Kk109, though, as she says, it’s the only one in the 555 marked Adagio. And while Kk380, which ends the CD, sounds regal in Hewitt’s hands, it acquires a touchingly wistful quality in those of Meyer. (Gramophone)

Paul Lewis / Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Daniel Harding JOHANNES BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1 - Ballades Op. 10

Brahms planned his First Piano Concerto as a sonata for two pianos, but the music’s stormy grandeur soon needed bigger forces. He dreamed of composing a symphony, but the Beethoven’s shadow loomed too large, so the concerto plays out a massive wrangle: an intense, self-questioning young artist meets the corpulent orchestral sound of Brahms’s future symphonies. Some pianists go one way or the other in interpretation; Paul Lewis masterfully spans both. His account has clarity, muscle and steely pride, but also intimacy, vulnerability and volatility: the combination is magnetic. Conductor Daniel Harding goes for full-out symphonic bulk from the start and his Swedish orchestra sounds hearty and brooding – fuzzier-edged than Lewis’s metallic attack, but generally the partnership works. As a bonus, Lewis plays Brahms’s four Ballades Op 10; quiet, urgent and full of singing lines. (

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT Take All My Loves 9 Shakespeare Sonnets

"If music be the food of love, play on,/ Give me excess of it,” commands Duke Orsino in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. And to celebrate today’s 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death, Rufus Wainwright has obliged, decking out a selection of sonnets in a dazzling array of musical genres from high opera, through grungey rock, sweet Seventies pop, minimalist piano ballads, world trance and Berlin cabaret.
Those who have always found the Canadian singer-songwriter’s baroque pop over-egged and theatrical must suspect this is the album which will clinch their argument. Even as a fan, I read the list of contributors with a mixture of excitement and concern: Siân Phillips, Florence Welch, Carrie Fisher, Helena Bonham Carter, Peter Eyre and – yikes! – William Shatner? Had Wainwright boldly gone too far this time?
Not at all. All My Loves turns out to be a box of delights: an album whose constantly shifting moods, romantic melodies and sly twists of musical wit are a perfect fit for the swoons, spite and slick conceits of the poems. The fluidity of gender, age and nationality of the voices delivering the spoken word sections give texture to the sound and universality to the emotions. There’s always something surprising around the corner: at the end, Sonnet 87 is delivered by the 92-year-old East German actress Inge Keller.
Wainwright’s interest in the sonnets dates back more than a decade, when the late composer Michael Kamen commissioned him to score Sonnet 29 (When in Disgrace with Fortune and Men’s Eyes). Director Robert Wilson asked for more music for a 2009 theatre piece, then the San Francisco Symphony called on him to orchestrate five more sonnets, three of which appeared on Wainwright’s 2010 album All Days are Nights: Songs for Lulu. The gorgeous resignation of his take on A Woman’s Face was a stand-out track. As a gay man who once told me he always goes “for straight drug addicts”, he inhabited every line of Sonnet 20, in which the poet laments that since Nature has “prick’d out” a beautiful young man’s body for women’s pleasure, he must settle for friendship.
The song is given two treatments here: early on there’s an elegant, classical delivery by Austrian soprano Anna Prohaska, all that yearning corseted up by the lofty control of her courtly art. It’s then brought up to date in a sighed pop version by Wainwright. Producer Marius de Vries suspends the weary piano and pavement pounding drums in slightly psychedelic synth effects. Shatner’s part is also pretty trippy, while Welch turns in a surprisingly delicate performance on a sugar pop setting of When in Disgrace, which almost turns into ABBA’s Chiquitita towards the end.
De Vries has form with modernising Shakespeare: he worked as a composer and producer on the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. Here he does a great job splicing Wainwright’s restless style shifts into a coherent sonic adventure.
There are a few awkward moments when Wainwright struggles to shoehorn the Shakespeare into the tunes. And others when he over-clutters the music. But he’s so playful, inventive and heartfelt that even though this album clocks in at 55 minutes, he leaves you wanting him to play on and on. (

miércoles, 20 de abril de 2016

Roberto Prosseda MOZART Piano Sonatas 1 - 6

Is there really any need for yet another recording of Mozart’s sonatas? Is it still possible to say something new when playing these compositions while maintaining respect for the score and for the composer’s indications? If Mozart were alive today, would he prefer to perform his sonatas on a fortepiano of the time or on a modern piano?
These are questions to which it is not possible to give an unequivocal answer, but on which I have reflected a great deal, also profiting from the availability of the sources and of many recent philological studies. In the letter to his father cited earlier, written on 17 October 1777, Mozart declared his enthusiasm for a new Stein piano that he had tried out, which was provided with a rudimentary system for working the dampers (corresponding to the right pedal on modern instruments). Referring to the sonata in D he said that it “has an incomparable effect on Stein's pianos. The pedals, pressed by the knees, are also better made by him than by any one else; you scarcely require to touch them to make them act, and as soon as the pressure is removed not the slightest vibration is perceptible.” This shows Mozart’s curiosity about innovations and his readiness to experiment with instruments that provided greater expressive variety.
Nowadays it is possible to consult the manuscripts of the first six sonatas, currently held at the Biblioteka Jagiellońska in Kraków, and there are various critical editions that compare the manuscript version with the first published editions. On looking at the scores one is struck by the large number of original articulation marks, which we do not find so abundantly in the subsequent sonatas. I have tried, therefore, to observe the original phrase marks and dynamics attentively, even in cases in which tradition has accustomed us to softer sounds and smoother contours. It is from those phrase marks and the different kinds of staccato (dots or wedges) that one can deduce how Mozart imagined that a musical phrase should be “pronounced”. The dynamic signs, here apparently limited to forte and piano (occasionally crescendo or decrescendo, and very occasionally pianissimo), also reveal a poetic world in which contrasts are fundamental for the definition of suitable expressive variety.

lunes, 18 de abril de 2016

Itzhak Perlman / Orchestre de Paris / Daniel Barenboim SAINT-SAËNS Violin Concert No. 3 WIENIAWSKI Violin Concerto No. 2

 There is really very little that need be said about these virtuoso performances of these two sweetly melodious concertos except to record that they are played as brilliantly as one would expect and that the sound is full and warm. Perlman has recorded Wieniawski's No. 2 before on HMV, as can be seen; possibly he has now an even silkier demeanour with it. It is perhaps this quality that leads me to prefer his playing above Chung's rather more forceful manner in the Saint-Saens (Decca). Perlman is particularly elegant in the slow movement of the Wieniawski, and of course he never makes the mistake of trying to inflate either work to the status of masterpiece.
Gramophone [1/1984]
reviewing the original LP

Nina Kotova / The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia / Dirk Brossé LESHNOFF - MENDELSSOHN

According to Newsweek magazine, Russian -born cellist Nina Kotova “ is a fantastically gifted cellist. Very expressive, imaginative... she has a powerful stage presence”. Time magazine states: “She is a musician of high seriousness and real talent”. She has been the subject of numerous features in Vogue, Elle, Hello, The Sun day Telegraph and the Wall Street Journal. Nina Kotova has appeared on the covers of Classic FM, Gramophone China, Il Venerdi Italia and Reader's Digest and on television on A&E’s “Breakfast with the Arts” and the “Charlie Rose Show”. 
Nina Kotova studied at the Moscow Conservatory and the Musikhochschule in Cologne, giving her first performance as a soloist with orchestra at the age 11 and graduating summa cum laude. She made her Western debut at the Wigmore Hall, performed at the Barbican Centre in London in 1996 and made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1999, after which she released her chart -topping debut album for Philips Classics. 
Ms. Kotova has performed in recital and as a soloist with major orchestras across the globe touring the capitals of Europe, Asia and the Americas. Ms. Kotova has performed at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and at the Berlin Philharmonic . She has collaborated with leading artists and conductors such as Vladimir Jurowski, Jean Yves Thibaudet, Antonio Pappano, John Malkovich, Helene Grimaud, Jeremy Irons, Joshua Bell, Lang Lang, Sarah Chang, Sting and many more. She has had the distinction of performing live in broadcast from Red Square in Moscow, for the Imperial family of Japan and at Buckingham Palace in a special concert for Prince Charles. 
In 2011 Ms. Kotova was presented an award for her outstanding cultural contribution to Tuscany from the Tuscan -American Association as a co-founder of the Tuscan Sun Festival . Nina Kotova has also taught as an Artist in Residence at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas. 
In addition to her debut album for Philips Classics, Nina Kotova has recorded the Bloch “Shelomo” and her own Cello Concerto, the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra for Sony Classics, and on the Deutsche Grammophon compilation “Masters of the Bow” paying homage to the greatest cellists of the last 50 years. She has most recently released her recording of the Bach Six Cello Suites for Warner Classics. 
A composer herself and a champion of contemporary music, Ms. Kotova has commissioned and premiered numerous works from leading composers. Her Cello Concerto was premiered in San Francisco to rave reviews. The San Francisco Chronicle said: “Like Rihm in 1974, so Kotova in 2000 stands in defiance of last century’s modernism and the new simplicity of so much recent music. Her Cello Concerto is a complex, gripping affair.”

sábado, 16 de abril de 2016

Thomas Enhco & Vassilena Serafimova FUNAMBULES

Born into a family of musicians in 1985, Vassilena Serafimova is the first Bulgarian percussionist to be awarded the Second Prize of the 56th ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the First Prize of the Fifth World International Marimba Competition in Stuttgart. She won the Grand Prix of the 10th International Competition Music and Earth as a soloist as well as the First Prize as a member of the Percussion Ensemble Accent, founded by her parents Avgustina and Simeon Serafimov. She received the Young Musician of the Year Award in Bulgaria in 2008 as well as the First Prize of the Music Critics in the 18th International Festival of Central Europe in Slovakia. 
In 2014, Vassilena made her debut in Carnegie Hall of New York. One year later, together with Thomas Enhco (piano), she was the first marimba player in history to perform at the French Awards Ceremony Victoires de la Musique. In 2016, the duo recorded their first album titled Funambules for Deutsche Grammophon.


Ivry Gitlis was born on August 22, 1922, in Haifa, Israel, to Russian parents. He received his first violin at the age of five and gave his first concert at age ten. When violinist Bronislav Huberman heard him play, he sent him to study at the Conservatoire de Paris, where he won a first prize at age 13. After graduation, he studied with George Enesco and Jacques Thibaud, among others.
In 1939, he went to England, and when World War II broke out, he worked in a British munitions factory and later in the entertainment unit of the British army.
In 1951, he made his debut in Paris; he has gone on to give concerts all over the world. He has played with the most prestigious orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Philadelphia Philharmonic, and Israel Philharmonic.
Ivry Gitlis is considered one of the most talented musicians of his generation, and many of his recordings are considered classics. His first recording, "Le Concerto à La mémoire d'un ange," by Alban Berg, won the Grand Prix du Disque (Grand Record Prize) in France. Bruno Maderna wrote "Piece for Ivry" for him, and in 1972, Ivry Gitlis premiered "Mikka" by Xenakis.

viernes, 15 de abril de 2016

François-Frédéric Guy BRAHMS Complete Piano Sonatas

Since his debut performances with the Orchestre de Paris in 1999 (conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch) and with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (at the Lucerne Festival in 2000, conducted by Bernard Haitink), François-Frédéric Guy has established himself as one of the most fascinating pianists of his generation.
He is widely regarded first and foremost as a specialist of the German romantics and above all of Beethoven. In 2008 Guy embarked on a major Beethoven project that has included recording and performing in concert all 32 Beethoven Sonatas and the 5 Piano Concertos. He is also a dedicated chamber musician and regularly performs Beethoven’s chamber music for strings and piano with the violinist Tedi Papavrami and the cellist Xavier Phillips. As part of the Beethoven project, he has performed the complete cycle of 32 piano sonatas a.o. in Washington, Paris, Monte Carlo, Metz and recently at the Festival Berlioz in La Côte-Saint-André. In October 2013 the box-set of the live recording of the complete 32 sonatas was released by the French label Zig-Zag Territoires, which had already previously released his highly acclaimed Liszt album, containing the Harmonies poétiques et religieuses and the Sonata in B minor. His previous recordings for Naïve Classique have included works by Beethoven, Brahms and Prokofiev. A duo album with pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet will be released by Chandos in June 2015. 
In addition to his admiration for Beethoven – whom he describes as “the Alpha and Omega of music” – François-Frédéric Guy has special affinities with the music of Bartók, Brahms, Liszt and Prokofiev and a strong commitment to contemporary music with close links to composers such as Ivan Fedele, Marc Monnet, Gérard Pesson, Bruno Mantovani and Hugues Dufourt who dedicated Erlkönig (2006), his masterpiece for piano solo, to him. He also performed the world premiere of Monnet’s En pièces (2007) at Festival Musica in Strasbourg, a work dedicated to him, and of Mantovani’s Double Concerto (2012) with the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In October 2013 he gave the Korean premiere of Le Désenchantement du monde by Tristan Murail with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.

miércoles, 13 de abril de 2016

Leonidas Kavakos / Lahti Symphony Orchestra / Osmo Vänskä JEAN SIBELIUS Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47

There is a self-selecting audience for this disc. People who want to know what the withdrawn original version of the Violin Concerto of Sibelius will have to hear this recording by violinist Leonidas Kavakos with Osmo Vänskä and the Lahti Symphony. Sibelius withdrew the version of the Concerto premiered in 1904 shortened it, tightened it and focused it and premiered a second version in 1905. The revised version became a warhorse in the stable of violin concertos, but the original version disappeared until this world-premiere recording was released in 1990. 
Sibelius' original Violin Concerto is more expansive, more discursive, more overtly romantic, and more overtly virtuosic. By following a performance of the original version with a performance of the revised version, the weaknesses of the original are more obvious while the strengths of Sibelius' revisions are more apparent. Kavakos is a fine and fervent soloist who makes persuasive cases for each version of the work. Vänskä and the Lahti are sympathetic accompanists in either version of the work. An audience looking for a single recording of Sibelius' Violin Concerto should probably look for either the muscular and more passionate performance of Oistrakh or the virtuosic and more intense performance of Heifetz. But for the audience that has already heard several dozen recordings, hearing the original will be irresistible. BIS's sound on its 500th release is clear, deep, and real. (James Leonard)

martes, 12 de abril de 2016

Ingrid Fliter / Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Antonio Méndez SCHUMANN Piano Concerto - MENDELSSOHN Piano Concerto No. 1

Ingrid performs repertoire that is very close to her heart: concertos by two nineteenth century heavyweights, Schumann and Mendelssohn. 
Ingrid brings the lyrical romanticism of Schumann's iconic Piano Concerto to life whilst perfectly navigating the shifting colours and technical demands of this brilliant showpiece. The sparkling passagework and charming melodies which characterise Mendelssohn's innovative G minor concerto demonstrate Ingrid's innate skill and pianistic instinct. Following Ingrid's live performance of the Mendelssohn concerto one critic wrote: ‘In the beautiful second movement, time stood still.'
With both composers giving equal focus to soloist and orchestra, the musicality of the SCO's award-winning musicians shines through as they partner Fliter perfectly. This also marks the recording debut of Antonio Méndez, who is fast becoming one of the most exciting conductors of his generation following engagements with a host of international orchestras. 

...there's still room for something fresh to be said with this evergreen music ... in both the Mendelssohn and Schumann, Fliter plays with tautness and energy, fitting hand-in-glove with the smaller chamber-orchestra forces of the SCO and drier recorded sound. Heartfelt and intelligent, this is life-enhancing music, and as a bonus there's The Fair Melusina Overture...' BBC Music Magazine

Denis Kozhukhin / Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin / Vassily Sinaisky TCHAIKOVSKY & GRIEG Piano Concertos

Denis Kozhukhin’s playing is characterised by an extraordinary technical mastery balanced by a sharp intelligence, calm maturity and wisdom. Kozhukhin has that rare and special gift of creating an immediate and compelling emotional connection with his audience.
Since winning First Prize at the 2010 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, Kozhukhin has quickly established a formidable reputation and has already appeared at many of the world’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls including the Verbier Festival, where he won the Prix d’Honneur in 2003, Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano, Berliner Philharmonie, Kölner Philharmonie, Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Rheingau Music Festival, Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival, Carnegie Hall, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Herkulessaal, Rotterdam De Doelen, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Auditorio Nacional Madrid, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Milan, Théâtre du Châtelet and Auditorium du Louvre Paris.
In the 2015/16 season and beyond, Kozhukhin performs with orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Philharmonia, DSO Berlin, Frankfurt Radio, Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Pittsburgh Symphony, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR and Brussels Philharmonic.
The 2014/15 season included performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Morlot, Philadelphia Orchestra/Denève, BBC Symphony Orchestra/Oramo, Mariinsky Orchestra/Gergiev, Houston Symphony Orchestra/Hrusa, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic/Gimeno and Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo/Alsop. Kozhukhin also toured to China with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and made his debut with an ensemble comprising soloists from the West Eastern Divan Orchestra under Barenboim at the Salzburg Festival and at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
As a recitalist, highlights of this season and beyond include returns to the Concertgebouw’s Master Pianists Series, Cologne Philharmonie, Wigmore Hall, Auditorium du Louvre in Paris and London’s International Piano Series, as well as debuts at the Lucerne Festival, Vienna Konzerthaus and the Boston Celebrity Series.
In September 2015 Denis Kozhukhin signed an exclusive recording contract with Pentatone. His first CD recording for Pentatone of Tchaikovsky Concerto No 1 and the Grieg Concerto with RSB Berlin and Vassily Sinaisky will be released in April 2016.

Esther Apituley JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Stirring Stills

Dear Mr. Bach,
I play the viola and I’m addicted to the sound of the viola and to classical music. Addicted to classical music because there are no limits, your imagination is as free as a bird.
For a long time, it’s been my heart’s desire to record on the viola the notoriously monumental closing movement of the Second Partita you wrote for solo violin – the Chaconne. After bowing my way through thousands of miles of notes, I finally worked up the courage to record the piece.
It seems you wrote the Chaconne after returning home from a long and exhausting journey on foot to discover that your beloved wife had passed away in your absence. A composition of fifteen minutes in length for a single instrument, offering great solace but making huge demands on the performer. A composition full of power and mystery.
I actually really like the fact that there are so few indications on the music, as this lets your music generate its own impulsive response at the point when you start to play it.
I embarked on my confrontation with your mystery over there, in that little chapel looking out over the Pyrenees, and I tried to record what I felt at that exact point in terms of timing, vibrato and bowing. Your notes were the only markers I had to keep myself on course.  Your music has its own heartbeat, and it can speed up or slow down all of a sudden. You take some time between the notes, or perhaps sometimes you don’t. This freedom is a complex thing. If everything is good, then nothing is wrong. This is exactly why it’s such a delicate piece to record.
But I went on and did it – I recorded your notes – all on my own in that little chapel. And without even a recording technician. This meant I could record whenever I wanted to, even in the middle of the night. To me, this was the only way to reach the essence of how I wanted to record your music. With complete freedom.
Esther Apituley

Andreas Ottensamer BRAHMS The Hungarian Connection

This album explores Brahms’s lifelong fascination with Hungarian idioms. The programme, following the Quintet, comprises a series of arrangements by the group’s cellist Stephan Koncz, which gradually loosen the strict discipline of a classical chamber group, moving towards the freely expressive style of a Hungarian restaurant band. The arrangements are marvellously well done, and the sequence ranges from the comfortable warmth of Brahms waltzes to the distinctly exotic sound of the Transylvanian medley. (Listeners will find some of these melodies familiar; they appear in Bartók’s Romanian Dances.) The Leó Weiner pieces, originally for clarinet and piano, transmit an atmosphere of peasant music, while the Hungarian Dances are arranged to give the impression of a gypsy band, with spectacular solo contributions from clarinet, violin and cimbalom.
The performance of the Quintet is a fine one, with lovely clarinet tone, excellent overall sound and a deep understanding of the work’s varied character. Andreas Ottensamer appreciates the need for some rhythmic freedom, not least in the elaborate Hungarian music in the Adagio, but I don’t find his rubato as convincing as Reginald Kell’s in his wonderful 1937 recording with the Busch Quartet – Kell is better at keeping the listener aware of the underlying rhythmic framework. And in the finale, I feel there’s a miscalculation in slowing up for the third and fourth variations; this takes away from the tragic effect of the poco meno mosso marked when the first movement’s theme is recalled. But it’s a fascinating issue, with playing of mastery and versatility. (Gramophone) 

Stephen Hough / Andris Nelsons / City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra DVORÁK - SCHUMANN Piano Concertos

Andris Nelsons and the CBSO clearly relish the symphonic nature of the piece and their playing is one of the great pleasures here. The concerto’s opening theme could be by no one else, though the mood soon darkens with a cautionary figure sounded first by violas and cellos. Nelsons imbues this with an affecting resignation, Kleiber sounding more openly disturbed. Hough enters the conversation with great subtlety and he’s certainly unafraid to point out the score’s lyrical beauties, allowing the music to unfold with suppleness without underplaying its drama or, where required, heft.
The glorious slow movement, which is launched by a New World-like horn solo, needs careful pacing: get it wrong and the question-and-answer writing can sound forced and overly sectionalised. Richter and Kleiber dare to take a slightly more drawn-out approach than this new recording, but both versions are compelling, and the CBSO players relish Dvořák’s unfettered wind-writing. Another black spot is the Risoluto (tr 2, 3'31" on the new CD); in the wrong hands its accented motif—first in the major, then the minor—can sound trite but Hough gives it a playful quality, to which the orchestra gleefully respond. Another highlight is the very end of the slow movement, where the piano-writing ascends, drawing the orchestra up with it.
I slightly prefer Richter’s way with the foot-stomping theme that opens the finale, which is superbly complemented by the earthiness of Kleiber’s orchestra. Hough sounds just a tad deliberate by comparison (compared to Piemontesi too, who is fearless here). This is a hideously ungrateful movement for the pianist and Hough is remarkable in not having a note out of place. And he certainly brings the house down at the end, setting the seal on a performance that is full of panache.
From a work at the margins of the repertoire to one that is absolutely centre stage. The Schumann Concerto is, in Hough’s hands, both boldly symphonic and utterly flexible, the pianist hardly making life easy for the conductor—though Nelsons is completely unfazed. The opening is strong and bold, adjectives that apply equally to the first movement’s cadenza, which has grandeur as well as excitement. Sample tr 4 from 4'50" and this will give you a taster: Hough, first solo and then as chamber musician, is ravishing but also dangerously becalmed. But for me a bigger stumbling block is the way he turns Schumann’s Intermezzo into something altogether more languorous (the stretched-out cello theme at 1'21" will give you an idea); just compare Shelley in this movement—to my mind pretty much unsurpassed among modern-day recordings. Symphonic breadth triumphs over Mozartian lightness in the finale, yet that weight is offset by some superbly delicate figuration from Hough.
So a slightly mixed bag; but this version of the Dvořák should put it on the map for a new generation. Personal and heartfelt notes from Steven Isserlis and a superbly natural recording complete the package. (Gramophone)

lunes, 11 de abril de 2016


Leonidas Kavakos, one of the world’s finest violinists, showcases virtuoso works for the violin: included on this album are some of the most exciting and challenging violin works ever written, alongside beautiful, lyrical encores.
Displaying a formidable technique to stunning effect, Leonidas Kavakos is heard here at his very best; his unique style stealing the show in a dazzling, wide-ranging progamme.
Features the devilish and highly demanding violin writing of Italian Paganini alongside the Spanish influences of De Falla and Tarrega, the Czech allure of Dvorak, the elegance of Britten and Elgar, and the Russian spirit of Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky
All the works expertly recorded here are associated with great players of the past – touring virtuosi travelling across Europe, looking to impress. On our European journey we hear flashy showpieces, tender romantic pieces, and everything in-between.
Leonidas Kavakos plays the Abergavenny Stradivarius of 1724 – a violin which itself will almost certainly have known legendary performances of these incredible works, and which sings here as if Kavakos was born to play them on this instrument
Known at the highest level for his virtuosity and superb musicianship, multiple award-winning Leonidas Kavakos has an enviable touring schedule playing with the world’s greatest orchestras and most outstanding chamber music partners; and an exclusive recording contract with Decca Classics. (Presto Classical)

Nils Mönkemeyer / Julia Fischer / Sabine Meyer / William Youn MOZART WITH FRIENDS

Artistic brilliance and innovative programming are the trademarks with which Nils Mönkemeyer has rapidly made his name as one of the 'most internationally successful violists' (Harald Eggebrecht, Süddeutsche Zeitung), and dramatically raised the profile of his instrument.
Under his exclusive contract with Sony Classical, Mönkemeyer has released numerous CDs over the past years, all of which have won critical acclaim and prestigious awards. His programmes run the gamut from rediscoveries and first recordings of original 18th century viola literature, to contemporary repertoire and arrangements of his own.
Mönkemeyer has been a professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich since 2011 - the same institution at which he himself studied with Hariolf Schlichtig. Previous tenures include a two-year professorship at the Carl Maria von Weber University of Music in Dresden, and an assistant professorship at the Reina Sofia College of Music in Madrid.
Nils Mönkemeyer works together with conductors such as Mario Venzago, Markus Stenz, Sylvain Cambreling, Mark Minkowski, Michail Jurowski, Christopher Hogwood, Michael Sanderling, Karl-Heinz Steffens and Simone Young, performing internationally in London's Wigmore Hall, Vienna's Musikverein, Brussel's Bozar, Berlin and Cologne Philharmonie, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Frankfurt Alte Oper, and in concert halls in Munich, Dresden, Baden-Baden, Dusseldorf, Stuttgart, Bremen, not to mention countless festival venues. He is currently a '360º artist' at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival and artist in residence of both the Echternach International Festival and the Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra.
In the 2015/2016 season Mönkemeyer will perform with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Musiciens du Louvre, the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, the NDR Radiophilharmonie in Hannover, the Weimar Staatskapelle, the Hamburg Philharmonic, the Dusseldorf Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Barocksolisten.
His various chamber ensembles, such as his trio with Sabine Meyer and William Youn, the Julia Fischer Quartet, his duo with William Youn and his Barroco Español project, are guests at numerous festivals this season: Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Mozartwoche Salzburg, Schubertiade Hohenems, Heidelberger Frühling, Kissinger Sommer, Musikfest Stuttgart, Audi Sommerkonzerte, Schleswig Holstein Musikfestival, and the Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Further chamber concerts will take him to Taiwan, Korea and Benelux, and to concert halls such as the Bremen Glocke, Dusseldorf Tonhalle, Gothenburg Konserthuset, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Zurich Tonhalle and Berlin Philharmonie.

domingo, 10 de abril de 2016

Nelson Freire BACH

Nelson Freire has long been seen as a connoisseur’s pianist, but a series of superb recordings have raised his profile to the extent that he is now thought of as one of today’s universally recognised great musicians. Whether playing the great warhorses of the repertoire or the gentlest miniatures, he brings to his performances a level of quiet thoughtfulness that puts him in a class of his own.
Born in Boa Esperança, Brazil, he began piano lessons at the age of three with Nise Obino and Lucia Branco, who had worked with a pupil of Liszt. He made his first public appearance at the age of five playing Mozart’s Sonata K. 331. In 1957, after winning a grant at the Rio de Janeiro International Piano Competition with Beethoven’s Emperor concerto, he went to Vienna to study with Bruno Seidlhofer, teacher of Friedrich Gulda. Seven years later he won the Dinu Lipatti Medal in London and first prize at the International Vianna da Motta Competition in Lisbon.
Since his international career began in 1959, Freire has appeared at virtually every important musical centre, in recital and working with countless distinguished conductors and orchestras.  A great musical collaborator, he has toured extensively with Martha Argerich, with whom he shares a long-time musical collaboration and friendship. They have recorded several discs together, including a live recital from the Salzburg Festival.

“This, Nelson Freire's first disc devoted to Bach, is predictably personal. It speaks of a long acquaintance with the works on offer and you only need to sample the Fourth Partita's Sarabande to hear how lovingly he caresses the music, giving it a raptness that rivals Perahia” (Gramophone)

. . . a superb overview of Bach's works played on the piano, from towering original works such as the Fourth Partita or the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, through to a selection of transcriptions. In lyrical mood, as in his version of Myra Hess's arrangement of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring", Freire's Bach is soft, flowing and atmospheric; elsewhere, especially in the Chromatic Fantasy, his fingerwork is dazzlingly fast, accurate and pin-sharp in its attack. (Paul Drive, Classic FM)

domingo, 3 de abril de 2016

Antoine Tamestit HINDEMITH Bratsche!

Born in Paris in 1979, Antoine Tamestit was initially inspired by his teachers Jean Sulem, Jesse Levine and Tabea Zimmermann, and soon came to international prominence by winning, in rapid succession, the Maurice Vieux Competition, the William Primrose Competition, the Young Concert Artists Competition in New York, and the ARD Competition in Munich. With the support of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Foundation and several important awards (Deutschlandfunk-Förderpreis, Victoires de la Musique, Crédit Suisse), he quickly became one of the most sought-after violists of his generation.
In his ceaseless search for musical encounters, Antoine Tamestit nourishes a passion for chamber music which has taken him from Lockenhaus to Verbier, Nantes, Kronberg, Lucerne, Schwarzenberg, and Jerusalem. His multiple collaborations with such musicians as the soprano Sandrine Piau in Schubert, the Hagen Quartet in Mozart and the pianist Nicholas Angelich in Brahms, to name but a few, have become his daily inspiration. He has explored the fascinating repertoire of the duo sonata with Markus Hadulla for more than ten years now, and in 2008 he finally realised his dream of a string trio by founding the Trio Zimmermann with Frank Peter Zimmermann and Christian Poltera. He also likes to champion the unique concerto repertoire for viola, from Mozart to Schnittke by way of Hindemith, Bartók and Berlioz, whom he rediscovered with Marc Minkowski. He delights in appearing with the great orchestras of Leipzig, Munich, Berlin, Paris, and Tokyo, under such conductors as Marek Janowski, Louis Langrée, Paavo Järvi, and Myung-Whun Chung, not to mention the Vienna Philharmonic under the direction of Riccardo Muti.
Having premiered new compositions by his father Gérard Tamestit from very early in his career, he has developed an insatiable curiosity about new music. With Tabea Zimmermann he has recorded George Benjamin’s Viola, Viola and Mantovani’s Double Concerto; he has given the first performances in several capital cities of Olga Neuwirth’s Remnants of Songs and works by Betsy Jolas, and has commissioned a forthcoming concerto from Jörg Widmann. In his teaching at the Musikhochschule in Cologne, he shares with his students a vision of an instrument with an infinite sound-palette.
Since 2008 he has found his voice with one of the very few Stradivarius violas, the ‘Mahler’, made in 1672, which is generously loaned to him by the Habisreutinger Foundation.

viernes, 1 de abril de 2016

Nelson Freire CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 2 - Ballade No. 4 - Berceuse - Polonaise Héröique

Beautifully recorded, open, tangible and unprocessed, leading up to the Concerto Nelson Freire gives an unaffected recital of Chopin solos that embrace a spontaneous, beguiling and eloquent Impromptu, a Ballade that is at once direct yet elusive and most sensitively realised with a range of colours and dynamics, then a dreamy Berceuse followed by a trio of Mazurkas that are respectively earthy, teasing and mercurial -- the music's complexities unravelled without denuding inherent enigmas -- and to round things up a Polonaise that is noble and pulsating. With a detailed and alert accompaniment from Lionel Bringuier and the Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne, Freire continues to demonstrate why he is one of the most discriminating pianists around, for this account of the F-minor Piano Concerto -- lively and malleable in the first movement, distinguished by strength, affection and old-world charm, then hauntingly expressive in the nocturne-like Larghetto, and finally dancing vivaciously -- is the epitome of innate Chopin-playing, completing a release that is a winner. (Colin Anderson, Classicalsource)