lunes, 31 de octubre de 2016

Thibault Cauvin / Orchestre de Chambre de Paris / Julien Masmondet THE VIVALDI ALBUM

Thibault Cauvin is certainly one of the most talented, charismatic and sought-after guitarists at the moment. He started touring more than ten years ago and never stopped since. Cauvin perfomed as a soloist in 120 countries on the most prestigious stages: Carnegie Hall in New York, Shanghai Concert Hall, Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, GAM in Santiago de Chile, the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, Gasteig in Munich, and many others. 
He releases is eighth album, which follows his two very popular and critically acclaimed previous albums, « Le Voyage d’Albéniz », recorded at the Château Lafite-Rothschild in 2014 and « Danse avec Scarlatti » in 2013. These albums are available in many countries and can be found on several compilations bringing together the music that has marked the past few years. 
Born into a family of musicians, Thibault Cauvin started learning to play guitar at five years old with his father. After brilliant studies at the Bordeaux Conservatory and the National Superior Conservatory of Paris, he began entering international competitions. At age 20, he was and remains the only guitarist in the world to have won 13 international first prizes. This accomplishment at such a young age was the trigger of his « endless tour » which now counts over 1000 concerts. Cauvin’s one-of-a-kind career inspires the young generation of French classical guitarists who shines in many competitions around the world making France one of the most respected music school in the world.
Thibault Cauvin was appointed « Ambassador of Bordeaux Métropole » in 2013. He is patron of the « Paris Guitar Foundation » and is a Sony Music artist. The 30 year old musician takes the classical guitar further and further. His inspired, expressive and natural playing brings together people, generations and breaks down boundaries. This popular and eclectic guitar, new into the world of classical music, becomes the queen of the XXIst century. (Sony Classical)

sábado, 29 de octubre de 2016


Camille & Julie are the Berthollet sisters, two extraordinarily gifted musical siblings from the idyllic Rhône-Alpes region in France. Camille (17) plays violin and cello and Julie (19) violin and viola. They became celebrities in France when the then 15-year-old Camille won Prodiges, a TV show for classical virtuosos under the age of 16. After captivating more than four million viewers on the France 2 network with her searing rendition of ‘Summer’ from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Camille was immediately signed to Warner Classics, her debut album (featuring her older sister as duo partner) going on to achieve Gold status with more than 80,000 copies sold in France alone. On their second album together, with the support of the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, the sibling sensations reveal the poise, maturity and musical prowess they have continued to develop since Prodiges, confirming their talent goes far beyond the TV phenomenon that launched their bright careers.(Warner Classics)

martes, 25 de octubre de 2016

Sophie Karthäuser / Eugene Asti HUGO WOLF Kennst du das Land?

A lovely Handel and Mozart singer, Sophie Karthäuser here proves herself a natural in Lieder. In a discography dominated by tenors and (especially) baritones, her all-Wolf recital, centred on settings of Mörike and Goethe, is doubly welcome.
Karthäuser’s choice of songs, too, couldn’t be more apt. In her Mörike selection she mixes a handful of favourites with cherishable rarities such as the desolate ‘Agnes’, with its sadly tolling ostinato, and ‘Nixe Binsefuss’, a mischievous fairy scherzo that sounds like refracted Mendelssohn. With her fresh, limpid soprano and sharp feeling for character and nuance, she gives unfailing delight in the these settings, whether in her conspiratorial sense of fun in the children’s song ‘Mausfallensprüchlein’ and the two elfin vignettes ‘Nixe Binsefuss’ and ‘Elfenlied’ – the comedy of the latter deliciously timed – or her mingled simplicity and acuteness of observation in ‘Das verlassene Mägdelein’: the weary stressing of ‘muss’ near the opening, the new bleakness in the tone as she gazes into the fire (‘Ich schaue so darein’), the flare of accusation at ‘Plötzlich, da kommt es mir’. Karthäuser spins a seraphically floated line in the sublime ‘An eine Äolsharfe’, while at the other end of the spectrum the Hogarthian portrait of a loveless wedding, ‘Bei einer Trauung’, is sung with an unexaggerated sneer that the acerbic Wolf would surely have relished.
A measure of innocent simplicity is crucial in the Mignon songs, where Goethe’s waif becomes an etherealised Isolde; yet Karthäuser also musters deeper colourings and reserves of passion for ‘Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt’ (its tempo fluctuations beautifully judged) and ‘Kennst du das Land’, with each successive climax finely graded. Elsewhere in the Goethe songs charm, lightness and grace prevail – not epithets normally associated with Wolf. The pair of sublimated folksongs, ‘Die Spröde’ and the valse triste ‘Die Bekehrte’, are specially delectable, the former blithely flirtatious from both singer and pianist, the latter deeply touching in its unforced pathos.
Throughout, Eugene Asti, recorded with proper prominence, is a model partner, commentator and animator (‘accompanist’ is an insult in Wolf): subtly fluid in rhythm, hyper-sensitive to the flux of Wolf’s liquescent harmonies and conjuring textures of gossamer delicacy in songs such as ‘Frühling über’s Jahr’, with its diaphonous bell chimes, and the two elfin sketches. The rare, early setting of Robert Reinick’s ‘Wiegenlied im Sommer’ – Wolf at his most Schumannesque – makes a beguiling envoi. In sum, a recital to delight all Wolf lovers, and an ideal entrée for those still to be converted to the peculiar richness and intensity of his art. (Richard Wigmore / Gramophone)

Philippe Bernold / Emmanuel Ceysson MOZART Flute & Harp Concerto

Philippe Bernold began his musical studies in Colmar, France, studying the flute and later composition and conducting under René Matter, himself a student of Charles and Fritz Münch.
He then attended the Paris Conservatory, where he earned the First prize in flute and the next year, at the age of 23, was appointed first flute of the National Opera Orchestra of Lyon.  In 1987 he won First Prize in the Jean-Pierre Rampal International Competition in Paris
This award allowed him to start a career as a soloist, performing with world famous artists and orchestras such as: M. Rostropovitch,  J. P. Rampal, M. Nordmann, with Paris Orchestra, F. Liszt Orchestra of Budapest, Manchester Hallé Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, National Orchestra of Lyon, Tokyo and Kyoto Symphony Orchestra…,  he has been directed by S. Bychkov, J. E. Gardiner, L. Maazel, K. Nagano, Sir Y. Menuhin, M. Inoué, T. Koopman, in concert halls such as the Royal Festival Hall in London, Pleyel Hall and Chatelet Theater in Paris, Cologne Philharmonie, Warsaw Philharmonic, , Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, Seoul Art Center, Tchaïkovsky Conservatory in Moscow, as well as at the Festivals of Aix-en-Provence, Cannes, Evian, Strasbourg, Radio France…
Philippe Bernold returned to conducting in 1994, founding "Les Virtuoses de l’Opéra de Lyon" with the encouragement of conductors John Eliot Gardiner and Kent Nagano.  The ensemble quickly gained a reputation for its high level of artistry. 
Bernold was then appointed assistant conductor of “Orchestre de Bretagne”.  Since then, he has been invited to conduct concerts with such ensembles as Sinfonia Varsovia touring in Lisbon, Bilbao, Valence, Nantes and Warsaw, the National Opera Orchestra of Lyon, Baden Baden Philharmonie, “Ensemble Orchestral de Paris”, Philharmonic Orchestra of Marseille, Orchestra of the Opera house of Toulon, Kanazawa Ensemble (Japan), “Bucheon Philharmonic” (Seoul), San Remo Symphonic Orchestra, Geneva Chamber Orchestra, Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra, Cappella Istropolitana, with whom he is first gest conductor.  In Caracas, (Venezuela) Philippe conducts the famous “Simon Bolivar orchestra” (Musical director: Gustavo Dudamel).

domingo, 23 de octubre de 2016

Tharaud plays RACHMANINOV

French pianist Alexandre Tharaud takes on the blockbuster 'Rach 2' concerto in a thrilling performance with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Russian maestro Alexander Vedernikov. It is coupled with more intimate Rachmaninov for piano six-hands (for which Alexandre is flanked by Alexander Melnikov and Aleksandar Madžar) and the icing on the cake: a sublime Vocalise in the original version for voice and piano, with pure-voiced French soprano Sabine Devieilhe. 
Alexandre Tharaud's recorded catalogue is large and eclectic, but this is the first time he has devoted an entire album to Russian repertoire – specifically to the music of Sergei Rachmaninov. 'I was still quite young when I first played this concerto' explains Tharaud. 'I adored it... Rachmaninov's virtuosity really appeals to young pianists. Today, of course I'm still enthralled by the concerto's virtuosity, but now I'm more interested in its dark shadows: the sense of despair, of staring into the abyss. My interpretation of Rachmaninov has changed a lot over the years.' (Warner Classics)

Patricia Kopatchinskaja / Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra SCHUBERT Death and the Maiden

"With the wonderful Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra we are presently exploring Schubert's quatuor ‘Death and the maiden’. Of course we have to include Schubert’s earlier song with the same title on the poem of Matthias Claudius. This song belongs to the medieval tradition of the dance of death. Therefore we also play "Toden Tanz" (with poor me dancing), an ancient death dance written up by the German organ player August Nörmiger (1560-1613). Schubert’s song and the slow movement of his quatuor use the solemn rhythm of a Pavan, so we also play one of Dowland’s Pavans from "Seaven Teares". Add to this "Moro lasso" a madrigal about death by the famous Renaissance composer (and murderer!) Gesualdo. In between we also refresh our ears with other unsettling works by modern composers like György Kurtag and Heinz Holliger." (Patricia Kopatchinskaja)

Reinoud Van Mechelen / A Nocte Temporis BACH Erbarme Dich

Since he completed his master studies in 2012 at the Conservatoire Royal in Brussels (class of Dina Grossberger), Reinoud Van Mechelen has established himself on the international stage. 
In 2007 he caught attention at the Académie Baroque Européenne in Ambronay under the baton of Hervé Niquet. In 2011 he was a member of the "Jardin des Voix" of William Christie and Paul Agnew and became soon a regular soloist of Les Arts florissants. With Les Arts florissants he has performed at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, the Edinburgh Festival, the Château de Versailles, the Bolchoï Theatre in Moscow, the Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican Centre in London, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, the Philharmonie in Paris, the Opéra Comique and the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. 
At the same time he is a guest with international ensembles such as Collegium Vocale, Le Concert Spirituel, La Petite Bande, Les Talens Lyriques, Pygmalion, Le Poème Harmonique, Il Gardellino, Insula Orchestra, L’Arpeggiata, Ludus Modalis, B’Rock, Ricercar Consort, Capriccio Stravagante, Scherzi Musicali, European Union Baroque Orchestra. 
 In 2014 Reinoud Van Mechelen performed his first Evangelist in J.S. Bach's Johannes passion with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. The season after he made his debut in a title role in an opera by Rameau, Dardanus, at the Opéra national de Bordeaux. 
In 2016/17 he will be debuting at the Zürich Opera in Charpentier's Médée(Jason) under the baton of William Christie. He will go a significant way ahead in extending his repertoire performing in concert Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and Gérald (Lakmé) with the Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio.

sábado, 22 de octubre de 2016

Nemanja Radulović LES 5 SAISONS

Nemanja Radulović’s performance of The Four Seasons comes as much from the heart as it does from the printed page. He often toys with rhythms and tempos, dynamics are taken to such extremes that at times the music become just audible, and mood swings from pensiveness to mercurial vivacity happen in the twinkling of an eye.
You could hardly quibble at the technical brilliance he brings to the music, ‘Summer’ being an example of his left-hand alacrity as he drives tempos forwards at a breathless pace. Then, just when you expect rhythms to be highly stressed in the finale of ‘Autumn’, the performance becomes soft-grained. For my library I would always opt for safety with the excellent Andrew Manze and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra (Warner), but with the 15 members of Double Sens playing with admirable unity, Radulović certainly captures the attention.
Aleksandar Sedlar’s Spring in Japan portrays the great earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, and the work moves from the sounds of popular music to suggest the agony of the event. A smaller string group, The Devil’s Trills, ably conjures up the appropriate sounds. Up-front recorded balance gives suitable priority to Radulović. (David Denton)

Laura Ruiz Ferreres / Mandelring Quartett JOHANNES BRAHMS The Complete Chamber Music for Clarinet

Audite's 2013 double-SACD of Johannes Brahms' complete works for clarinet is an attractive presentation of the artistry of Laura Ruiz Ferreres, one of the Europe's leading clarinetists. Ruiz Ferreres is accompanied by pianist Christoph Berner in the Clarinet Sonatas No. 1 and No. 2, Op. 120, and she also joins Berner and cellist Danjulo Ishizaka in the Trio in A minor, Op. 114; for the Quintet in B minor, Op. 115, she performs with the Mandelring Quartet. Ruiz Ferreres' polished technique and limpid tone are brilliantly showcased in these audiophile recordings, and while she naturally comes to the foreground as the soloist in the two sonatas, she is on equal terms with her partners in the trio and the quintet. Shifting easily between carrying the melodic line and being one voice among others, Ruiz Ferreres always puts herself at the service of the music and never forces her presence. Thanks to the remarkable details, textures, and dimensions of the super audio format, there's no need for her to compete with the other musicians, because the reproduction captures all the instruments with credible tone colors and a good sense of their placement, though some passages seem to be a bit soft and recessed. Fans of Brahms' late chamber music will appreciate the clarinet's warmth, the burnished tone of the strings, and the introspective mood of the interpretations. (Blair Sanderson)

Jan Vogler / Dresden Festival Orchestra / Ivor Bolton SCHUMANN Cello Concerto & Symphony No. 2

German cellist, Jan Vogler presents his 2nd recording of Schumann's Cello Concerto (1st recording on Edel, 2001) but this time with his own orchestra, the Dresden Festival Orchestra, (alongside Ivor Bolton), that consists of more than 50 members from Europe's most renowned early music ensembles. Exploring Schumann's "original sound", Jan Vogler plays on gut strings and the orchestra on period instruments. In addition to the cello concerto, the orchestra is playing Schumann's 2nd symphony. The repertoire connects the Dresden Music Festival and its orchestra to the productive Dresden period of Schumann's work (1844-50) since both works were composed during that time. The second Symphony was written between December 1845 and October 1846 in Dresden, the cello concerto immediately after he had left the city. (Presto Classical)

jueves, 20 de octubre de 2016

Sivia Chiesa / Maurizio Baglini BRAHMS - SCHUBERT Cello Sonatas

“Passionate” (Sole 24 Ore), “Convincing” (American Record Guide), “Rich in personality”(Diapason). Cellist Silvia Chiesa has conquered public and critics thanks to a brilliant solo career that has made her one of the best loved performers of her kind, touring regularly Europe, and also China, United States, Australia, Africa and Russia. 
Her artistic journey is defined by the originality and the wide range of its repertoire, which includes lesser known or unjustly forgotten music and composers. A case in point is the felicitous rediscovery of two obscure masterpieces by Nino Rota: the two Cello Concertos, which she recorded with the Orchestra Nazionale della Rai di Torino, conducted by Corrado Rovaris. Published in 2011 by Sony Classical, the CD was reviewed enthusiastically in the Italian and international press. 
The Milanese cellist should be also credited with an important contribution to the contemporary repertoire for her instrument. It is not a coincidence that the Concerto per violoncello e orchestra by Matteo D’Amico is dedicated to her, and she also gave the Italian premiere of works by Gil Shohat, Nicola Campogrande, Aldo Clementi, Michele Dall’Ongaro, Peter Maxwell Davies and Giovanni Sollima. 
In 2005 she founded a Duo with pianist Maurizio Baglini, which has been applauded on international stages, such as Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Salle Gaveau in Paris, Oriental Art Center in Shanghai, Sala Cecilia Meireles in Rio de Janeiro and Victoria Hall in Geneva, not to mention Lebanon, Russia, Brazil, Belgium, Iceland, Israel and Australia. The Suite per violoncello e pianoforte by Corghi (recorded, together with music by Chopin and Debussy, for the label Concerto), a Sonata by Gianluca Cascioli and 150 Decibel by Nicola Campogrande are dedicated to the Duo. Their discography also includes the whole cello and piano works by Saint-Saëns, in a CD issued with the magazine Amadeus, and Cello Sonatas for Decca (2011), with the cello sonatas by Brahms and the “Arpeggione” by Schubert. Even the début of the special Trio she formed together with violinist Francesca Dego and pianist Mariangela Vacatello (Amiata Piano Festival, Fazioli Concert Hall, Società Filarmonica di Trento) was a success.

miércoles, 19 de octubre de 2016

Mimi Stillman / Charles Abramovic FREEDOM Weinberg - Finko - Danielpour

It is with great pleasure that I introduce “Freedom,” which brings together two works commissioned by my Dolce Suono Ensemble and one discovery, all receiving their first recordings here. This has been a journey of over six years of artistic exploration and planning during which pianist Charles Abramovic and I performed and lived with these works extensively. It began when we commissioned Richard Danielpour to write a trio for Dolce Suono Ensemble - pianist Charles Abramovic, cellist Yumi Kendall, and me. I had known and worked with Richard since my student days at the Curtis Institute of Music and had long been thinking of collaborating on a new piece. As it happened, the people of Iran erupted in protest for their freedom while he was composing the work in 2009, sparking Richard to reflect on his Persian-Jewish roots and the plight of the Iranian people living under a brutally repressive regime. The result was Remembering Neda: Trio for Flute, Cello, and Piano , a work of great depth, a powerfully emotional contribution not only to our repertoire for flute, cello, and piano trio, but to the chamber music repertoire at large. 
The next piece to enter my life was Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s Five Pieces for Flute and Piano . In 2011, I met with Bret Werb, the musicologist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, to get his advice on a project I was planning on the music of the Holocaust. Toward the end of our conversation, Werb showed me a facsimile of a flute and piano work by Mieczyslaw Weinberg he had come across in St. Petersburg, saying he could not find references to any public performances since shortly after it was written in 1947, and published by the Soviet Composers’ Union the following year. Playing through it, I was immediately captivated by its beauty and depth. This fortuitous meeting resulted in a nearly four year journey of exploration of Mieczylsaw Weinberg’s Five Pieces for Flute and Piano and his life and music. I had the privilege of giving the United States premiere of the work with Charlie on the Dolce Suono Ensemble series in Philadelphia in 2013, with subsequent performances at the National Flute Association in Chicago and on concert tours. 
Mieczyslaw Weinberg suffered personal tragedy at the hands of both the Nazis and the Soviets. A Polish Jew, he narrowly escaped the Nazi invasion by fleeing to the Soviet Union, but his whole family was murdered in the Holocaust. For Weinberg and his fellow artists working under the Soviet regime, artistic expression was fraught with the threat of censorship, imprisonment, and murder. He formed a close friendship with Dmitri Shostakovich, and both composers were persecuted in the anti-Formalist purge of Stalin in 1948, along with Prokofiev, Khachaturian, and other composers. It is not known whether political events played a role in Weinberg’s Five Pieces , effectively lost until recently, but the piece does come from a particularly turbulent period in Weinberg’s life. He was imprisoned for several months in 1953, but was saved in part because of Stalin’s death. 
Five Pieces for Flute and Piano is a suite of contrasting character pieces. "Landscape", a lyrical movement, connotes a sense of spaciousness through ample rubato and silences. Three movements are contrasting dances – “First Dance,” a march-like Allegretto which is sometimes elegant, at times ponderous; “Second Dance,” which veers from a classical-sounding minuet to an off-kilter waltz; and “Third Dance,” a virtuosic Presto in which flute and piano engage in playful dialogue culminating in a rousing finale. The fourth piece, “Melody,” is the emotional core of the set, a soulful, at times anguished song. 
I decided to commission David Finko to write his Sonata for Flute and Piano in 2012 after I performed and recorded his piccolo concerto with Orchestra 2001 and conductor James Freeman. I was impressed with Finko’s compositional craft, part of a lineage stretching back through Shostakovich to Prokofiev to Rimsky- Korsakov. And I was moved by the searing personal stamp in his music when he reflects on his history of narrowly escaping the Nazis and suffering persecution under the Soviets as an artist and as a Jew. Something resonated with me as a Jewish artist of Eastern European descent, and I knew that if David wrote for me the result would be a profoundly eloquent work. 
Working on this collection of pieces has been one of the most inspiring projects in my musical life, as it deals with the universal human yearning to be free. Danielpour writes on this theme, and the life stories of Weinberg and Finko are a testament to their courageous dedication to their art. 
I dedicate this recording to the artists who at different times and places have dared to express themselves whatever the risks, in recognition of the triumph of artistic freedom and of the human spirit. (Mimi Stillman)

Lena Belkina / Münchner Rundfunkorchester / Alessandro de Marchi DOLCI MOMENTI / BELCANTO ARIAS

The press has already taken her to their heart: “fulminant, brilliant, beautiful voice” (Das Opernglas), “a touching mezzo” (Süddeutsche Zeitung), “…a treat for the ears and the eyes…” (WAZ). The young mezzo-soprano Lena Belkina is already in demand all over the world.
She sang her way into the international limelight back in 2012 with her Angelina in Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Carlo Verdone/Gianluigi Gelmetti). The live video recording made by Mondovision was awarded the 64º PRIX ITALIA and the Warsaw Music Gardens Festival audience prize. What entranced the Oscar-winning director about his star performer was her extraordinary charisma: “…una fotogenia straordinaria, e la giusta dolcezza malinconica e sognante nei suoi grandi occhi neri…” (“extraordinarily photogenic, with the ideal melancholy and the dreamy sweetness of her big dark eyes”) (Verdone in Cultura). Since then, this film version produced by Andrea Andermann has been shown in more than 150 countries. Lena recorded her first solo album together with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, which will already be released this year by Sony Classical.
There are currently three new productions planned: At the moment, Lena sings the Dorabella part in Cosi Fan Tutte in the Munich Cuvilliés Theatre. Subsequently, the singer can be experienced as Olga in Eugen Onegin at the Malmö Opera and as Angelina in La Cenerentola in the Prague Estates Theatre.
Apart from that, opera lovers may look forward to listening to Lena in several solo evening recitals with orchestra in Germany and Israel.
In summer 2014, the Ukrainian singer was engaged by the Rossini Opera Festival. Lena Belkina delighted with the major role of Arsace in a newly revised edition of the opera Aureliano in Palmira. It was the first performance of the opera at the festival and was directed by Mario Martone. A special highlight was that Lena was allowed to sing Giovanni Battista Velluti’s great cadenzas: a particular honour that no one else has been granted since the great castrato’s death. The opera published by Unitel Classica. The great success was brought by the 2015 re-invitation, where Lena will sing the Pippo part in Gazza Ladra.

martes, 18 de octubre de 2016

Nemanja Radulović CARNETS DE VOYAGE

. . . [an] exhilarating album that crosses musical boundaries as if they don't exist . . . [Radulovic has] exceptional talent, real charisma and serious youth appeal. This young man plays the fiddle brilliantly . . . [the album] allows Nemanja to display his musical range, with everything from a vivid arrangement of the "Sabre Dance" to traditional Serbian stuff that's utterly compelling at Nemanja's extraordinairy pace. There are also more soulful tracks, like a fine arrangement by his in-house guru, Yvan Cassar, of John Williams's "Schindler's List" theme. It's one heck of a visiting card, and not to be missed. (Record Review / David Mellor, Daily Mail (London) / 01. February 2015)
Radulovic balances virtuoso posturing, famous film melodies and traditional tunes with unapologetic flair . . . The overall feeling is light but enjoyable . . . he has a warm, full-bodied tone and the technique to master each of the pieces on this disc. He moves between styles quite naturally. Dvorák's chanson "Songs My Mother Taught Me" is breathy, and then soaring and vibrato rich; a rapid-fire Serbian folk tune is dispatched at speed but with no loss of rhythmic swing . . . the accompanying forces are varied (the cimbalom is a welcome inclusion) and elegantly deployed. This is a well-realised recording project. (Record Review / Tim Woodall, The Strad (Harrow, UK) / 01. July 2015)

lunes, 17 de octubre de 2016

Kim Kashkashian / Lera Auerbach DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH - LERA AUERBACH Arcanum

Kim Kashkashian introduces a duo with Russian composer-pianist Lera Auerbach. Their first collaborative recording features Auerbach’s viola and piano version of Dmitri Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes op. 34, and Auerbach’s own, darker, sonata for viola and piano, Arcanum. The musicians first met at Switzerland’s Verbier Festival in 2010, although Auerbach had long been aware of Kashkashian’s recordings, and the “quality of life-or-death-intensity to her performing, which is rare and wonderful.” Arcanum, accordingly, was written for Kashkashian. Its title, the composer explained in a recent interview, “means ‘mysterious knowledge’: I was fascinated by the inner voice within each of us, some may call it perhaps intuition, some maybe guided meditation, but there is some knowledge that we have, which we may not necessarily verbalize or rationalize. This knowledge allows us to see the truth, to be guided, to seek answers.”
Of Auerbach’s roles as composer and performer in this programme, Kim Kashkashian notes that “Lera performs any piece of music as if she had composed it: she has a way of understanding the perspective of a piece of music, its structure, its character and the colors that go with it.”
Dmitri Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes for piano (1933) gained renewed popularity through Dmitri Tsyganov’s transcriptions of some of them for violin and piano. Lera Auerbach first turned her attention to violin/piano transcriptions of the preludes Tsyganov had not reworked. In 2008, she set the full cycle for cello and piano, two years later creating a version for viola and piano intended, she said, as a contrasting partner piece to the Sonata for Viola and Piano op 147, Shostakovich’s sombre last work. “This way, violists could enjoy both sides of Shostakovich. The journey through the 24 Preludes gives so much opportunity for colours, for experimentation of different characters, for humour – there is a lot of humour in these Preludes.” (ECM Records)

Sistine Chapel Choir / Massimo Palombella PALESTRINA Missa Papae Marcelli - Motets

Deutsche Grammophon launched its latest exclusive collaboration with the Sistine Chapel Choir on Friday 7 October with a press conference and special concert at the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. Members of the Vatican clergy were joined by dignitaries, diplomats and representatives of the international media to hear performances of a selection of works from the Choir’s new album. Palestrina, only the second recording to be made under studio conditions in the Sistine Chapel, follows the yellow label’s pioneering release of Cantate Domino in September 2015. It comprises the world premiere recording of the 1567 first edition of Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli together with a selection of motets conveying the essential message of divine generosity and compassion. The album celebrates the “Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy” (8 December 2015 to 20 November 2016), defined by Pope Francis as “a revolution of tenderness and love”.
“We are delighted that our exclusive relationship with the Sistine Chapel Choir continues to grow and supports such uplifting music-making,” notes Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon. “Palestrina, recorded in the very place where the composer worked, unites the human and the divine spirit in the purity of its polyphony and the mystical beauty of its sounds. This new album flows from the open-hearted nature of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. We hope that Palestrina will inspire listeners with its music of divine compassion and love.”
Massimo Palombella, director of the Sistine Chapel Choir, explored the vast resources of the Vatican’s library in search of music with the power to transcend personal fears and offer comfort in our troubled times. He discovered that the earliest publication of Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli differed from the modern editions usually employed for performances and recordings. Monsignor Palombella transcribed the original version into modern notation and worked with his Choir to try and recreate the way in which the Mass might have been performed by the Sistine Chapel singers during Palestrina’s lifetime.
In addition to the Missa Papae Marcelli, Massimo Palombella chose to record nine liturgical motets by the composer on the theme of mercy. These include Ad te levavi oculos meos, a tour de force of contrapuntal invention, and the world premiere recordings of Veritas mea et misericordia mea and Iubilate Deo. Palestrina also contains the first recording of Confitemini Domino to be sung by male voices only, as it would have been in the late 1500s.
Monsignor Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Pontifical Household, welcomes the release of Palestrina and underlines the value of recording to the Vatican’s mission to reach out to all souls. “Pope Francis is not only aware that some important works have been recorded in the Sistine Chapel, by the Sistine Chapel Choir”, he observes. “He also completely supports the opening-up of the Chapel. He recognises, too, that Deutsche Grammophon is not just any music company but that it is one of the world’s leading record labels. This collaboration, therefore, is highly valued by the Sistine Chapel, by the Vatican and by the Catholic Church.”

sábado, 15 de octubre de 2016

Amaryllis Quartett / Katharina Persicke YELLOW String Quartets by WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART and ARNOLD SCHOENBERG

With Yellow, the internationally acclaimed Amaryllis Quartett is rounding out its five-CD GENUIN series that kicked off with ECHO Klassik Award-winning White. And like in the first release, the phenomenal ensemble is performing music from the First and Second Viennese School, this time showcasing Mozart and Schoenberg. Joining the project are exceptional young soprano Katharina Persicke and ARD prizewinner Tomoko Akasaka, the ensemble’s new violist. In both the first and second cast, we are treated to immaculate, intelligent, inspiring quartet playing that makes new works seem familiar and familiar works new!

Kuss Quartet / Mojca Erdmann BRAHMS String Quartet No. 3 Op. 67 - Lieder SCHOENBERG String Quartet No. 2 Op. 10

With its unique approach to music-making, the Kuss Quartet ranks amongst the world's best-renowned ensembles. 
'Worlds away from shallow showmanship' its members constantly strive for interpretations of a 'revelatory nature', 'whose individuality (is derived) entirely from a deep and comprehensive exploration of the idiosyncrasies of each work.' (Frankfurter Rundschau) 
Deep understanding of a work takes time to mature - that is self-evident for the Kuss Quartet; as is the courage, borne of personal discoveries, to develop their passion for experimentation. This is what the Kuss Quartet has stood for since the beginning of its professional career in 2002. 
The two founder members, Jana Kuss and Oliver Wille (violin) have been travelling the same musical path for 25 years. Together with their colleagues William Coleman and Mikayel Hakhnazaryan, they are pioneers of a concept-based presentation of chamber music, which reveals new musical perspectives and attracts a wide-ranging and cultured audience. 'Kuss Plus' -the ensemble's classical lounge series - has become legendary in its success, making its mark on the Berlin music scene and getting close to its audience, not only in the literal sense. However, even whilst performing in cult clubs, classical music remains the quartet's top priority.

Philippe Jaroussky / Freiburger Barockorchester BACH - TELEMANN Sacred Cantatas

For his first album devoted entirely to works sung in German, star countertenor Philippe Jaroussky has chosen four religious cantatas: two by J.S. Bach (including the much-loved ‘Ich habe genug’) and two by Georg Philipp Telemann. Jaroussky is accompanied by the Freiburger Barockorchester, which also joined him for live performances at Berlin in 2015 as part of the singer’s season as artist-in-residence at the city’s historic Konzerthaus.
In late 2015 Jaroussky performed these works before a capacity audience at Berlin’s historic Konzerthaus, where he was artist-in-residence in the 2015-16 season; this concert marked the first time he had sung in German to a German audience. “The voice of an angel” were the words of the Berliner Tagesspiegel, which also made clear that Jaroussky had the vocal means to express the drama of Telemann’s ‘Mount of Olives’ cantata. The Berliner Morgenpost, meanwhile, highlighted the singer’s readiness to venture into new areas of repertoire, describing him as “perhaps the most adventurous of today’s countertenors”. The writer also praised Jaroussky’s “exquisitely fine legato” and evoked the way his “plaintive descant glowed over the inky-black accompaniment” in the Telemann. The instrumental ensemble in Berlin, as on this recording, was the Freiburger Barockorchester, which gave its first concert nearly 30 years ago and is established as one of the finest ensembles in the field of historically informed performance.


The New York Times has praised violinist Miranda Cuckson’s “undeniable musicality,” while Gramophone has declared her “an artist to be reckoned with.” Born in Australia and educated in America, she makes her ECM New Series debut – alongside pianist Blair McMillen – with three 20th-century milestones: the Hungarian Béla Bartók’s Violin Sonata No. 2 (1922), the Russian Alfred Schnittke’s Violin Sonata No. 2 “Quasi una Sonata” (1968) and the Pole Witold Lutoslawski’s Partita for Violin and Piano (1984). “Bringing these great Slavic composers together enables us to hear each dealing with the dichotomies of form and spontaneity, playfulness and seriousness, folk expression and abstraction,” Cuckson explains. “The colors and traits of Slavic ethnic music are vibrantly in the foreground in Bartók’s music, more subsumed into abstraction and flavor in the Schnittke and Lutoslawski. Humor is a tool of provocation and survival in Schnittke and to some extent Lutoslawski, a cheeky attitude anchored by deep purpose. In Bartók, the boisterousness and teasing charm of folk dances gives way to moods of profound melancholy.” (ECM Records)

Luca Sanzò / Maurizio Paciariello / Sara Mingardo BRAHMS Viola Sonatas Op. 120 - 2 Gesänge Op. 91

This new recording contains Brahms’ complete music in which the viola plays a solo part: the two Sonatas Op. 120 and the 2 Gesänge Op. 91, for alto, viola and piano.
Brahms’ two viola sonatas are masterworks of his late style: the perfect handling of the sonata form sets the structure for autumnal reminiscenses and melancholic introspection, alternated by either passionate or tender interludes.
Beautiful performances by violist Luca Sanzò and pianist Maurizio Paciariello, who made an excellent recording of Hindemith’s Viola Sonatas for Brilliant Classics (BC94782): “Strong performance….a real winner” (Musicweb).
A special treat is the voice of Sara Mingardo in the Zwei Gesänge, one of the foremost altos of today, who sung with Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Chailly, Myung-Whun-Chung, Rinaldo Alessandrini. (Presto Classical)

viernes, 14 de octubre de 2016

Nemanja Radulović BACH

Asked why he has chosen to tackle music by Bach for his new album, the violinist Nemanja Radulović might almost hesitate before answering, so self-evident does his reply appear to him and so natural is the affinity that he feels for Bach. For him, the present recording is the logical successor to his two previous releases: in the wake of Vivaldi and his project The Five Seasons, he continues his personal exploration of the Baroque repertory with his ensemble Double Sens; and, like Journey East, this recording, too, represents a reflection on his own particular roots – in this case, his musical roots. The three words that recur here with leitmotivic regularity are: roots, loyalties and families. 
Roots. It all started with Bach. As with so many other musicians, Bach remains bound up with Nemanja Radulović’s earliest musical memories as a violinist, for even as a boy in Belgrade, he was already working on this repertory, in particular the Sonatas and Partitas, movements from which he has included in the present CD. Here pride of place goes to the Chaconne, which is the piece he prefers above all – alongside the Beethoven Violin Concerto, he adds by way of an explanation. The concertos, too, were a part of Radulović ’s repertory before he moved with his family to France. On the present release he is partnered by Tijana Milošević in the Double Violin Concerto BWV 1043. She was already appearing with him in this work while they were students at the Belgrade Conservatory. Nemanja also worked on the Viola Concerto in C minor attributed for a time to Johann Christian Bach – he learnt to play both the viola and the cello while he was still living in Belgrade, but he had to put them to one side when he entered the Paris Conservatoire in order to concentrate on the violin. This is the first time that Nemanja Radulović has returned to the viola for the purposes of a recording.


The latest choral work by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins is Cantata Memoria, commissioned by S4C to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the disaster on 21 October 1966 when a coal spoil tip enveloped a school and houses in the South Wales village of Aberfan, killing 116 children and 28 adults. Cantata Memoria bears the subtitle For the children and, as well as remembering the tragic Welsh catastrophe and its aftermath, mourns the loss of children in universal terms, as witnessed in the Dunblane shooting (1996), the Beslan school siege (2004), the Korean ferry disaster (2014) and the Peshawar School massacre (2014). 
Cantata Memoria is scored for chorus – both mixed and young voices,  baritone and soprano vocalists, orchestra with prominent solos for violin, euphonium and harp, and sets a libretto by poet Mererid Hopwood. The premiere at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff on 8 October is conducted by the composer with leading Welsh soloists including baritone Bryn Terfel, soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, euphonist David Childs and harpist Catrin Finch, together with young violinist Joo Yeon Sir, winner of the inaugural The Arts Club - Sir Karl Jenkins Music Award. Choral forces include a mixed choir of over 150 and a children's choir of over 100 voices, together with Sinfonia Cymru as orchestra. The event is a co-production between the Wales Millennium Centre, Mr Producer on behalf of the Aberfan Memorial Charity and is produced for telecast on S4C by Rondo Media.
Deutsche Grammophon is releasing the recording of Cantata Memoria on 7 October to tie-in with the premiere and the Aberfan commemoration. The recording features the same performers as the Cardiff premiere with choral voices from Cywair, Côr Caerdyydd, CF1, Heol Y March and Côr Y Cwm. This follows Deutsche Grammophon's earlier Karl Jenkins releases Adiemus Colores and Motets.
The US premiere of Cantata Memoria is scheduled for Carnegie Hall on 15 January 2017 with Distinguished Concerts International New York conducted by Jonathan Griffith. This annual concert, presented as part of Jenkins's composer residency with DCINY, also includes a performance of his Requiem. As with the composer's other choral works, Boosey & Hawkes will publish the vocal score of Cantata Memoria and make orchestral materials available on rental for future performance.
Karl Jenkins describes how he was "mindful of the responsibility the commission carried in writing something with integrity and accessibility that would connect and move everyone – the bereaved who are still with us, those who remember and those who come to this catastrophe anew. Paradoxically, dealing with a subject that lies so deep in the soul of the Welsh was both a harrowing and uplifting experience, but the journey was made easier and more rewarding by my travelling companion, Mererid Hopwood, the brilliant Welsh poet, academic and linguist who has written a remarkable libretto. As Mererid says, "we sincerely hope the work speaks from two hearts to many hearts".
"This work is music and a poem. It is not a documentary, nor even a dramatisation, but it does include a conflation of ideas and facts that were relevant and by now part of the legacy. The text is multilingual, in English, Welsh and Latin (four texts from the Requiem Mass), while also referencing various other languages for specific words (eg 'why' and ‘light’) in Welsh, English, Swedish, Latin, Spanish, German, French, Dutch and Italian. It is hoped these many languages symbolise how the memorial is at once both specific and universal.
"The work is in two distinct sections but performed continuously. The first (c20 minutes) deals with the tragedy and the immediate aftermath, and the second (c35 minutes) moves from darkness to light, reliving memories and celebrating childhood, ending with Lux æterna (everlasting light). Cantata (from the Italian cantare, meaning ‘to sing’) has come to mean a work for soloist(s), choir and orchestra, and memoria is both Latin and Italian for memory or remembrance."
July saw Karl Jenkins's The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace reach a landmark 2000th performance, confirming its status as the most frequently programmed new classical work for choir and orchestra of recent decades. Jenkins conducted the performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 3 July with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Choral Society, and Warner Classics released a special Limited Edition of the recording which has achieved 17 gold and platinum disc awards.

jueves, 13 de octubre de 2016


Leoš Janáček’s Second String Quartet, Intimate Letters, inspires four complementary new works by Billy Childs, Bruce Broughton, Peter Knell and Kurt Rohde in an inventive new recording by the “radiant” (Los Angeles Times) Los Angeles-based ensemble. On September 30, ARS will release The Lyris Quartet’s Intimate Letters, an inspired new project anchored by the Second String Quartet of Leoš Janáček, “Intimate Letters”. Janáček’s Intimate Letters holds a special place in the repertoire of the Los Angeles-based Lyris Quartet; having been the first work that the group performed publicly and one they return to most often. So it is fitting that the piece serve as catalyst for the ensemble’s first recording. Often referred to as the composer’s “manifesto on love”, Intimate Letters was inspired by Janáček’s near obsessive devotion to his longtime muse Kamila Stösslová (a married woman 38 years his junior) to whom he wrote more than 700 love letters over 11 years.
The Lyris Quartet – Alyssa Park (violin), Shalini Vijayan (violin), Luke Maurer (Viola) and Timothy Loo (cello) – are known as faithful champions of new music and are the resident ensemble of the celebrated new-music series Jacaranda in Santa Monica. The Quartet chose to present Janáček’s storied quartet together with four new works inspired by the piece and commissioned for the Lyris by distinguished Los Angeles composers Bruce Broughton, Billy Childs, Peter Knell, and Kurt Rohde.
To ensure the recording breathes original life into Janáček’s masterpiece the Lyris brought this cross-genre and and multi-media roster of composers - together, asking each to write a work in response to the original Intimate Letters. The result is a dazzling homage to Janáček’s most ardent quartet.

miércoles, 12 de octubre de 2016

Louis Schwizgebel / BBC Symphony Orchestra / Fabien Gabel / Martyn Brabbins SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concertos 2 & 5

Of Camille Saint-Saëns’s five piano concertos, the G minor Second is the one most favoured. Its three movements cover majesty, wit and exuberance: a splendid piece altogether. Louis Schwizgebel (a success at the Leeds Piano Competition in 2012) brings weight, poise, deftness and sparkle to this endearing work, and is well accompanied by Fabien Gabel, the recording reporting a partnership of equals. Scarcely less fine as music is the ‘Egyptian’ Concerto (No 5). Saint-Saëns, an inveterate traveller, knew the locale first-hand. It’s a charming work, full of lovely tunes, affecting harmonies and oodles of atmosphere. Like Gabel, Martyn Brabbins is sympathetic to the music and to Schwizgebel’s intentions. If Rubinstein (in No 2), and Ciccolini and Hough in all five, should not be forsaken, then Schwizgebel is to be reckoned with, for both these performances are excellent and do these marvellous concertos proud – the finale of No 5 has the wind in its sails. Bon voyage! (Colin Anderson)

Louis Schwizgebel SCHUBERT Piano Sonatas D. 845 & 958

In this eagerly awaited solo album for the enterprising Aparté label, Louis Schwizgebel appropriates two gems of piano repertoire: Sonata D845 (no. 16) in A minor, considered the first of Schubert's maturity, impresses with the mastery of its structure and its expressive power. Worthy of a symphony, D958 in C minor, 19th out of the 21 that he composed, symbolises the mastery of the composer, freed from the weight of his admiration for Beethoven.
Enhanced by recording quality featuring an extraordinary harmonic palette that will delight the most demanding audiophile, this project promises to be one of the finest piano CDs of the year. Louis Schwizgebel makes his debut in the International Piano Series on December 2nd at St Johns Smith Square, playing Sonata D958 and discussing his programme in the free pre-concert talk. The Swiss pianist won second prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition in 2012, and soon afterwards became one of the BBC’s New Generation Artists. Acclaimed by The Guardian as "a pianist with a profound gift", he presents music by some of the piano repertoire’s greatest composers. (Presto Classical)

Murray Perahia THE BACH ALBUM

Murray Perahia's absorption with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach has resulted in a series of highly acclaimed recordings of keyboard works that set new standards in Bach pianism for their intelligent virtuosity and stylistic insights. This Perahia/Bach collection offers a stimulating mix of individual movements - a fascinating testimony to all the artistry and dedication the pianist brings to the composer and his works.

martes, 11 de octubre de 2016


. . . a triumph. After the opening salvo of the "Etudes d'exécution transcendante", Trifonov attacks the A minor study with tremendous ferocity, so much so that on page 4 he had me scurrying to check the score. There are the left hand's clearly marked accents against the right hand's semiquaver octaves but which I could not recall anyone illuminating quite so clearly . . . This is unquestionably one of the great recorded performances of the "Transcendental Studies". The three sets of studies on CD2 are equally compelling, with Trifonov's eye for pointing up subtle details likely to appeal to Lisztian connoisseurs -- the left hand's rhythmic support in "Gnomenreigen", for example . . . Every decent record collection should have at least one version of all four sets of these studies. It is quite a feat for a single pianist to deliver what are, in effect, top-of-the-pile performances of almost all of the 23 separate titles -- but that is what Trifonov offers. Even if you have Berman, Cziffra and Berezovsky in the "Transcendentals", and Hamelin and Graffman in the "Paganini Studies", you will want to hear Trifonov, who also has the benefit of superior recorded sound (the piano is closely but not claustrophobically captured by Marcus Herzog, with the occasional pedal thump). Trifonov's is the best kind of virtuoso playing, where one is hardly aware of the notes being played, allowing one to simply bask in the genius of Liszt's musical narrative and the transcendant execution of an awesomely gifted pianist. (Record Review / Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone online / 07. October 2016)

lunes, 10 de octubre de 2016

Gautier Capuçon / Frank Braley BEETHOVEN Sonatas & Variations for Cello & Piano

Universally recognised as the finest cellist of his generation, Gautier Capuçon has a firm reputation as a concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. He is a regular performer with the Berlin Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony, NHK Symphony, and at festivals such as Verbier and Lugano, and has won several awards at the ECHOS and the Victoires de la Musique.
Following on from last year’s live recording of the Shostakovich cello concertos, this album sees Gautier return to the studio with his friend and recital partner of many years, Frank Braley, in a programme of Beethoven’s Sonatas for Cello and Piano. In addition the album includes Beethoven’s wonderful variations on three different themes – two on arias from Mozart’s opera Die Zauberflöte, and the other from Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus. This is the first new recording of the complete Beethoven cello works for some time and is a long-awaited release. (Warner Classics)

András Schiff / Peter Serkin MOZART - REGER - BUSONI Music for Two pianos

In his liner notes, Klaus Schweizer describes a unique meeting of minds when pianists András Schiff and Peter Serkin appeared on stage together for a November 1997 concert held at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Rather than join forces, these two “protagonists” rubbed those forces together to see what kind of electricity could be produced, so that “the audience had the pleasure of enjoying a contest of temperaments…and may have come away with the impression that such ‘contrapuntal’ music-making can be more stimulating than the harmony of two kindred souls.” The spontaneity of said performance and all its glorious vices have made their way into this subsequent studio recording, for which we are treated to the same sounds that graced the eyes and ears of all who were there for this rare event. As Schweizer so keenly sees it, this is a program of fugal magnificence, each work drawing from Bach’s highest art its own vivid line of continuity. (ECM Reviews)

domingo, 9 de octubre de 2016

Julie Sevilla-Fraysse / Antoine De Grolée FOLKLORE

A French cellist born in 1988, Julie is among today’s young soloists and recently performed the Concerto by Saint-Saëns with the Antwerp-based orchestra deFilharmonie at the Flagey concert hall in Brussels and L. Boccherini’s Cello Concerto in B-flat major with the Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia In 2013 she was the laureate of the Fondation Natexis Banque Populaire and performed Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations at the Festival des Rencontres de Violoncelle de Bélaye broadcast on France Musique.Passionate about chamber music, Julie has performed alongside artists such as Emmanuelle Bertrand, Augustin Dumay and Gérard Caussé in the Flagey concert hall and in trio with Régis Pasquier and Abdel Rahman El Bacha. Julie was notably part of the Werther trio until 2010, with which she performed at the Festival de la Roque d’Anthéron. The trio won the Prix de la Presse at the International Chamber Music Competition of Lyon in 2011. She was also a guest at the Chamber Music Festival of Rome and at the Festival des Violons de Légende à Beaulieu-sur-Mer in 2013 and at the Schiermonnikoog Chamber Music Festival in the Netherlands in 2014.Julie studied at the Conservatoire de Nice then at the Académie Rainier III de Monaco in the class of Frédéric Audibert. At the age of 17 she integrated the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in the class of Roland Pidoux, then the Juilliard School of New York. Julie has just recorded her first album on the theme of Central Europe on the Klarthe label. It includes Zoltan Kodaly’s Cello Sonata and will be released in 2016.She obtained a grant from the Princess Grace of Monaco Foundation to take part in the International Cello Competition of the Naumburg Foundation that will take place in October in New York.

Murray Perahia JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH The French Suites

Murray Perahia, one of today’s most celebrated pianists, has signed a new deal with Deutsche Grammophon.For more than four decades, the American-born, London-based pianist has recorded exclusively for Sony Classical (including with Columbia Masterworks, its predecessor). His performances of core repertoire from solo Chopin, Bach and Brahms to the complete Mozart concertos, have all become key reference recordings, many securing either Editor’s Choices or Gramophone Awards.  
DG’s announcement hints at the potential for new recordings of some of these works, stating that Perahia ‘intends to record key works from his repertoire, thereby preserving insights gained over the course of a career that began in the mid-1960s and continues to flourish as he approaches his 70th birthday next April.’ Perahia himself added that ‘There is something very special for me about revisiting music by composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin and Brahms. Their inexhaustible art remains a constant source of inspiration to me. My exciting new relationship with Deutsche Grammophon means that I can share my interpretations with the widest global audience.’

Emil Gilels THE SEATTLE RECITAL Beethoven - Chopin - Debussy - Prokofiev

. . . a colossal recital . . . [Beethoven]: the opening 1803 "Waldstein Sonata" reveals a virtuoso pianist in smart music. The Gilels sonority in "ostinato" energy, runs, and trills penetrates deeply, and his capacity for liquid velocity seems limitless . . . [Chopin / Variations on "Là ci darem" from Mozart's "Don Giovanni"]: We might concur with Robert Schumann, who, in speaking of Chopin, proclaimed, "Hats off, gentlemen, a Genius!" and so say of Emil Gilels . . . [Prokofiev]: From the 1915-17 group of "Visions fugitives" Gilels proffers six, each vignette in color and dynamics, close to the terse spirit of Scriabin. Nos 1, 3, and 5 each sparkle with an ethereal impressionism. The accented dissonances of No. 11 always attract Gilels, who favors this study in contrary-motion scale patterns. No. 10 provides a jumpy etude marked "Ridicolosamente". The last, "Poetico", conveys an elusive veil of notes. Quite a transition in color and dynamics as we enter Debussy's rarified world, liquefied and sensuous in "Reflets dans l'eau" . . . [in the Siloti arrangement of Bach's b minor Prelude, the] lovely gradations of color and inflection add that sense of eternity of which the great pianists own the patent.

sábado, 8 de octubre de 2016

Jonas Kaufmann DOLCE VITA

With his whiskers well trimmed, Jonas Kaufmann really looks every inch the lion king of tenors as, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, he stares out from the cover of his album of Neapolitan songs, Dolce Vita.
But other big beasts are circling around, itching for their chance to become lord of the tenorial jungle.
Kaufmann is proclaimed as the world’s finest tenor but, as this album shows, his grasp of Italian idioms isn’t as secure as Juan Diego Flórez’s was in his Neapolitan-song CD.
Nor does Kaufmann’s voice have the heady, Italianate beauty of Joseph Calleja’s.
And the Italian Vittorio Grigolo will surely think he’s even more of a matinee idol.
There’s much to enjoy here in this 18-item, 70-minute programme. Old favourites – Torna A Surriento, Mattinata and Volare – are mixed with enticing rarities, several of which I didn’t know.
But on this evidence, is Kaufmann a master of Neapolitan song? I don’t think so.
Take that modern classic, Lucio Dalla’s Caruso, written for Pavarotti. I remember years ago hearing it emerging from a jeweller’s shop in Italy.
I was so desperate to find out what it was, I went in and affected an interest in coral jewellery. If I had heard Kaufmann’s version, would I have bothered? Probably not.
Nor does Kaufmann’s singing hold a candle to Pavarotti in Torna A Surriento. Here Kaufmann sounds especially baritonal and un-Italianate; there’s little sun or honey in his tone. 
And he doesn’t sweep you away as Big Luci does. Kaufmann isn’t helped here by a relatively scrawny orchestra. 
At one level this album is fine but these songs do catch Kaufmann out a bit. All too often he seems to be looking in from the outside. (David Mellor)

Ingrid Jacoby / Academy of St. Martin in the Fields / Sir Neville Marriner MOZART Piano Concertos 17 K453 - 20 K466 - 1 K37

Elegance and energy characterise this account of K453, Ingrid Jacoby especially attractive to listen to in her fluid and dynamic playing, crispy phrased and also affectionate without losing the Concerto’s bigger picture, and most attentively accompanied by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Sir Neville Marriner. Separating such lively music-making (the playful and ultimately witty Finale brings a smile), the soulful slow movement is particularly eloquent with some very expressive contributions from woodwind soloists, and Jacoby digs deep into the music’s potential.
The minor-key K466 is given a spacious and somewhat severe reading, emotionally intense too, which works well in creating a darkly dramatic atmosphere and, in purely musical terms, there are numerous examples of well-observed integration between pianist and orchestra: one senses that Marriner is being artless to both parties. The romance of the slow movement is nicely phrased, a yearning quality evinced, and the stormy middle section raises the ante. The Finale, returning to the mood of the opening movement, if faster, is tensely driven.
K37 is the work of a composer not yet in his teens, and like its three Piano Concerto successors (K39-41) Mozart makes use of others’ instrumental Sonatas. It’s a really attractive piece, the first movement (after Hermann Friedrich Raupach) leaps exuberantly off the page with a brilliance worthy of Domenico Scarlatti. Following which the richly communicative slow movement seems to be entirely a Mozartean original, while the dashing Finale is in debt to Leontzi Honauer. Very early Mozart, yes, but K37 as performed here is well-worth discovering.
Cadenzas: in No.17 Jacoby plays Mozart’s and does so stylishly; in No.20, rather than employ Beethoven’s, which are often chosen, she includes her own based on those by Paul Badura-Skoda; and in No.1 Lili Kraus is the author.
This altogether-excellent release is complemented by first-rate recorded sound engineered by Tony Faulkner, notable for exemplary balance, tonal fidelity and a tangibility that takes us to the heart of the music-making.

viernes, 7 de octubre de 2016

Vadim Gluzman / Estonian National Symphony Orchestra / Neeme Järvi SERGEI PROKOFIEV Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 - Sonata For Solo Violin

A quite extraordinarily good disc. The performances are exemplary in every respect and the recordings are absolutely beautiful too. I had to go back and revisit this issue after a few days to check that it really was as good as I thought - it is!
Vadim Gluzman takes a lyrical view of these pieces compared to the likes of Heifetz in the 2nd Concerto, but it is just as valid as any other. There is plenty of evidence from the time of the first performances that both concerti were viewed as lyrical as much as dramatic. The liner notes mention Oistrakh being attracted to the cantabile themes in the 1st Concerto, and of audience members at the US premiere being moved to tears by the slow movement of No.2. All this emotional reaction is quite understandable; these are among the most beautiful of 20th Century violin concertos and have attracted the attention of all the top virtuosi. Listeners to this disc who own other performances may notice that the orchestra is a little recessed, so that details do not tell as they sometimes do. However, in a concert performance this is often the case, unless one is very close to the platform, and this seems to be the view taken by the engineers who give us a centre-of-the-front-stalls perspective. The recording venue appears to be a classic shoe box hall and certainly it endows this recording with a spacious but clean and clear acoustic space. There is no instrumental spotlighting in the final mix so, whilst Prokofiev's delicate use of the percussion is there, it never jumps out at the listener. The down side is that the orchestra does not get much opportunity to show off its skills. During the moments where the violin stops - and there are not many of these - it is evident that Neeme Järvi and the Estonian NSO are very much at one with the soloist. The liner notes by Horst Scholz are thorough and well written. I do hope the violinist was looking where he was going when the unappealing cover photo was taken: it looks like the sort of place where his violin might go missing.
In the lovely Sonata for solo violin, Gluzman has our undivided attention. He is recorded, this time, in Bremen's small recording hall, which appears to be a rather lovely wood-lined space. It is a nice acoustic and Gluzman seems to be placed at a moderate distance in front of the listener. The piece was written for violins in unison and was intended as a teaching vehicle. In common with other such works by great composers (Bartók's Mikrokosmos for instance) it is far more than that and Gluzman gives a committed performance. Incidentally there is another splendid SACD of this piece on the erratically available Caro Mitis label, played by Mikhail Tsinman. (Dave Billinge)

Tamsin Waley-Cohen / BBC Symphony Orchestra / Andrew Litton ROY HARRIS - JOHN ADAMS Violin Concertos

Tamsin Waley-Cohen has recorded a new disc of Roy Harris and John Adams Violin Concertos with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton. The recording will be released on Signum Records on CD and download on 30 September. This continues her series of concerto recordings on Signum, with these two contrasting works by American composers. 
Already considered by many to be a modern classic, John Adams 1993 Violin Concerto was described by the composer as having a ‘hypermelody’, in which the soloist plays longs phrases without stop for the duration of the 35 minute piece. Although composed in 1949, the first performance of Roy Harris’s Violin Concerto didn’t occur until 1984. Since then it has been championed for its “luminous orchestration and exalted tone”.

“Roy Harris may be the most all-American composer you have never heard of...Waley-Cohen handles [the Adams's] gruelling solo part with athleticism and conviction, and both pieces benefit from the punchy playing of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and insightful conducting of Andrew Litton.” (The Guardian)

Maddalena Del Gobbo / Michele Carreca / Ewald Donhoffer / Christoph Prendl HENRIETTE THE PRINCESS OF THE VIOL

Maddalena was born in Italy and started studying music at a very early age. At the age of four, she began learning the piano and gradually added the cello and singing to her musical repertoire. Years later, at the age of 13, her musical talent brought her to Vienna, where she studied the cello at the “Konservatorium Wien”. She first came in contact with the viola da gamba when she entered a record shop in the heart of Vienna and was mesmerized by an enchanting sound she would never forget.
She still finished her studies as a cellist, received a MA and performed in many concert halls as a soloist and chamber musician. All this time, she never forgot the viol and secretly honed her skills until, one day, she decided to make the viol her focal point and to dedicate her life to baroque music.
Charity work is very important for Maddalena. She is founding president of the “Juvenilia Club Wien”, which supports several charity organizations and advocates women rights all over the world."
Maddalena also supports the “Sterntalerhof”. This is a non-profit organization, which offers help and a place to stay for terminally ill children and their families, to spend the last part of their life in a dignified way, supported by therapists, specially trained therapy horses and surrounded by nature.
Maddalena plays here together with Ewald Donhoffer (harpsichord) Christoph Prendl (Viola da Gamba) and Michele Carreca (theorbo). 
Henriette was a daughter of the King of France, Louis XV, and was a great viola da gamba virtuoso. It´s a recording of french music of the first half of the 18th century by composers as Marin Marais, Caix d`Hervelois and Jean Baptiste Forqueray. Join Maddalena and discover this musical homage to the princess of the viol, Henriette of France.

Regula Mühlemann / Kammerorchester Basel / Umberto Benedetti Michelangeli MOZART Arias

Regula Mühlemann was born in Lucerne, Switzerland where she currently resides. She completed her studies at the Conservatory of Lucerne in 2010 graduating with distinction. In June 2012 she completed her master studies «Solo Performance» - again with distinction and top marks.
2013 has proved to be a pivotal year for the young artist and Regula is now emerging as a leading soprano of her generation. She began the year with her debut at the Theater an der Wien singing Isolier in Rossini's Le Comte Ory. Regula then returned to the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus in a new production of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte for their first Easter Festival, led by Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. The 2012/13 season began in Berlin with Regula singing Serpetta in Hans Neuenfels's new production of La finta giardiniera at the Berlin Staatsoper with great success. Further highlights of the 13/14 season were her house debuts with the Grand Théâtre de Genève, singing the role of Waldvogel in Wagner’s Siegfried, under the baton of Ingo Metzmacher, the Opéra de Paris as Papagena, her debut as Elisa in Mozart’s Il Re pastore alongside Rolando Villazón at the Verbier Festival as well as her debut at the Festival Aix-En-Provence (Papagena). She also returned to the Lucerne Festival, singing Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle with the Bayerische Rundfunk.
Regula Mühlemann made her operatic debut at the Theater Luzern. In past seasons, Regula has sung at the Zurich Opera House performing Giannetta in L' Elisir d'Amore, and as Despina in Così fan tutte at the Teatro la Fenice, Venice. In May 2012 she performed L’Elisir d’amore at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, alongside Rolando Villazón who both sang in and directed a highly acclaimed production. This production was broadcast on TV on December 2012. In summer 2012 she also made her debut at the Salzburg Festival, singing the young Papagena in P. v. Winter’s opera Das Labyrinth.
Regula Mühlemann is also a sought-after concert singer. She has already performed in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. She has also completed a successful concert tour of South America and made her concert debut in Berlin singing Mahler’s Fourth Symphony. In September 2013 she gave a recital at the Lucerne Festival’s series “Debut”. The recital was broadcast by the Swiss Radio. She also sang Mozart’s Requiem and Händel's Messiah in Lucerne. Regula Mühlemann works with renowned conductors such as Nello Santi, Simon Rattle, Daniel Harding, Enoch zu Guttenberg, Pablo Heras-Casado, Ivor Bolton, and Howard Arman.
Regula made her movie debut singing Ännchen in the feature film ‘Hunter’s Bride’. The critically acclaimed movie was directed by Jens Neubert and featured Daniel Harding conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. She was hailed by the critics; the Neue Züricher Zeitung called her a “first class discovery”. Regula Mühlemann was also one of the young talents featured on the TV show “Stars von morgen”, broadcast on ZDF and Arte in Germany and France. Regula made her next movie appearance starring alongside Bejun Mehta in an exciting new movie production.

miércoles, 5 de octubre de 2016

Leila Josefowicz / David Robertson / St. Louis Symphony JOHN ADAMS Scheherazade.2

Violence against women is no modern tragedy. Composer John Adams found that out when he saw an exhibition about the tales of the Arabian Nights — ancient stories in which Scheherazade tells her murderous husband a new tantalizing tale each night for 1001 nights, thus sparing her life a day at a time. The composer, writing in Scheherazade.2's booklet notes, says he was surprised by how many of the stories included women suffering brutality.
That got Adams thinking about "the many images of women oppressed or abused or violated that we see today in the news on a daily basis." Now, Adams has updated Scheherazade's disturbing story in a 50-minute piece for violin and orchestra.
Borrowing a formula from Hector Berlioz (with a nod to Scherherazade, Rimsky-Korsakov's popular symphonic suite), Adams created a "dramatic symphony," casting the violin as a modern-day Scheherazade — the smart woman who remains fearless in the face of cruelty. Over the course of four movements, no precise narrative is spelled out, yet Adams' descriptive titles and his cinematic music go a long way in unfolding a potent drama, masterfully illuminated by conductor David Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
It begins with a strum of harp strings, the whoosh of winds and the clatter of a cimbalom (hammered dulcimer), as if a brightly colored curtain is swept back, inviting listeners inside. Here, we meet Scheherazade in the form of violinist Leila Josefowicz, a longtime Adams collaborator and courageous champion of new music, who gives a searing performance. She arrives with handsome, sinuous lines but later speaks in spikier gestures. In its lyrical moments, backed by Adams' lush orchestration, the music recalls Samuel Barber's beloved Violin Concerto.
The vibrant pulsations that open the second movement, "A Long Desire (Love Scene)," give way to a dreamy oasis of floating strings and flickering winds. Scheherazade enters sweet and high as the music grows more impassioned. Her winding, sensual song, one of the work's highlights, is backed by a delicate scrim of strings.
"Scheherazade And The Men With Beards," the disruptive third movement, finds our heroine trading arguments with a council of agitated strings, chattering winds and percussion. Her entreaties are mellifluous and articulate, but the opposition overpowers her with snarling brass and thunderous drums.
In "Escape, Flight, Sanctuary," Scheherazade makes her getaway amid an outburst of brass. Then she's off and running in frenzied bowing, with wind figures rushing to catch up. The fierceness and vulnerability Josefowicz expresses contributes to an award-caliber performance. Finally, palatial walls of Sibelius-like string textures enfold Scheherazade. She's found refuge, but who knows how safe she really is? (Tom Huizenga)

Joshua Bell / Academy of St. Martin in the Fields FOR THE LOVE OF BRAHMS

With a career spanning more than 30 years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and conductor, Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded more than 40 CDs garnering Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone and Echo Klassik awards and is recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize. Named the Music Director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in 2011, he is the only person to hold this post since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958. In September 2016, Sony Classical releases Bell’s newest album, For the Love of Brahms, with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Jeremy Denk.

A tribute to the love and friendship shared by Brahms and Schumann, the album is Joshua’s latest with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields (where he has served as Music Director since 2011) and highlights his longstanding relationship with the orchestra as well as two guest artists: cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Jeremy Denk.
The album is the the first recording of an unusual coupling: Brahms’s well-known Double Concerto, with Joshua and Steven paired with the slow movement of Schumann’s rarely heard Violin Concerto arranged with a codetta by Benjamin Britten. Joshua, Steven, and Jeremy then unite for Brahms’s first published chamber work, the Piano Trio in B Major, heard here in its rarely performed 1854 version.