martes, 31 de enero de 2017

Nicole Car / Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra / Andrea Molino THE KISS

This is a timely release from ABC Classics. The Australian soprano Nicole Car made her Royal Opera debut last autumn, as a touching Micaëla before starring as Tatyana. Both roles feature on this cannily programmed disc – a mixture of well-loved classics and a few specialities. Essentially a calling card, it demonstrates Car’s ability in rarer Russian and Czech repertoire, the extract from Smetana’s The Kiss lending the disc its title.
She begins the disc boldly, with Marguerite’s Jewel Song – just the sort of repertoire one associates with her compatriot Dame Joan Sutherland, but Car’s is a lighter instrument. She possesses a lovely lyric soprano, not a glamorous sound, but full of dewy freshness, nowhere more so than in Mimì’s aria, where the voice has a rosy bloom. Her Mimì is very much the ‘girl next door’ and she ends with a charming final line. Micaëla has a similar innocence. Her Thaïs shows promise, although the raw final note on the optional high D on ‘éternellement’ should have been retaken.
While the role of Leonora in Il trovatore would seem on the heavy side for Car at present, she is aided in ‘Tacea la notte placida’ by conductor Andrea Molino, who takes the aria quite swiftly. The cabaletta sparkles. Car discovers darker colours in Amelia’s ‘Come in quest’ora bruna’ from Simon Boccanegra, although it’s a bit of a trudge, the seabirds wheeling rather deliberately along Genoa’s coastline.
Tatyana’s Letter Scene is packed with emotion and meaning in something approaching a signature role. Among the rarities, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Servilia is a delight, although it’s a shame the aria from Tchaikovsky’s The Oprichnik is relegated to the download version of the album only. (Gramophone)

lunes, 30 de enero de 2017

Víkingur Ólafsson PHILIP GLASS Piano Works

Deutsche Grammophon is delighted to announce the signing of an exclusive agreement with Víkingur Ólafsson and looks forward to collaborating with the  Icelandic pianist on a range of innovative recording projects.
Ólafsson has recently finished making his first album for the yellow label at Reykjavík’s iconic Harpa concert hall. Christian Badzura, Executive Producer, Deutsche Grammophon Artists & Repertoire, says, “Víkingur is an exceptional pianist and curator. His performance, choices of repertoire and visions for recorded sound are a fresh breeze in the classical music world. Be it Scarlatti, Rameau, Bach or Glass, Víkingur’s interpretations sound timeless.”
Described by The New York Times as a “splendid pianist” and by Piano News as an “immense talent”, Ólafsson is much sought-after by international conductors, orchestras and artists as both a chamber and concert musician. Now 32, he graduated in 2008 from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Robert McDonald, and has since released three albums on Dirrindí, the label he set up in 2009. Last year he contributed two solo piano pieces and the Valse des fleurs for piano four hands to Deutsche Grammophon’s 30-CD Stravinsky Complete Edition. Ólafsson is also Artistic Director of the annual Reykjavík Midsummer Music festival, which he founded in 2012, and last year took over from Martin Fröst as curator of Sweden’s Vinterfest.
“Víkingur is already very well-known in his native Iceland, where he’s been named ‘Musician of the Year’ four times. He brings a new Nordic sensibility to the classical repertoire, making him an exceedingly good choice as artistic director and curator of major music festivals”, notes Dr Clemens Trautmann, President of Deutsche Grammophon. “At DG, we’ve known for a while that Iceland is a hot-spring of top-notch musical creativity and Víkingur is one of its leading figures. Now we look forward to bringing his immense musical talent in classical as well as new repertoire to the attention of a worldwide audience.”
Ólafsson has commissioned and premiered, to date, five new piano concertos from different young composers, and has collaborated on diverse musical projects with a broad range of artists and musicians. These include conductors Vladimir Ashkenazy and Rafael Payare, as well as his compatriot Björk and composers Mark Simpson and Philip Glass.
The latter is the sole focus of Ólafsson’s latest recording project. Philip Glass: Piano Works will be released by Deutsche Grammophon in late January to coincide with the composer’s 80th birthday. The pianist’s fascination with reinterpreting the Piano Etudes grew as he toured and performed the works with Glass himself. “On the surface, they seem to be filled with repetitions. But the more one plays and thinks about them, the more their narratives seem to travel along in a spiral,” he explains. “My approach to each of the etudes is to enable the listener to create his or her own personal space of reflection. A partnership with Deutsche Grammophon, home of so many legendary pianists, will ensure my music reaches the ears of many more of those listeners. So of course I am honoured and excited to join DG.” (Deutsche Grammophon)

domingo, 29 de enero de 2017

Maurizio Pollini CHOPIN Late Works Opp. 59 - 64

Chopin has remained one of the staples of Maurizio Pollini’s career both on record and in the concert hall for more than half a century. Since completing his recordings of most of the major works (only the mazurkas were not covered comprehensively), his most recent Chopin discs have returned to parts of that repertory to explore it chronologically. After collections devoted to works with opus numbers in the 20s and 30s, the latest focuses on the last pieces from Opp 59 to 64. There’s the Barcarolle and the Polonaise-Fantaisie, together with six mazurkas, two nocturnes and three waltzes, and the unfinished F minor Mazurka Op 68 no 3 added as an epilogue.
It’s easy to understand why Pollini should have been drawn back to these late pieces, with their harmonic daring and structural subtleties. He gives a fascinating account of the Barcarolle, austere and detached, but also intensely focused, though the Polonaise-Fantaisie, one of Chopin’s supreme achievements, disappoints; there’s none of the rhythmic drive Pollini once brought to it, as if now he is too wrapped up in its formal innovations. For all its passing beauties, there’s a sense throughout the disc that he’s more concerned with what he is still discovering in the music than in communicating to a larger audience; it often tells us more about him than it does about Chopin. (The Guardian)

Julie Boulianne ALMA OPPRESSA

Apart from occasional trips back to her native Quebec for opera and recital dates, mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne conducts her career primarily in Europe.
And what a career it is: In December she made her role debut as Donna Elvira ("the highlight of the evening") in Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris; in September she made her debut at Toulouse's Théâtre du Capitole in one of the title roles in Berlioz's Béatrice et Bénédict (one reviewer astutely praised her distinctively rich timbre). Coming up in 2017, she stars in Opéra de Limoges's production of Rossini's La Cenerentola, and in May, audiences in Quebec City can hear her sing Rosina in Opéra de Québec's Barber of Seville.
Boulianne does make time in her opera schedule for regular concerts with Montreal harpsichordist Luc Beauséjour, with whom she has developed a remarkable complicity. Alma oppressa, due out Jan. 27 on Analekta Records, evolved from one such concert, part of Beauséjour's popular Clavecin en concert series in Old Montreal. It took place in June at the Chapelle Notre-Dame de Bonsecours and the musicians hit the studio (actually, a church in Beloeil, Que.) in the following weeks to record it for posterity.
If this is starting to sound familiar, it's because Boulianne, Beauséjour and company earned a Juno nomination for 2014's Handel & Porpora, produced under nearly identical circumstances, and their new album is in many respects its sequel.
Simply put, Alma oppressa is a tremendous accomplishment. The opening title track, a bravura aria from Vivaldi's La fida ninfa, shows Boulianne to be in command of a wide vocal range with breath support to sustain long, thrilling lines of coloratura. By way of contrast, track 2 (a Vivaldi aria from the pastiche Andromeda liberata) is a languorous duet with the solo baroque violin of Chantale Rémillard — an opportunity to luxuriate in Boulianne's creamy timbre, unforced vocal production and tasteful phrasing.
The Handel selections are just as convincing: "Cara speme" from Giulio Cesare, with its spare continuo accompaniment, is chamber music at its expressive best; the sudden pianissimo in the ritornello of the familiar "Laschia ch'io pianga" gave us chills; and if there's a better recording of Tirinto's aria, "Se potessero i sospir' miei" from Imeneo, we honestly don't think we could handle it.
When they're not backing the soloist, Beauséjour and the musicians of Clavecin en Concert punctuate the program with instrumental suites, which are more than mere interludes among the arias. These musicians enjoy making music together, and it shows. (CBC Music)

sábado, 28 de enero de 2017

Emmanuelle Bertrand CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS Cello Concerto No. 1 - Sonatas Nos. 2 & 3

‘That’s it done at last, this blasted sonata! Will it please or not? That is the question.’ So wrote Saint-Saëns, not without humour, of his second ‘quadruped’ for cello and piano. He adored the cello, as is shown by much more than the famous Swan. He wrote three sonatas for it, but unfortunately the last two movements of the Third Sonata have been lost and what is left survives only in manuscript. Emmanuelle Bertrand and Pascal Amoyel play it here with emotion and total respect. The Concerto also included here is today one of the ‘musts’ of the concertante repertory for cello.

jueves, 26 de enero de 2017


Vita Nova includes four pieces by Bryars in which ECM appeared to be, at least partially, attempting to cash in on the new age-y vogue of the early '90s for the sort of quasi-medieval music made relatively popular by assorted singing monks, Arvo Pärt, and the Hilliard Ensemble with Jan Garbarek. Indeed, that latter group is on hand here to perform "Glorious Hill," and the results are as blandly attractive as the listener might guess given the following recipe: Take a mushily mystical text (in Latin), set to vaguely medieval sounding music, and spice with a dash of chromaticism and a pinch of minimalism. It's all handsomely produced and sung but terribly precious and overly palatable. How far Bryars had come from the rich reality of the tramp singing "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet" in his masterpiece from the '70s. Unfortunately, the remainder of the disc also fails to deliver much more than prettiness. The longest composition, "Four Elements," falls into the same gauzily impressionistic, rudderless rut of much of his '90s work, and the introduction of David James, the same countertenor used in "Incipit Vita Nova," seems tacked on just to fit in with the ostensible "medieval" feel of the album. The same applies to the use of a recorder on the final piece, "Sub Rosa." That work, however, does contain glimmers of the unique beauty and clarity of Bryars' earlier work as found on Hommages. But those instances are far too meager to be able to recommend this recording to anyone but listeners attempting to slowly crawl their way out of the new age morass.

GAVIN BRYARS The Fifth Century

The music of English composer Gavin Bryars has long managed the distinction of being both “accessible and defiantly personal” (The New York Times). A deep yet unsentimental emotional resonance and a patient, contemplative view of time – whether relating to harmonic rhythm or human experience – are complementary characteristics that run through his instrumental, vocal and theatrical catalog like a red thread, the composer inspired by disparate spirits from Wagner and Satie to Cage and Silvestrov. The ECM New Series released multiple recordings of Bryars’ music in the 1980s and early ’90s, including the classic albums After the Requiem and Vita Nova. The first full ECM album from Bryars in decades is The Fifth Century, which includes the seven-part title work: a slowly evolving – yet immediately involving – setting of words by 17th-century English mystic Thomas Traherne, performed by the mixed choir of The Crossing with saxophone quartet PRISM. The album also features Two Love Songs, luminous a cappella settings of Petrarch for the women of The Crossing. (ECM Records)

Andrew von Oeyen SAINT-SAËNS - RAVEL - GERSHWIN Piano Concertos

Warner Classics renews its collaboration with the PKF-Prague Philharmonia and the orchestra’s music director and chief conductor Emmanuel Villaume, with a new album to be released in January 2017.
Critically acclaimed pianist Andrew von Oeyen makes his label debut with the PKF-Prague Philharmonia and Villaume for a high-energy album of music by Saint-Saëns, Ravel, and Gershwin.
As with the orchestra's 2014 label debut Héroïque, with New Orleans-born tenor Bryan Hymel singing grand opéra rarities, the forthcoming release brings French and American connections to the fore.
Von Oeyen says that the choice of repertoire has been influenced by his own travels and the two centers of his international career. “I have been living between France and the US since 2002. Both Ravel and Gershwin appeal to me, as do croissants and bagels!” he explains.
“Perhaps, then, it is no coincidence that my first album for Warner Classics presents a Franco-American theme and explores the interplay between the two cultures. The unifying thread is Maurice Ravel, who knew both Camille Saint-Saëns and George Gershwin.”
A pianist of “indisputable gifts [with] an extravagantly thorough and effortless technique,” (Los Angeles Times), von Oeyen makes his Warner Classics debut with Ravel’s jazz-tinged Concerto in G and Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No.2 in G Minor, written 60 years earlier. Alongside these two French masterpieces, von Oeyen has opted for a rarely-performed work by the composer of An American in Paris: not the sparkling Rhapsody in Blue for which Gershwin is most famous, but his Second Rhapsody (1931).
“It bears all the hallmarks of Gershwin’s genius and, in my estimation, at times even surpasses its prototype. Certainly it deserves to be played more often, particularly in the orchestration heard on this album,” von Oeyen affirms. “Probably no American composer was more influenced by the music of Ravel than Gershwin and no French composer more influenced by the music of Gershwin than Ravel,” he adds.
Having made his debut at the age of 16 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen, von Oeyen went on to study at the prestigious Juilliard School and Columbia University in New York. He now divides much of his time between Los Angeles and Paris.
Strasbourg-born Emmanuel Villaume was appointed Music Director and Chief Conductor of the PKF-Prague Philharmonia in September 2015. In February of that year, they made their Warner Classics debut in American tenor Bryan Hymel’s album Héroïque: Opera News praised “Emmanuel Villaume’s stunning work with the Prague Philharmonia throughout the disc”. (Warner Classics)

MAX RICHTER Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works

Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works, as the name suggests, draws from Richter's score for Wolf Works, a critically acclaimed three-act Royal Ballet production from Wayne McGregor inspired by the works of the influential English writer Virginia Woolf. Described as featuring "a vast palette of sounds—from solo instrumental and orchestral episodes, to electronic textures and music for wordless soprano," the score makes use of themes from three of Woolf's novels, Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves. It also employs a rare 1937 BBC recording of Woolf reading an essay called "Craftsmanship," reportedly the only surviving recording of Woolf's voice, along with the farewell note she left her husband before committing suicide in 1941, which is read by Gillian Anderson.

miércoles, 25 de enero de 2017

Yu-Chien Tseng / Rohan De Silva REVERIE

Yu-Chien Tseng studied music in Taiwan and continued at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia (USA) under Profs. Kavafian and Aaron Rosand. In 2009 he won the 10th Pablo Sarasate International Competition in Pamplona (Spain). In 2011 he won the Isang Yun Competition in Tongyeong (South Korea) and also was awarded a special prize at the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition (as best of those in Round II who did not make the finals). In 2012 he took fifth place in the Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Brussels. He has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Belgium, and the symphony orchestras of Singapore, Taipei, and Navarra among others. He has given solo concerts in cities in the USA, Europe and Asia.

martes, 24 de enero de 2017

STEVE REICH Six Pianos - TERRY RILEY Keyboard Study # 1

"After the widely noticed performance at the "Acht Brücken Festival 2016" at Cologne's Philharmonic Hall, Gregor Schwellenbach, Hauschka, Erol Sarp (of „Grandbrothers“), Daniel Brandt, Paul Frick (both of "Brandt Brauer Frick") and John Kameel Farah will be releasing their interpretation of Steve Reich’s "Six Pianos" as a studio recording via FILM. The re-recording of this piece is an interpretation of Reich’s composition but still far more than just that – it is a modern approach to his idea behind it.
The basic idea came up at the beginning of the 70s at "The Baldwin Piano & Organ Company" in New York. During a rehearsal phase Steve Reich spent in this very piano store, the idea emerged of writing a composition for all the grand pianos available to him at the company. By the time of the finished piece, the actual number of pianos had settled down to six, whereof „Six Pianos” developed in 1973.
On the occasion of his 80th birthday, the six pianists declare their love to Steve Reich and his composition with this release. Shaped by electronic club music as well as their classical education, they form "Six Pianos" in dignified modernity and top it off with today’s sound aesthetics and technical recording possibilities.
What you will be hearing is not the recording from the „Kölner Philharmonie” (Cologne Philharmonics) but the ensemble play of six different grand pianos in six different locations, throughout Germany. Each pianist performed his part on his piano using his typical studio equipment and passed the recording over to the next one. Thus the six characteristic and individual timbres of the performers overlay to create the overall picture – „Six Pianos” the way it should be looked at in 2016. "Pianists are soloists and lone warriors by nature”, as Gregor Schwellenbach once said. But the initiator not only won over solo artists to the greatest possible extent such as Hauschka or John Kameel Farah but also musicians from "Brandt Brauer Frick" and "Grandbrothers" as well as their ensemble partners: Jan Brauer mixed "Six Pianos" in the studio while Lukas Vogel provided delays for the b-side. 
"Keyboard Study #1" by Terry Riley is a worthy b-side opposed to Reich’s composition. The piece is kind of a building set of ever lengthening, repetitive patterns played against each other with the right and left hand displaced. The composition proposes various possible combinations for the performer to choose from and repeat at will. And what the performers have chosen proves Gregor Schwellenbach’s assumption: "Especially Terry Riley’s and Steve Reich’s music are open doors for pianists socialized by pop music and their audience."

Ensemble Correspondances / Sébastien Daucé HENRY DU MONT O Mysterium - Motets & Élévations pour la Chapelle de Louis XIV

For twenty years (from 1663 to 1683) Henry Du Mont directed the music of the Sun King’s chapel. For the daily Mass heard there he built up a new musical repertory consisting of motets for full chorus and more intimate pieces for solo voices. The former aimed to transpose to the context of the ‘ordinary’ the format of the large-scale works conceived for extraordinary ceremonies. Sébastien Daucé presents an innovative approach to these ‘grands motets’ that at once links specific musical features with historical data and reveals all their beauties in every detail. (Harmonia Mundi)

sábado, 21 de enero de 2017

Wolfgang Vladar / Bojidara Kouzmanova-Vladar / Magda Amara JOHANNES BRAHMS Horn Trio - Violin Sonatas

Golden Viennese horn sound, full and at the same time tender piano and velvet, emotional violin sound and vibrato is the beginning of this recording which opens the gate to the powerful, romantic world of Johannes Brahms' music. Deep feelings and musical thoughts are presented with technical easiness, keeping the musical phrase and expression in the center of the listener's attention. The only idea this recording really shows off are Brahms' words "I speak through my music".

viernes, 20 de enero de 2017

Doric String Quartet SCHUBERT String Quartet in G major - String Quartet in C minor

Alongside its highly praised Haydn series, the Doric String Quartet continues its Schubert journey with this second volume of quartets, which precipitates us into the fraught world of late Schubert. Both composers will be central in the Quartet’s recitals next year, to take place in the highest-profile international venues, from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Berlin’s Konzerthaus, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and London’s Wigmore Hall.
Franz Schubert returned to composing string quartets in the 1820s, after four years of focusing on songs which were beginning to gain him wider recognition.
His late chamber compositions reveal probably his most characteristic music, full of deep intimacy and profound ambivalence. The ‘Quartettsatz’ (Quartet Movement) presents a turbulent, norm-breaking first movement. Only a fragment survives of a serene Andante in A flat, and nothing for any scherzo or finale. If the 'Rosamunde' and 'Death and the Maiden' (CHAN10737) are the most frequently heard of the quartets of Schubert, his last completed one – in G major – certainly remains his most uncompromising in its vastness, and perhaps his most prophetic of the musical future. (Presto Classical)

jueves, 19 de enero de 2017

Angela Hewitt BEETHOVEN Piano Sonatas Op.14 No. 1 - Op. 49 Nos. 1 & 2 - Op. 31 No. 1 - Op. 81a

Angela Hewitt leaves few stones unturned in projecting the linear specificity of Beethoven’s style. In Op 31 No 1’s first movement, for example, you’ll rarely find the left-hand second subject and the sequential right-hand patterns so logically contoured. No doubt Hewitt’s authority in Bach informs her sophisticated articulation of the Adagio grazioso’s elaborate ornaments (note her fastidiously calibrated trills), achieved with minimum pedal and maximum finger control. For my taste, Hewitt’s Allegretto is a tad deliberate and fussy, whereas Jonathan Biss matches her intricate workmanship in faster, more humorous terms. Hewitt’s subtle timbral distinctions between detached and sustained passages throughout Op 14 No 1 bring Beethoven’s wonderful string quartet arrangement of this sonata to mind.
Hewitt lavishes similar care over the modest Op 49 sonatas. She brings a winsome lilt to No 1’s finale which makes up for its sedate tempo. If she holds back in No 2’s Allegro ma non troppo (here I prefer François-Frédéric Guy’s robust animation), her steadfast legato/détaché differentiation in the Menuetto is attractively deadpan.
One can hardly fault Hewitt’s suave execution or her meticulous voice-leading and dynamic shadings in Les adieux’s first movement, although I miss the forward impetus and outward joy conveyed by Ivan Moravec and Solomon. Many pianists put the slow movement in freeze-frame but Hewitt treats it like the classical Andante it is, making expressive points through touch and colour. After pouncing into the Rondo’s whirling introduction, she seemingly settles back when the movement’s main theme commences. Yet her biting accents, strong left-hand presence and shapely downward scales assiduously gather momentum and drive. In other words, Hewitt is a sleek cougar next to Artur Schnabel’s scruffy lion! As always, her annotations show her to be equally articulate and accessably erudite away from the keyboard. I look forward to her cycle’s 10 remaining sonatas. (Gramophone)

viernes, 13 de enero de 2017

Nina Kotova / Fabio Bidini RACHMANINOV - PROKOFIEV Cello Sonatas

The Russian-American cellist Nina Kotova, praised by Gramophone as a “strong and individual artist [whose] depth of feeling and technical control are never in doubt,” here partners with pianist Fabio Bidini in two landmark Russian sonatas from the 20th century, Rachmaninov’s in G minor and Prokofiev’s in C major, and in two smaller pieces by Tchaikovsky. For this recording her partner is the Italian-born pianist Fabio Bidini, whose connection with the United States dates back to 1993, when he was a finalist in the Van Cliburn Competition. In addition to commanding a repertoire of more than 80 concertos, he is an eminent chamber musician and teacher. 

miércoles, 11 de enero de 2017

Lucille Chung / Alessio Bax POULENC Works for Piano Solo and Duo

Since I was a little girl, the music of Francis Poulenc has always fascinated me; being born to devout Roman Catholic Korean parents in Montréal, I was raised within multiple backgrounds. I attended a French private school for girls and fully embraced the fact that I happened to be born in a francophone milieu. To add to the mix, my parents had met while studying in Germany and I spoke to my brother in English. Religion and secularity always coexisted in my world.
Although Poulenc clearly has no Korean connections, his music thrives in the dichotomy of the sacred and profane, spirituality and light-heartedness, often switching from one to the other quickly and seamlessly while at the same time retaining an unmistakably French idiom and a clarity that speaks directly to everyone’s heart.
The two sides of Poulenc’s music are startlingly obvious, yet they have to be taken as a whole, because together they make a stronger statement. His music, always identifiable yet original, is so beautifully crafted that it seems to flow naturally from the composer’s mind to our ears. Music writer Jessica Duchen beautifully pinpoints Poulenc as “a fizzing, bubbling mass of Gallic energy who can move you to both laughter and tears within seconds. His language speaks clearly, directly and humanely to every generation.”
Making this album was a dream come true. From the irresistible charm of the 15 Improvisations to the irrepressible bursts of energy in the Concerto for Two Pianos , the range of Poulenc’s music and beauty had a wonderfully infectious effect for everyone involved in this project! (Lucille Chung)

martes, 10 de enero de 2017

Bruce Brubaker INNER CITIES

Bruce Brubaker joined the New England Conservatory faculty as piano chair in 2005. In live performances from the Hollywood Bowl to New York’s Avery Fisher Hall, from Paris to Hong Kong, and in his continuing series of recordings for Arabesque—Bruce Brubaker is a visionary virtuoso. Named “Young Musician of the Year” by Musical America, Bruce Brubaker performs Mozart with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Philip Glass on the BBC. Profiled on NBC’s "Today" show, Brubaker’s playing, writing, and collaborations continue to show a shining, and sometimes surprising future for pianists and piano playing. His blog “PianoMorphosis” appears at
Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post critic Tim Page has said: “I wouldn't trade Pollini, Argerich, Richard Goode, Peter Serkin or Bruce Brubaker (to mention a terrific younger artist) for any handful of Horowitzes!” Brubaker was presented by Carnegie Hall at Zankel Hall in New York, at Trifolion in Echternach, at Michigan’s Gilmore Festival, and at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, as the opening-night performer in the museum’s acclaimed new Diller Scofidio + Renfro-designed building. He is a frequent performer at New York City’s Le Poisson Rouge.
Bruce Brubaker’s CDs for Arabesque include Time Curve (music by Philip Glass and William Duckworth), Hope Street Tunnel Blues (music by Glass and Alvin Curran, featuring Brubaker’s transcription of a portion of Glass’s opera Einstein on the Beach), Inner Cities (including a live recording of John Adams’s Phrygian Gates and Brubaker’s transcription of part of Adams’s opera Nixon in China), and the first CD in the series, glass cage, named one of the best releases of the year by The New Yorker magazine. (New England Conservatory)

lunes, 9 de enero de 2017

Gustavo Dudamel / Vienna Philharmonic NEW YEAR'S CONCERT 2017

The 2017 New Year's Concert took place on January 1, 2017, under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel in the Vienna Musikverein. Gustavo Dudamel, who was born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela in 1981, became the youngest conductor in the 75 year history of the New Year's Concert. In 2007, Gustavo Dudamel conducted the Vienna Philharmonic for the first time at the Lucerne Festival and made his debut at the Vienna Philharmonic Subscription Concerts in 2011. Dudamel conducted the Summer Night Concert Schönbrunn in 2012 and led the orchestra on its traditional Vienna Philharmonic Week in Japan in 2014.
The 2017 New Year's Concert was broadcast in over 90 countries and followed by up to 50 million television viewers around the world.

domingo, 8 de enero de 2017

Liana Gourdjia / Katia Skanavi STRAVINSKY

Since I remember myself, there were sounds of violin and piano. I must have been present during hundreds of hours of scrupulous work, when my grandmother was teaching my sister the violin, long before being aware of what it all really meant. Music was all around me. My mother played the piano. Often the violin students of The Moscow Conservatory came to rehearse chez nous, and that is how I became familiar with every microscopic detail of most violin pieces she had accompanied. My mother loved accompanying, she made everyone feel confident, even in most treacherous passages. We knew she would always wait, or, in any case, do just the right thing in order to support a player. Masterful accompanists are hard to come by; they must be cherished.
It was Spring of 1986 when I was taken to my sister’s violin lesson. At that time The Soviet Union was still in the “high achievement” phase in the arts. The promising talents were screened in rigorous exams and were selected or rejected for The Central Music School or The Gnessin School in Moscow, to study with the best and the toughest and, later, win International Competitions. The school’s vestibule is often in y thoughts, where the often-not-so-friendly-mothers were waiting for their little musicians to take them home. I was “chosen” at my sister’s lesson as someone gifted as I sang themes from the Mendelssohn Concerto she was playing, and was told that I shall be a violinist.

Nuria Rial / Valer Sabadus / Kammerorchester Basel SACRED DUETS

Sony Classical present Italian duets and arias with baroque stars Nuria Rial and Valer Sabadus. The Spanish soprano Nuria Rial and the countertenor Valer Sabadus are both stars of the booming baroque music scene. Nuria Rial is a bright soprano with her “addictive timbre“ and Valer Sabadus's velvety "dramatic, crystal clear and lyric voice" (Süddeutsche Zeitung) are for the first time united in one recording. With the excellent Kammerorchester Basel they send the listener on a voyage of discovery to Italy, to lesser known music by Alessandro Scarlatti, Giovanni Paolo Colonna, Giovanni Gabrieli, Antonio Lotti, Giovanni Battista Bononcini, Bernardo Pasquini and Antonio Caldara. The arias and duets are mainly from oratorios, which have already fascinated many listeners. (Presto Classical)

STEVE REICH The ECM Recordings

Steve Reich has been described by The Guardian as one of “a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history" and as “the greatest musical thinker of our time” by The New Yorker. Reich celebrates his 80th birthday on October 3, and The ECM Recordings brings together the landmark albums Music for 18 Musicians, Music for a Large Ensemble/Violin Phase and Tehillim in a limited edition set to mark the occasion. Originally released in 1978, 1980 and 1982, each of these recordings had a decisive influence which continues to reverberate across musical idioms.
The 3-CD box set includes a 44-page booklet with original liner notes by Steve Reich, a new essay by Paul Griffiths, and session photography by Deborah Feingold and Barbara Klemm. (ECM Records)

viernes, 6 de enero de 2017

Anett Fritsch / Münchner Rundfunkorchester / Alessandro de Marchi MOZART Arien

Born in 1986 in Plauen, Anett Fritsch studied at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Music Academy in Leipzig with KS Prof. Jürgen Kurth. In 2001 she was awarded the first prize at the Johann Sebastian Bach Competition in Leipzig. She was a laureate at the international competition of the Chamber Opera at Schloss Rheinsberg in 2006 and 2007, where she sang the parts of Despina in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte and Adina in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. In the season 07/08 the Oper Leipzig engaged Anett Fritsch for various parts, including Gianetta in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore.
Since 2009 Anett Fritsch is part of the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf/Duisburg where she sings among others Pamina, Blanche/Dialogue des Carmelites, Konstanze/Entführung aus dem Serail and Marie/Fille du Régiment.
Anett Fritsch had a great success at her debut at the Glyndebourne Festival with the part of Almirena in Händel’s Rinaldo and with the part of Merione in Gluck’s Telemaco at the Theater an der Wien. She also made a triumphant debut as Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte at the Teatro Real Madrid, a production which was also very successful at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels and in 2014 appeared at the Wiener Festwochen. The tour through Europe Figaro/Cherubinowith René Jacobs and the Freiburger Barockorchester met with a big international response.
In 2014 Anett Fritsch made her debut at the Salzburg Festival as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. In Munich she sang Figaro/Susanna.
Future engagements include Arabella/Zdenka in Dusseldorf, Ginevra/Ariodante in Amsterdam, Nozze di Figaro/Susanna in Toulouse, Donna Elvira/Giovanni at the Salzburg Festival, a production of the Salieri opera Falstaff at the Theater an der Wien, Pamina in Toronto, Donna Elvira/Giovanni und at La Scala, Sifare/Mitridate at Covent Garden, Figaro/Cherubino at the Bavarian State Opera Munich.

jueves, 5 de enero de 2017


The stage cantata David features Eleni Karaindrou’s music for a unique piece of Aegean drama, a verse play with words by an unknown 18th century poet from the island of Chios. Its text (first published only in 1979), invites a musical response and Greek composer Karaindrou rises splendidly to the challenge, imaginatively moving between past and present in her settings for mezzo-soprano and baritone singers, instrumental soloists, choir and orchestra. Kim Kashkashian’s evocative viola against strings may trigger associations with Karaindrou’s acclaimed writing for Ulysses’ Gaze. The music also draws inspiration from the world of baroque opera as singers Irini Karagianni and Tassis Christoyannopoulos are brought to the foreground. Karaindrou’s David is a work of changing music colours . Recorded live at the Athens Megaron, it was edited and mixed by Manfred Eicher and Nikos Espialdis for CD release. (ECM Records)

miércoles, 4 de enero de 2017

KJARTAN SVEINSSON Der Klang der Offenbarung des Göttlichen

Kjartan Sveinsson, former member of Sigur Rós, releases his first solo project, a four act opera, ‘Der Klang der Offenbarung des Göttlichen’- which translates as ‘The Explosive Sonics of Divinity’.
Sveinsson composed the score for his and Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s opera inspired by Nobel Laureate Halldór Laxness’ novel ‘World Light’.
Der Klang der Offenbarung des Göttlichen’ premiered at Berlin’s Volksbühne theatre in February 2014 where Sveinsson was joined by The German Film Orchestra Babelsberg and the Filmchor Berlin for the 50-minute show.
The live performance sees each of the four movements set to a different theatrical tableau; with scenery changes and slight weather events sweeping in and out of the set, all of which occurs without a single actor gracing the stage. Kjartansson says that “Der Klang der Offenbarung des Göttlichen’ is a banally romantic opera inspired by Halldór Laxness’s cunning texts about the longing for beauty”.
Since 2011 Kjartan Sveinsson has collaborated with Ragnar Kjartansson on various projects including the durational performance installation ‘Take me Here by the Dishwasher’ performed by ten troubadours and ‘S.S. Hangover’ a brass sextet for a sailing boat, as well as the globally acclaimed installation ‘The Visitors’. These projects have been performed in museums around the world, as well as undertaking multiple film score work, also with the Icelandic director, Rúnar Rúnarsson – Sparrows, Volcano and The Last Farm.
Der Klang der Offenbarung des Göttlichen is released via Bel-Air Glamour Records, a joint label between Kjartansson, artist Ingibjörg Sigurjónsdóttir and The Vinyl Factory, as a double gatefold 10” vinyl with artwork by Kjartansson.

Shiyeon Sung / Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra MAHLER Symphony No. 5

The South Korean conductor Shiyeon Sung is characterised by a natural authority, a collegial and inspiring rehearsal approach and the ability to tread the fine line between passion and level-headedness. With the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra, whose chief conductor she has been since January 2014, she toured Europe for the first time in summer 2015. Together, they appeared at the Philharmonie Berlin, in Wiesbaden, at the Musik Festival Saar and elsewhere. In September 2016, she will repay the favour, and conduct the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern on tour in her home country.
Other highlights of the new season include a return visit to the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, her debut concerts with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra and the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz as well as a concert performance of Bizet’s Carmen, a “Shakespeare in Music” concert, and a Prokofiev portrait concert with the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom she recently performed and recorded Mahler’s 5th symphony. In July 2016, she made her successful debut with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra with works by Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky and Berlioz. In the previous season, she conducted the National Symphony Orchestra Washington at the Wolf Trap Festival.
When James Levine appointed her as his Assistant Conductor at the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2007, she already had a reputation as one of the most exciting emerging talents on the international music circuit: shortly before, Shiyeon Sung had won the International Conductors‘ Competition Sir Georg Solti and the Gustav Mahler Conductors‘ Competition in Bamberg. During her three-year tenure in Boston, she began a close collaboration with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted their season opening concert in 2007. In 2009, the orchestra established an Associate Conductor’s position especially for her, which she held until 2013.
The list of orchestras with whom Shiyeon Sung has worked since then is remarkable. This includes renowned European orchestras such as the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin and the Bamberg Symphony,as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which she led in a spectacular debut concert with Martha Argerich at the Tongyeong International Music Festival. In June 2010, Shiyeon Sung conducted a highly successful concert after the re-opening of the legendary Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. The Argentinian press enthusiastically praised the young conductor’s “virtuoso ability”. At the Stockholm Opera, she has conducted works including Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orpheus und Eurydike.
Born in Pusan, South Korea, Shiyeon Sung won various prizes as a pianist in youth competitions. From 2001 to 2006, she studied orchestral conducting with Rolf Reuter at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin and continued her education with advanced conducting studies with Jorma Panula at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.

martes, 3 de enero de 2017

Susanne Elmark / Sønderjyllands Symfoniorkester / Robert Reimer ARIER - Ch'il bel Sogno

Susanne Elmark completed her training at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen in 1994, and gave her debut concert in 1996. Her teachers were Susanne Eken and Ingrid Bjoner, and she has studied widh Josef Protschka. Susanne Elmark has given numerous recitals in Denmark and Germany, and has performed as a soloist in The Messiah, Mozart's Requiem, Bach's B Minor Mass and Carmina Burana, and she is a patticularly frequent guest with the Danish Radio Concert Ordhestra. She has sung Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi in a production on Danish television. Other roles have included Gilda in Rigoletto at the Braunschweig Opera, the Queen of the Night at the Deutsche Oper and Zerlina with the Royal Opera in Copenhagen. She has had several engagements widh Danish orchestras and appears frequently on recordings. (Naxos Records)