martes, 28 de febrero de 2017

Quatuor Voce / Lise Berthaud MOZART - BRAHMS String Quintets

Since the very beginning of our quartet, ten years ago, we have always cultivated collaborations with artists from different horizons and diverse backgrounds. The string quintet seems to us to be the most natural and the most intimate of formations, seamlessly merging with the established ensemble an instrument which already has a brother in the quartet and redistributing the material without signi cantly changing the framework. The viola quintet repertoire has followed us from our rst steps as a string quartet right up to the present day, be it with distinguished teachers (Miguel da Silva, Yuri Bashmet) or with brilliant artists of our generation such as Lise Berthaud, who inspires us with her generous sound and innate musical instinct. 
Whether in Mozart or Brahms, we have constantly admired and enjoyed the ease, the liberty of expression and the sheer joy this fth voice confers on their music. As if the addition of a second viola resolved all the problems which arise with four instruments, Brahms and Mozart offer us masterworks of orchestral dimensions, the meeting of the most intimate and the most universal of worlds. Those four extra strings seem to expand even further the quartet’s already vast spectrum of sound.

lunes, 27 de febrero de 2017

Sergej Krylov / Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra VIVALDI The Four Seasons

Violinist Sergej Krylov has worked with some of the biggest names in music. In 2008 he was appointed artistic director and principal conductor of the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, which (together with the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vilnius String Quartet) has its home at the National Philharmonic Hall in Vilnius. Since then he has performed regularly in the dual role of soloist and conductor and excels in a wide repertoire ranging from the baroque to contemporary compositions.
In 2016, Deutsche Grammophon has released a first CD of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in the double role of soloist and conductor with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra.

Maya Levy / Matthieu Idmtal GRIEG Violin Sonatas

“Matthieu Idmtal is a poet at the keyboard. With highly mastered pianissimi he forced his audience to hold their breath, while no single note sounded superficial. When he continued his journey with Chopin he impressed by his undoubtable talent for lyricism, and a spontaneity reminiscent of the masters at the beginning of the twentieth century. A romantic through and through. “
It is clear that Matthieu Idmtal has become an established name on national and international stages.
Press and public have witnessed his distinctive musical personality, and have praised his highly sensitive interpretations.

« From the very first seconds, Maya takes us into her world. She mesmerizes with a delicate and tender play, along with her distinctive and strong personality, this rare gift of eloquence that seems natural to her, and that is exclusive to true artists. »
Born in 1997, of a belgian mother and a french father, Maya Levy grows up surrounded by music lovers. She is herself profoundly moved by music as a child and inherently follows the solid intuition leading her to playing the violin. She first drew the bow at the age of 4 with Bernadette Jansen, with whom she takes her first steps. She later pursues her apprenticeship with Véronique Bogaerts, Leonid Kerbel, Igor Tkatchouk and Mr. Boris Kuschnir in Vienna – her current teacher since 2013.

domingo, 26 de febrero de 2017

Olivier Baumont / Julien Chauvin À MADAME Divertissement pour Adélaïde

At the court of Versailles, the daughters of Louis XV (referred to as ‘Mesdames’), and in particular Adélaïde, devoted themselves to a regular practice of music and, apparently, demonstrated talent. Numerous composers (Simon, Rameau, Balbastre, Cardonne, Guignon) played for them, worked with them, and dedicated several works to them. ‘À Madame’, Divertissement pour Adélaïde, is an anthology, subjectively put together, of compositions that resounded in their drawing room.
All the works on this programme are world premieres. These lovely, rare nuggets are mixed with a few unusual sonorities of marvellous carillons of the Marc-Antoine Le Nepveu clock (currently in the Cabinet de la Méridienne, located at the heart of the palace, on the first floor).
The recording, made in the Grand Cabinet de Madame Victoire at Versailles and featuring two precious historical instruments from the palace’s collections, faithfully reproduces the forgotten beauties of the Age of Enlightenment.
An original invitation to travel back in time, as testimony to a musical afternoon at Versailles in the company of Mesdames. (Aparté Music)

Vanessa Benelli Mosell SCRIABIN - STOCKHAUSEN

Vanessa Benelli Mosell studied with Karlheinz Stockhausen in his old age. Whether this makes her an authoritative interpreter of the Klavierstücke, specifically the one here extracted from the giant Licht (Light) opera cycle, may be debated. But she certainly gets the energy in this work, one of Stockhausen's most accessible, and she enters enthusiastically into its jazz accents and exotic vocal effects. The bulk of the program here, however, is devoted not to Stockhausen but to Alexander Scriabin. The "light" theme is intended to apply to both composers, but the early works of Scriabin performed here, the 24 Preludes for piano, Op. 11, and the even earlier 3 Pieces, Op. 2 and Etude, Op. 8, No. 12, carry little hint of the synaesthetic experiments to come later in Scriabin's career. Mosell seems to admit as much in the interview-style booklet, where she turns first to the totalizing tendencies of these composers. Nevertheless, the program holds together reasonably well on its own (and it's noteworthy to see the name Stockhausen on a major-label release). Mosell has a rather explosive style in the Preludes, which see the composer breaking out into his mature idiom. You could sample one of these very short pieces, such as the 47-second "Allegro agitato," for a taste of Mosell's style. The more Chopin-esque pieces in the middle of the program then take on the character of an interlude before the more extreme sound world of Stockhausen. This is the kind of release that makes you want to hear more from the performer involved, even if it does not succeed in every respect. (James Manheim)

Vanesa Benelli Mosell RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 2 - Corelli Variations

Following the success of her first two albums, which established Vanessa Benelli Mosell as a successful classical artist (pupil of Stockhausen and devotee to the development of classical music), her third album with Decca focusses on mainstream repertoire.
Accompanied by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Kirill Karabits, this album presents Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2, considered one of the most popular pieces for piano. Featured in several films (including The Seven Year Itch), it appears very often in concert programmes worldwide.
The concerto is coupled with one of Rachmaninov’s most popular pieces for solo piano, Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op. 42, which traditionally combines strong virtuosic playing with deep thinking. (Presto Classical)

Tristan Pfaff PIANO ENCORES

The encore, an end-of-concert ritual, is always highly appreciated by the audience. In a way, through them the listener gets to know the artist a little better, as encore choices reveal taste and personality. Thus, pianist Tristan Pfaff interprets above all pieces he loves: from the Baroque era of Bach to music of the 20th century by Prokofiev and Kabalevsky, a very broad musical horizon is proposed. Popular song is also present with Gershwin's 'The man I love', in its piano version.
Here, after two discs – one devoted to Liszt, the other to Schubert, Pfaff follows one of Schumann's numerous bits of advice inscribed on the score of his 'Album für die Jugend': 'Nothing great can be achieved in art without enthusiasm'. With this disc, recorded in very few takes, Tristan Pfaff, whose greatest pleasure is to play onstage, gives us a succession of encores… beloved works offered as gifts to the audience. (Presto Classical)

Beatrice Rana BACH Goldberg Variations

For her second Warner Classics release, young Italian pianist Beatrice Rana turns to a pinnacle of the solo keyboard repertoire and a composer she has described as “my first love”: Johann Sebastian Bach. Her interpretation of his epic Goldberg Variations bears out Le Monde’s judgement that “Beatrice Rana certainly has nothing left to prove when it comes to technique, but what makes an impression are her calm maturity and her sense of architecture,” and Gramophone’s that she is “a fully developed artist of a stature that belies her tender years.”

Bach was the composer who most obsessed Beatrice Rana as a child, and in a recent interview with Pianist magazine, she confessed that it would be his music, and above all the Goldberg Variations, that she would choose if she had to devote her life to a single composer. As she said: “I’m very happy to be going back to Bach … It’s best to avoid Bach in competitions … you can’t expose yourself to be totally killed by the jury! But Bach is my first love; now I am allowed to play it in public and I’m really looking forward to that.” (Warner Classics)

lunes, 20 de febrero de 2017

Natalie Clein BLOCH Suites for Solo Cello DALLAPICCOLA Ciaconna, Intermezzo e Adagio LIGETI Sonata for Solo Cello

Despite the appeal and popularity of Bloch’s Schelomo, his three solo cello suites have not been widely recorded. They were written late in the composer’s life, in 1956-57, after he had retired from teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, and were inspired by the Canadian cellist Zara Nelsova. Unfortunately, Nelsova, who worked closely with Bloch in the years after the end of the Second World War, left no recording of the pieces. The German cellist Peter Bruns recorded them in 1997, on a disc that also included key cello works from earlier in the composer’s career, including From Jewish Life and Baal Shem, when Bloch was self-consciously interested in discovering within himself what it meant to be a Jewish composer.
The late-in-life solo suites are very different in tone from those earlier works, more meditative and introspective, and while listeners will easily detect similar melodic contours to the music Bloch was writing in his Jewish Cycle works, these suites lack the long, ardent lines of Schelomo, though none of its expressive power. Cellist Natalie Clein keeps the expressive range within autumnal parameters: melancholy, lightly fretful, inward and dignified. Whereas Bruns is more forcefully rhetorical and demonstrative, Clein plays intimately, as if for herself alone. But there is nothing hermetic about her approach. Gently, insistently, quietly, she draws the listener into Bloch’s music and the results are thoroughly absorbing.
Rather than pair these relatively short works—made up of four or five movements each, most lasting only a few minutes—with other works by Bloch, Clein couples them with Dallapiccola’s 1945 Ciaccona, Intermezzo e Adagio, thorny but powerful, written at the same time as he was working on his tremendously bleak opera Il prigioniero, and Ligeti’s 1948-53 two-movement Sonata for solo cello. Clein is every bit as commanding in the formidably difficult Dallapiccola as she is retiring in the Bloch, and her performance of the Adagio theme in the Ligeti is four minutes of pure, concentrated beauty. This lovely disc reveals the cello as a kind of private sketch pad, or journal, capturing big emotions on a small scale, with a poetic concentration in sharp contrast to the larger, more furious musical gestures of the post-war moment. (Gramophone)

Myung-Whun Chung / Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra BEETHOVEN - SAINT-SAËNS - CHOI SUNGHWAN

The Lotte Concert Hall releases a live recording album Friday from its opening concert held Aug. 19, 2016. 
 
This is a first for a local concert hall to release a live album from an opening concert held in its halls. The release of the album signifies the concert hall's confidence in its carefully designed acoustics.
The album includes Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72a, Saint-Saens' Symphony No. 3 in c minor, Op. 78 "Organ" and Choi Sung-hwan's Arirang Fantasias performed by Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of maestro Chung Myung-whun.
"Many performers and conductors who have participated or listened to performances at the hall lauded the concert hall’s acoustics. It is extremely meaningful that we are releasing our second album even before our one year anniversary of opening. We hope to establish our hall as the optimum recording venue for classical music,” said Han Kwang-gyu, president of Lotte Concert Hall.
Sound engineer Choi Jin, who directed the opening concert recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 with Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra released last December said, “Lotte Concert Hall's opening concert recording has a unique silky sound. The recording for this particular album used state of the art technology which produces a lively sound.”
Music critics commented, “Saint-Saens’ Symphony No.3 in c minor, Op. 78 ‘Organ’ is a piece that is particularly difficult to perform let alone produce great sound. The highlight of this album is the mystic ambience created by the organ's low tunes harmonizing with the string instruments." (Yun Suh-young)

Maria Perrotta FRANZ SCHUBERT Sonatas D784 & D960 - Grazer Fantasy D605A

The Italian pianist, Maria Perrotta, graduated with distinction from the Milan Conservatoire in 1996; then she studied at the École Normale de Musique in Paris, where she graduated in chamber music. In 2007, she graduated with distinction from the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome under Sergio Perticaroli. She has won top prizes in several international piano competitions. In 2004, she won 3rd prize at the 5th J.S. Bach International Piano Competition of Saarbrücken (Germany) gaining critical acclaim: "The crystal-clear sound, the ever-audible structure and stimulating phrasal articulation made this an ideal interpretation." (Allgemeine Zeitung). Other awards include 1st prize at the 2005 S. Giovanni Teatino International Piano Competition; 2nd prize (first prize void), as well as the Schubert prize, at the 2006 Camillo Togni International Piano Competition; and 1st prize at the 2008 Shura Cherkassky International Piano Competition in Milan.
A prodigy, Maria Perrotta made her debut with a symphony orchestra at the age of 11 performing L.v. Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 at the Rendano Theatre of Cosenza, her native city. Hailed as an exceptionally communicative interpreter, she has performed extensively across Italy and Europe. In 2013 she performed L.v. Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini conducted by Antoni Wit, as well as L.v. Beethoven's last three piano sonatas to critical acclaim: "Where Pollini is fast and formalistic, Perrotta is analytical and expressive, but, like Pollini, always maintains a sense of formal unity."

sábado, 18 de febrero de 2017

Gülru Ensari / Herbert Schuch GO EAST!

„Everything began with Paul Hindemith’s Waltzes, op. 6. One morning, before practicing, Gülru Ensari and Herbert Schuch sight-read those eight miniatures for four hands, and were astounded to find that they featured a number of similarities with the Brahms Waltzes. Why not intermingle the two cycles? The Turkish-German duo – who are partners in real life, not just at the piano – decided to record the Brahms and Hindemith cycles for this CD release, along with two Turkish dances by Özkan Manav and the four-hand version of Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”.
........................ And then it turned out that the “Hungarian” element often gave us the chance to create smooth transitions between one composer and the other. It ends up sounding incredibly natural to us. The two composers are directing their gaze toward the same horizon: to the East......
Where did you get the idea of commissioning Özkan Manav to compose a work for your duo?
Composing in Vienna and Frankfurt respectively, Brahms and Hindemith found their inspiration in Hungarian folk tunes. Özkan Manav arranged an Armenian folk dance; in Paris, Stravinsky revisited the folk music of his Russian homeland to write ‘Sacre’. To what extent do those gazes towards the East and the variety of musical cultures represented on your CD bear autobiographical traits?
Ensari Each one of us emigrated from the “East” to Germany.................
Schuch ... Furthermore, Brahms was able to appropriate the Hungarian style until it became his own musical language, thereby revealing a more down-to-earth, uncomplicated side of his nature. It’s truly moving to see how someone can adopt a foreign element that ends up enriching his own personality. ......... And we didn’t choose the subject of dance by mere chance: we just love to dance.” (excerpts from the Booklet interview).

Roberta Invernizzi / Accademia Hermans / Fabio Ciofini QUEENS

A disc of Handel opera arias from Roberta Invernizzi is remarkable in its own right because it breaks new ground for the Milanese soprano. True, she has taken part in complete operas on disc as on stage, and has recorded plenty of arias by other composers of the time such as Vivaldi, Leo, Porpora, Feo or Mancini (Arias for Domenico Gizzi and I Viaggi di Faustina being two recent albums). This new release from Glossa, however, sees Invernizzi reflecting Handel’s special brand of emotional investigation and making her selection from the many regal characters which pepper Handel’s operas – Cleopatra, Berenice, Arianna and Alcina, among them – and their ardent, affecting, distraught and stately feelings. 
These are choppy waters through which Roberta Invernizzi sails with unquestionable skill: complete control of her native language and dominance of Handel’s stylistic demands in canto espressivo and canto d’agilità – all being allied to her lustrous vocal tones. She finds responsive and sympathetic accompaniment from Fabio Ciofini and his Accademia Hermans, which works extensively in the Perugian Teatro Cucinelli in Solomeo. 
Invernizzi’s majestic sweep of Handelian queens also takes us through a chequered period in the composer’s career, when he led the two Royal Academies of Music in the 1720s and 1730s. At this time, he was writing for magnificent and tempestuous divas such as Francesca Cuzzoni and Anna Maria Strada del Pò – a selection of their roles is to be heard on this recording. (Glossa Music)

jueves, 16 de febrero de 2017

Simon Ghraichy HERITAGES

Simon Ghraichy is a 30 year old, Paris-based, Lebanese-Mexican pianist.  He juxtaposes his Latino-American and oriental roots with a European sensibility and history of classical music tradition that he has learned alongside masters such as Michel Béroff and Daria Hovora at the Conservatoire National de Paris (CNSMDP), and Tuija Hakkila at the Sibelius Academy of Helsinki. He’s attracted to traditional classical and romantic European repertoire, as well as lesser-known repertory by Latin American composers such as Villa-Lobos, Ponce, Gottschalk, Guarnieri, Chaves; Finnish composer Sibelius; and Australian and Anglo-Saxon contemporary composers.
Simon Ghraichy’s career took flight in 2010 when critic Robert Hughes of The Wall Street Journal praised his interpretation of the Réminiscences de Don Juan of Franz Liszt. He has performed in recitals, chamber music concerts and as a soloist with orchestras on five continents including the Brazil Symphony Orchestra, State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Cairo Symphony Orchestra, Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, Cuba National Symphony Orchestra, UniSA international music festival in South Africa, the EXIT festival in Serbia, and the Isang Yun festival in South Korea.  Ghraichy has won numerous prizes and international distinctions at festivals including the BNDES (Banco do Brasil) International Piano Competition, the Manuel M. Ponce International Piano Competition in Mexico City, and the Torneo Internazionale di Musica in Rome. He is a laureate of the Gyorgy Cziffra Foundation with whom he collaborates yearly in Senlis (France) and different partner festivals.   In 2015, Simon Ghraichy debuts at the Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence at the Theatre du Jeu de Paume, and the Bard Music Festival and Carnegie Hall in New York.

lunes, 13 de febrero de 2017

Akiko Suwanai / Enrico Pace FRANCK & R. STRAUSS Violin Sonatas TAKEMITSU Hika

The Japanese violinist Akiko Suwanai studied with Toshiya Eto at the Toho Gakuen School of Music, and later with Dorothy DeLay and Cho-Liang Lin at the Juilliard. With several prestigious prizes to her name, her outstanding achievement was as the youngest winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1990. Since then she has amassed an impressive discography. For her latest offering she has chosen two sonatas, often paired. Her collaborator on this occasion is the Italian pianist Enrico Pace.
Suwanai and Pace’s Strauss Sonata reflects the youthful exuberance that not only permeates this work but also the tone poem Don Juan, penned around the same time. They take a broad and spacious view of the opening Allegro, where passion and lyricism are meted out in equal measure. The slow movement is tender and heartfelt and lovingly phrased. In the middle section the violin weaves a magical line over the piano’s diaphanous and luminous cascading waves. The players bring this off stunningly. Fervid passion informs the finale, the duo’s incandescent performance setting the seal on a convincing and assured interpretation.
I’m very happy to make a first acquaintance with the deliciously evocative Takemitsu work, from 1966. Hika means ‘elegy’ in Japanese and, as its title suggests, the mood is sombre, sorrowful and reflective. Set in a 12-tone idiom, both instrumental parts are deftly and imaginatively etched. There’s an unaccompanied section for violin about half-way through, calling for harmonics, tremolos and double-stops, all delivered with consummate polish and flawless intonation. Enrico Pace’s sensitive pedalling brings a wealth of colour and allure to the piano part. This short piece sits well between the two sonatas.
Franck’s ubiquitous Sonata is contemporaneous with the Strauss, with an old age perspective replacing youth. It was composed in 1886 as a wedding present for the great Belgian violinist, Eugène Ysaÿe. This performance certainly highlights the work's effusive lyricism. I’m particularly won over by the exquisite rendering of the Recitativo third movement, which feels like the work’s emotional heart. It sounds improvisatory, with an instinctive sense of line. The finale, which follows, is intensely passionate and intense. As a performance it stands up well in a well-served arena, where there are many fine recordings to be had, one of my favourites being the Kaja Danczowska/Krystian Zimerman collaboration on DG.
Warmly recorded, with excellent balance struck between the two players, the Paroisse Notre-Dame du Liban à Paris provides a sympathetic and intimate ambience. (Stephen Greenbank)

domingo, 12 de febrero de 2017

Liza Ferschtman / David Porcelijn / Deutsche Staatsphilharmonic Rheinland-Pfalz JULIUS RÖNTGEN The Violin Cpncertos

Leipzig-born Julius Röntgen (1855-1932) was nothing if not prolific, his output of well over 500 works incorporating no fewer than 21 symphonies composed when he was a septuagenarian. All three concertante pieces on this disc were written after Röntgen had settled for good in the Netherlands (and where, in 1913, he was appointed director of the Amsterdam Conservatory).
In the A minor Concerto (1902) Röntgen’s writing for the solo violin is consistently idiomatic and there are some felicitous touches of orchestration. Stylistically, there are echoes of numerous figures, among them Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns, Elgar, Grieg, Sibelius and Nielsen. More worrying, though, is the comparative dearth (to my ears, at any rate) of truly distinctive melody. Indeed, the most striking idea is a piquant harmonic sequence that initially appears at 5'12" in the first movement and crops up again periodically throughout the rest of the work. A likeable find, none the less, as is the 1918 Ballade, a 15‑minute essay of (again) no mean fluency and imagination. The F sharp minor Concerto was written very swiftly in the last full year of Röntgen’s life and bears a dedication to the charismatic Hungarian virtuoso Jelly d’Arányi (the lucky recipient of Ravel’s Tzigane and Vaughan Williams’s Violin Concerto). Its Andante tranquillo centrepiece contains much that is genuinely haunting but the concerto as a whole is let down by a disappointingly humdrum opening movement and fluffy, inconsequential finale.
The performances under David Porcelijn’s watchful direction are wholly admirable; soloist Liza Ferschtman responds with both keen poetry and pinpoint accuracy. Sound and balance are also first-rate, and CPO supplies copious booklet-notes. However, as I’ve already intimated, the music itself is not really out of the top drawer. (Andrew Achenbach / Gramophone)

Sergej Krylov NICCOLÒ PAGANINI 24 Capricci

Sergej Krylov has established himself as one of the most talented violinists of his generation. He is regularly invited to perform at prestigious concert halls worldwide and has appeared with orchestras including the Staatskapelle Dresden, Philharmonique de Radio France, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Filarmonica della Scala, Accademia di Santa Cecilia, London Philharmonic, Hessischer Rundfunk Frankfurt, and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Russian National Symphony, NHK Symphony (Tokyo), Atlanta Symphony, English Chamber and Budapest Festival orchestras.
Among the important personalities with whom he has worked, his friendship with Mstislav Rostropovich has been one of the most significant influences in Krylov’s artistic life. Krylov has appeared with many conductors including Mikhail Pletnev, Dmitri Kitajenko, Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Jurowski, Andrey Boreyko, Fabio Luisi, Omer Meir Wellber, Yuri Temirkanov, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Asher Fisch, Vasily Petrenko, Nicola Luisotti, Saulius Sondeckis, Zoltán Kocsis and Yuri Bashmet.
Highlights of the 2016-17 season include concerto performances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Konzerthaus Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestra della RAI Torino, Basel Symphony Orchestra, New Tokyo City Orchestra. With his Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Krylov embarks on a European tour, both as a soloist and conductor. Multiple recitals for solo violin and with piano complete his calendar.
Sergej devotes a great deal of time to chamber music projects, playing alongside Denis Matsuev, Yuri Bashmet, Itamar Golan, Lilya Zilberstein, Aleksandar Madžar, Bruno Canino, Stefania Mormone, Maxim Rysanov, Nobuko Imai, the Belcea Quartet and Elīna Garanča. Since 2008 he has been nominated Music Director of the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra and he is regularly taking on the double role of soloist and conductor in a wide repertoire ranging from Baroque music to contemporary works.
In 2016, Deutsche Grammophon has released a first CD of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in the double role of soloist and conductor with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra and will shortly be releasing a second album dedicated to Paganini’s 24 Capricci. Krylov’s discography includes also recordings for Melodya and EMI. Born in Moscow into a family of musicians, Sergej Krylov began studying the violin at the age of five and completed his studies at the Moscow Central Music School. While still very young he won the International Lipizer Violin Competition, the Stradivarius International Violin Competition and the Fritz Kreisler Competition.

Martha Argerich & Friends LIVE FROM LUGANO 2015

The Lugano Festival in Switzerland is documented annually with a box set by Martha Argerich & Friends, containing their performances in various instrumental combinations. The three-CD package contains live recordings from the 2015 festival of works by Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann, Franz Schubert, Ferdinand Ries, Joaquín Turina, Béla Bartók, Claude Debussy, Luis Bacalov, Francis Poulenc, Philip Glass, and Alberto Ginastera, Argerich's fellow countryman whose centennial in 2016 is observed with a performance of Dances from Estancia. The roster of performers is impressive, as always, boasting the talents of Argerich and her colleagues, pianists Stephen Kovacevich, Nicholas Angelich, Lilya Zilberstein, and Sergio Tiempo, cellist Gautier Capuçon, violinists Ilya Gringolts, Mayu Kishima, and Andrey Baranov, clarinetist Paul Meyer, and the Orchestra della Svizzera italiana, conducted by Alexander Vedernikov. The June 2016 release of this Warner Classics set also marks Argerich's 75th birthday.

sábado, 11 de febrero de 2017

Katia & Marielle Labèque LOVE STORIES

Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet inspired many composers from Benda to Prokofiev through Berlioz, Gounod or Tchaikowsky and it is always a challenge for a musician to approach such a subject so full of history. With Star-Cross’d Lovers French composer David Chalmin gives a new look at Shakespeare's drama : a contemporary ballet choreographed by Yaman Okur, written for two pianos, electric guitar, electronics and drums. The musical dramaturgy is based on tension and resolution, violence and harmony, brutality and poetry, which correspond to the two antagonist themes of hatred and love.
These contrasts enable a vast range of choreographic possibilities boosted by the energy exchanges between the seven breakdancers and the four musicians.
The piece is tinged with Minimalist, rock and electronics but also includes references to art music or ethnic music. It finds its unity in a cleverly combination of tradition and experimentalism.
The clashes between the two rival gangs take place in a dark, oppressive and threatening musical world where tension and danger are constant. It could describe a sordid urban environment, perhaps that of a soulless suburb of a big city. The tragic end of the work is prefigured in the first prologue by an evolving melodic theme played by the pianos in the lower register that could be a modern version of a Wagnerian leitmotiv of curse or fate.
Electronic roars and buzzes, howlings of electric guitar, aggressive hammerings of pianos, cold polyrhythmic combining motoric style, obssesive rave music but also african and latino influences, contribute to this dystopian vision of the drama.
The musical universe of the two famous lovers, which often tintinnabulate in the high register of the pianos, is instead full of delicacy and sweetness. David Chalmin gives his music a special charm drawing his inspiration from Ravelian limpidness, Schubertian lyricism and Chopinian poetry but also from styles close to jazz and pop music.
David Chalmin 30-minute score was composed for Katia and Marielle Labèque. It was premiered at the Philharmonie de Paris on May 2015. Since then, it has been performed in Luzern, Dortmund, Montpellier Festival, Bordeaux, Paris (Théâtre du Châtelet), Napoli Festival, etc...

West Side Story is probably Bernstein's masterpiece and unquestionably the best-known American work all over the world. Ever since the highly favorable critical and audience reception at New York's Winter Garner Theatre on Broadway, September 26, 1957, and the phenomenal success of Robert Wise's film adaptation in 1961, this contemporary urban version of Romeo and Juliet has never ceased to move spectators and fill them with enthusiasm.
Although West Side Story bears Bernstein's inimitable mark, it was born of collective work bringing together, amongst others, the choreographer and director Jerome Robbins, librettist Arthur Laurents, lyricist Stephen Sondheim and arrangers Sid Ramin and Irwin Kostal.
It was Bernstein himself who asked Irwin Kostal to produce an arrangement for the duo-pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque. This suite of 17 pieces includes an assortment of dances and songs, which appear in a new light. Thanks to his perfect knowledge of the score, Kostal succeeds in giving his small ensemble an orchestral fullness. The seeming monochromy of the two pianos, far from making the music dull, allows us to appreciate a harmonic language that is simple yet quite subtle, in the service of the composer's enormous talents as a melodist. Deprived of the lyric dimension provided by the voices, the songs unfold their phrases with unsuspected naturalness and authenticity.

Rafał Blechacz JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH

“Blechacz is a superlative pianist” BBC Music Magazine

Celebrated by his Chopin awarded recordings and cited by critics as one of those talents that only come along every few decades - has now turned to Bach. The now 31-year-old winner of the 2005 International Chopin Piano Competition, has been immersed in Bach since his childhood and has cultivated a strikingly natural eloquence in his mature interpretations of the composer’s keyboard works.
This is the perfect album to show his versatility and fine knowledge of the works of the composer.
Rafal’s interpretation flows not least from his formative experience as an organist. Young Rafał cut his musical teeth on Bach’s principal instrument, playing organ for several years before turning full time to piano. In addition to playing for services at the main church in his hometown of Nakło nad Notecią, he also gave occasional recitals there long after becoming a pianist. (Presto Classical)

jueves, 9 de febrero de 2017

Martina Filjak PIANO

One of the most exciting young artists to emerge in recent years, Martina Filjak is garnering international praise for her poetic passion and technical mastery at the keyboard as well as for her charismatic personality and magnetic stage presence.
Martina Filjak came to international attention by winning the Gold Medal, the 1st prize and the Beethoven prize at the Cleveland International Piano Competition in 2009, which brought her numerous engagements in the United States and internationally. Prior to that, she won 1st prizes at the Maria Canals Piano Competition (Barcelona) and the Viotti Piano Competition (Vercelli), and was a laureate at the Busoni Piano Competition.
In recent years, Ms Filjak has performed with esteemed orchestras including The Cleveland Orchestra, San Diego Symphony Orchestra, The Florida Orchestra, the Strasbourg Philharmonic, Barcelona Symphony, Bilbao Symphony and the Granada Symphony; the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, the Staatskapelle Weimar; the Israel Chamber Orchestra as well as the Orchestre Symphonique de Nancy. She has been heard in major international venues such as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Berlin, l’Auditori and Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, Boston’s Jordan Hall, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Sala Verdi in Milan, Salle Gaveau in Paris, Musikverein and the Konzerthaus in Vienna, NDR Hall in Hannover, Residenz in Munich, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid.
Her most recent conductor collaborations include JoAnn Falletta, Michael Schonwandt, Christoph Poppen, Hans Graf, Sebastian Lang–Lessing, Josep Caballe-Domenech, Tito Munoz, Christopher Warren-Green and Stefan Sanderling.
The artist’s extensive repertoire ranges from Bach to Berio and encompasses more than 30 piano concertos. She is dedicated to continuous exploring of piano literature and various concert formats. Performing with orchestra takes the biggest part of her time and she frequently states that she enjoys the interaction and the exchange of energy between so many musicians on the stage.
An avid chamber musician, she frequently takes part in chamber music festivals, and has participated in the recording of Schumann's Andante and Variations with cellists Jan Vogler and Christian Poltera, released on Sony Classical (August 2013). Her recording of Sonatas by Padre Antonio Soler was released in 2011 on the Naxos label.
During the 2014-2015 season, Miss Filjak appears in Brazil and Japan and performs with the Osaka Century Symphony Orchestra and Alan Buribayev, the Slovenian Philharmonic and Marcelo Lehninger, the Sinfonieorchester Aachen and Kazem Abdullah, the Zagreb Philharmonic and Hans Graf. She debuts with the Orchestra Sinfonica La Verdi in Milano as well as at Milan's Serate Musicali. Upcoming performances in 2015-16 feature her with the Staatskapelle Halle and Josep Caballe Domenech, the Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra and Markus Poschner, the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra and Stefan Sanderling, the Phoenix Symphony and Tito Munoz the San Antonio Symphony and Karina Canellakis, the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Donato Cabrera, and the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra and David Danzmayr in performances of concerti by Beethoven, Ravel, Brahms, Saint-Saens and Rachmaninov.
Martina speaks seven languages. Fortunately, for an active performer, she loves to travel.

miércoles, 8 de febrero de 2017

Liza Ferschtman / Het Gelders Orkest / Kees Bakels FELIX MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto, Op. 64 - String Octet, Op. 20

Liza Ferschtman:….slowly, as my musical path kept unfolding, I got to the point where more and more I was able to let go of my preconceived notions about the Violin Concerto and more clearly start to see and hear my own voice in it. Over the years I got to know so much more music by Mendelssohn, from the inside out, and I felt the language become more fully my own. When working with Kees Bakels on it a couple of years ago things started to really fall into place, and last May when performing it with the Arnhem Philharmonic I really was all of a sudden struck by a distinct feeling that I can only describe as falling in love all over again with this magical piece. Certain details in the score seemed to appear completely new to me and the idea of approaching the work with the same collaborative energy as in chamber music made me experience it completely afresh. The combination of passion, grand emotions and at the same time lightness and elegance, such characteristic traits for Mendelssohn, fell completely into place. To feel this way about such a familiar piece was revelatory and I knew I wanted to share these discoveries, if you like, with many more people.

martes, 7 de febrero de 2017

Christiane Karg / Malcolm Martineau HEIMLICHE AUFFORDERUNG

Christiane Karg feels close to Richard Strauss, and not simply because they both grew up amid Bavarian landscape. Together with Mozart, the great late Romanticist now plays an ever greater part in her repertoire: she was recently acclaimed in both Antwerp and Ghent as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier. Since Strauss has always figured in her lieder recitals, this CD of Strauss lieder comes as no surprise, especially in view of the forthcoming anniversary year, marking the composer's 150th birthday. Indeed, anyone who has followed Christiane Karg's career will see this new release as a logical consequence. You only have to listen to the timbres in her voice and the skill with which she lends them an artistic and natural touch, and you will hardly be able to avoid comparisons with the great voices of her Fach.
Christiane Karg's personal choice of lieder combines the familiar with the seldomheard, lively songs with more reflective ones, and delivers a convincing range that rightly demotes such details to a secondary role. She succeeds in demonstrating as has seldom been achieved the touching manner in which Strauss's early and mature lyricism is able to transform the great themes of love and transience that were woven into his expression of the Romantic world around him.
One especially charming example is the song "Alphorn" written when the composer was a mere twelve years old, requiring an obbligato horn, played on this recording by Felix Klieser. Her pianist is Malcolm Martineau, an exceptional artist in his own right, who navigates virtuoso hurdles with ease while giving the vocal part a steady foundation. One only needs to hear the opening bars of "Morgen" in order to capture that remarkable musical pulse. – This is a real summit of achievement! (Presto Classical)

Lisa Oshima / Stefan Stroissnig PROKOFIEV Violin Sonata - Five Melodies - Five Pieces fron Cinderella - Suite from Romeo and Juliet

“This is a very special sonata.”
With a serious expression my professor, Dr. Andrievsky, spoke these words to me. From his voice I sensed a feeling of sorrow. It happened when I first began studying Prokofiev’s Sonata No.1, I thought I had understood Russia under Stalin from various written sources and films but then every time I had a lesson, I was crushed by the people’s great sadness, which welled up from the sonata. Every corner of the music revealed suffering or screaming or despair or deception. It took Prokofiev eight years to complete the sonata, which expresses not only his own feelings but those of the people who lived through that era.
By contrast Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet overflow with liveliness and joie de vivre. Every time I play them in the orchestra pit, my heart dances to the elegant sounds and expression of love.
These works by Prokofiev never fail to grab my heart.
I hope you will enjoy the multifaceted versatility of Prokofiev. Finally I would like to thank all those who helped make this recording happen. (Lisa Oshima)

Gidon Kremer / Kremerata Baltica GEORGE ENESCU Octet, Op. 7 - Quintet, Op. 29

Featuring the first recording of two works by George Enescu -- the String Octet, Op. 7, and the Piano Quintet, Op. 29 -- this album introduces the listener to the fascinating, multifaceted, and intriguing world of the Romanian master's chamber music. Enescu's music is expertly performed by members of the extraordinary KREMERata BALTICA under the direction of Gidon Kremer, who plays first violin in both pieces. Kremer wisely chose the music, for the two works in many ways exemplify the salient features of the Enescu's musical language and reflect his development from an eclectic, post-Romantic style to a richer, more complex and personal idiom. Composed in 1900, the lush, colorful, and dynamic octet is played with remarkable subtlety, balance, and sense of nuance. The string players find the exact tonal color to perfectly conjure up Enescu's polychromous musical imagery, also impeccably expressing a wide range of moods from lyrically intimate to ardently symphonic. In the piano quintet, which Enescu composed in 1940, the players rise to the challenge of interpreting a work presenting many technical and artistic problems, many stemming from the composer's austerely sophisticated idiom. Indeed, the KREMERata, completely mastering the many complexities of Enescu's style, rewards listeners with the shared experience of highly significant, albeit lesser-known, works of twentieth century chamber music. (Zoran Minderovic)

viernes, 3 de febrero de 2017

Aida Garifullina AIDA GARIFULLINA

Soprano Aida Garifullina was born in 1987 into a Tatar family in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan in the Russian Federation, some 500 miles east of Moscow. Aida’s mother, a choral conductor, noticed her daughter’s love of singing very early, and her first public performance took place when she was 5 in a televised children’s competition in Moscow.
At the age of 11 she was accepted for singing lessons at the Kazan State Conservatoire, and at 13 she appeared at the Tchaikovsky Great Hall in Moscow – the city’s most prestigious venue – during the Festival of Gifted Children of Tatarstan.
The childhood of dedicated young musicians can look very intense to outsiders. “It is true that I didn’t have much time to play with dolls or run around with my friends. I would have school in the morning, then solfeggio class, then I went to a singing teacher – and then to ballet school and finally to a drawing class. At some point they realised you can’t overload a child and decided I should stick with singing – so my fate was decided”.

jueves, 2 de febrero de 2017

Sonya Yoncheva / Karine Deshayes / Ensemble Amarillis PERGOLESI Stabat Mater

A rapidly rising star on today’s opera scene, Sonya Yoncheva appears in this album alongside ‘Lyric Artist of the Year’ winner Karine Deshayes in a masterwork of the sacred music repertoire; Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. Yoncheva has performed on various stages worldwide, most recently in France where she astonished the audience with her performance in both Verdi's La Traviata & Tchaikovsky's Iolanta, and in Montpellier where she sang at the Radio France International Music Festival. ""Her voice is gorgeous to listen to. It is always used with penetrating intelligence and supple musicality."" (The Times) This recording also features the Ensemble Amarillis on period instruments. Founded in 1994, the Ensemble Amarillis is one of Europe’s most original Baroque ensembles. “The Ensemble Amarillis responds with mercurial temperaments, from sublimely intimate to brazenly flamboyant. (BBC Music Magazine).

“Sonya Yoncheva brings to her lines a fragile sensitivity that astonished me, given the power of her voice…the Ensemble Amarillis plays with great charm. To accompany Pergolesi it has dug up little-known chamber works by Francesco Mancini and Francesco Durante. Héloïse Gaillard, a recorder star in her own right, leads fizzy fioritura in the Mancini as boldly as she does strict counterpoint in the Durante” (BBC Music Magazine, February 2017)

“Mancini’s Sonata in G minor, really a recorder concerto in all but name, is played with sensitive shaping and agility by Héloïse Gaillard, and Durante’s Concerto grosso in F minor shows Ensemble Amarillis on compelling form” (Gramophone Magazine, January 2017)

“Deshayes may have vibrato rather wider than standard period-instrument issue but her ornaments and sense of style are impeccable. Yoncheva, a rising star at Covent Garden and elsewhere, is even more impressive. Her honeyed soprano timbre is beautifully tuned and focused.” (The Times, 18th November 2016)

Sonya Yoncheva / Academia Montis Regalis / Alessandro de Marchi HANDEL

Sonya Yoncheva devotes her second solo album to the music of Handel, showing another facet of her wide-ranging repertoire. Being an alumna of William Christie’s Le Jardin des Voix, the Baroque era formed her musical understanding at an early stage of her career, laying the foundation for her versatile & broad-reaching repertoire. Currently praised as “the best Traviata in the world at present” (Die Welt), Sonya Yoncheva is one of today’s fastest rising opera stars. She is a regular guest at the world’s leading opera houses such as the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, Bayerische Staatsoper, Berlin State Opera, Wiener Staatsoper & the Opéra de Paris. A great composer of vocal music, Handel based some of his most beautiful operas & oratories on the enchanting sensibility of the feminine voice. His heroines are strong, independent women determining their own destiny – attributes Sonya relates to in all respects. From Mar 3rd - Apr 18th, 2017 Sonya will embark on a concert tour featuring the Baroque repertoire highlighted on the Handel album release. (Presto Classical)

“the emotional balance of the programme favours Alcina, Cleopatra and Theodora’s songs of grief and torment, with a tendency to romanticise. Morgana’s skittish Tornami a vagheggiar, a showstopper in the theatre, is the highlight here: Yoncheva displays a delightful twinkle in the eye with her plush soprano, and negotiates the coloratura with pearly ease.” (Sunday Times, 29th January 2017)

miércoles, 1 de febrero de 2017

JÓHANN JÓHANNSSON Arrival

Acclaimed for film scoring in the past 15 years, Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson has recently become the trusted go-to collaborator for director Denis Villeneuve and his stunning pictures, 2013's Prisoners and 2015's Sicario. Now they have delivered their third collaboration, the sci-fi movie Arrival. It should be noted foremost that Jóhannsson approached the score in a traditional way, recording everything with session musicians in assorted rooms, using the effect of layering to create texture with little use of sequencers, and relying on the processing of acoustics as opposed to digital manipulation. The move has proven to be a bold one, as the score is an entirely unique contribution to the story that it's soundtracking. The opening title track sets the tone, consisting of layer upon layer of piano drones that mesh between one another, some slightly higher in pitch than others, building to one of the most gradual, ominous crescendos you've ever heard. "Heptapod B" introduces the first taste of vocal manipulation. Recorded with vocal ensemble Theatre of Voices, indistinct voices segue, meld, and layer upon one another as distant, rumbling percussion and reverberated bass wash around the central theme. "Sapir-Whorf" largely consists of the same vocals, while urgent violas cut in, giving us Jóhannsson's signature use of discordant bass tones, something that the composer has always done magnificently, transforming a stringed instrument into something that is effectively utilized as percussion.
A key success with this soundtrack is the use of velocity and volume; at one point or another, every element seems to fade away into silence or give way to other instrumentation, only to unexpectedly return at certain points, completely transforming the overall timbre of the track. "First Encounter" exemplifies this well, harking back to Jóhannsson's approach with Sicario; those distinct, queasy bass strings that rise and fall unpredictably give way to a silence that is just as effective as the parts occupied by other sounds. While some tracks encapsulate ambience and awe, others are a bit more concerned with action-oriented scenes, and the overall sonic palette is something quite different and never boring. Penultimate track "Rise" delivers more of those huge, sweltering, and organic bass notes with portentous strings, while some of the record's final vocal snippets calm the mix in every other bar. Which moves on nicely into the final track, "Kangaru," where listeners are reintroduced to the vocal experimentation from earlier, yet with bright and opulent string suites drifting around the mix. Another testament to Jóhannsson is that he began writing the score as shooting of the film began -- an impressive feat considering how well Villeneuve can trust his composer to soundtrack his vision before it's even left his head. Arrival is a fantastic album and a great piece of film score work, delivering menacing, daunting cacophonies of noise that evoke all types of fear, wonder, and intrigue that are evident within the movie itself. (Rob Wacey)