jueves, 31 de enero de 2019

Jan Lisiecki / Orpheus Chamber Orchestra MENDELSSOHN

Despite his youth, twenty-three-year-old Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki has already built up a long list of achievements. Having skipped four grades, he graduated from high school at the age of fifteen. He began performing in public as a child, recorded his first album as a teenager, and made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2016, when he was still only twenty.
Felix Mendelssohn was a year younger than Lisiecki is now when he wrote his First Piano Concerto in G minor; the work was dedicated to the seventeen-year-old pianist Delphine von Schauroth, then the object of the young composer’s affection. Cast in three movements, it is a lively, spirited work, at times requiring lightning-quick playing. Lisiecki finds it remarkable that the concerto begins as if “in the middle of a piece”, and particularly appreciates the buoyancy of this early work – he thinks of it as like “a nature trip” and notes that its “lightness of touch ... reminds [him] very much of playing Mozart”.
Lisiecki sees the Second Piano Concerto in D minor, which Mendelssohn wrote immediately after his honeymoon in 1837, as providing a certain contrast with the First. “The Second Concerto has darker and deeper emotions,” he says. “It’s less secure, it’s uncertain, it’s not so confident, it’s searching.” He adds that it reminds him in some ways of Schumann, with its “rapid emotional changes and unprepared character swings”. He found it the more challenging of the two to record, not only because of its shifting moods, but also because of the intricacies of its orchestral accompaniment – as he points out, compared to the First Concerto, in the Second there is “more dialogue between the piano and the individual instruments”.
He chose to record the concertos with one of the world’s leading chamber ensembles, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. This elite group of players from New York are unusual in that they rehearse and perform without a conductor. “Everybody was involved in the musical process,” explains Lisiecki. “That was quite amazing to see. Usually it’s the conductor and I who are listening, but here you have a group of twenty people all listening to what was just done and hearing for themselves what they will change. That was a different experience.”
Lisiecki is opposed to the idea of albums that are essentially “collages” of the works in his repertoire, preferring to bring together works that complement one another programmatically or in terms of their character. On this occasion he has chosen to complement the two concertos with three of Mendelssohn’s finest works for the solo instrument: the Variations sérieuses, the Rondo capriccioso and the “Venetian Boat Song” (Venetianisches Gondellied) from the Lieder ohne Worte. All three are works that mean a great deal to Lisiecki, and he was delighted to be able to include them on this album and give listeners further insight into the composer’s dazzling keyboard writing. (Deutsche Grammophon)


Together with composer Morris Kliphuis (Kapok Jazz Trio, Kytopia), text writer Lucky Fonz III, the Ragazze String Quartet and drummer Remco Menting (Kapok), Nora has created a new genre-defying project. The Secret Diary of Nora Plain – darting between the borders of pop, jazz and classical – tells the story of the young Nora Plain, trying to live as an individual in the increasingly monitored society of today. Through her diary entrances, we hear her struggles with the watching eyes all around her that try to penetrate her personal space more and more.
The Secret Diary of Nora Plain is an intimate, personal and unsettling song cycle about the relationship between society, privacy, and paranoia. Created by writers and performers from classical, jazz, pop & folk backgrounds, defying all musical boundaries.

Nora Fischer FOLK

Especially for the 2018 record store campaign of Deutsche Grammophon NL, Nora recorded the mini-album FOLK. This disc is all about the meeting point of ever-inspiring folk music and the multi-layered vocabulary of classical music. Composers such as Ravel and Bartók have been inspired by various folk music traditions, and have combined them with their own vocabulary as ingenious composers. The combination of these simple, pure and beautiful melodies, with many added layers of compositional qualities, amounts to wonderful new crossroads of two worlds that appeared to be so far from one another. When these two worlds meet, it is a playground of possibilities for vocal expression, giving way to the playful, the vulnerable, the intensely intimate or ecstatic joy.

Fazil Say DEBUSSY Préludes SATIE Gnossiennes & Gymnopédies

Given Fazıl Say’s proclivities for interpretative monkeyshines, I’m happy to report that the pianist largely exhibits good behaviour throughout this recital. To be sure, unorthodox touches abound. In Debussy’s Préludes Book 1, Say, like Michelangeli, arpeggiates chords willy-nilly, and he tends to make subtle dynamic gestures and accentuations unsubtle. His brisk pace for ‘Danseuses de Delphes’ almost trivialises the music’s processional gravitas, while, by contrast, he rivetingly sustains his slowly unfolding ‘Voiles’. No 3’s bristling winds murmur with tension, eventually unleashing a proverbial hurricane at the climax. He deftly navigates the characterful tempo changes of ‘Les collines d’Anacapri’ while bringing dissonances and inner voices to the fore.
Again, a few arbitrary rolled chords pull momentary focus from the rapt austerity and concentration prevailing in ‘Des pas sur la neige’. No 7’s turbulent west winds can be brutal in Say’s hands; his playing is exciting on the surface, yet Steven Osborne’s scrupulous scaling of dynamics offers more multi-levelled virtuosity. Say’s languorous and indulgent way with No 8 transforms Debussy’s innocent flaxen-haired protagonist into someone who’s ‘been around’, to which No 9’s refreshingly rakish and insouciant guitar-strumming beau can probably attest! In ‘La cathédrale engloutie’, Say adopts the unmarked yet implied tempo changes Debussy made in his 1913 Welte-Mignon piano roll to even more emphatic effect.
But Say’s tempo adjustments in ‘La danse de Puck’ yield occasional rhythmic inaccuracies (the right-hand pianissimo dotted notes starting at bar 30 sometimes get ‘undotted’, for example). Yet his metrical liberties and reverse dynamics delightfully underline the comically swaggering character of ‘Minstrels’. Listen to the way Say phrases the opening gruppetti and the ‘drumroll’ repeated-note phrases with coy hesitation; it’s almost as if he was accompanying a silent comedy short film.
While Debussy’s Préludes unquestionably hold interest when heard in sequence, the same cannot be said for Satie’s Six Gnossiennes and Trois Gymnopédies played one after another, unless you’re having a massage or looking for a refuge from the news cycles. At least Say does not try to oversell his deliberate, statuesque conceptions, which are further enhanced by the roomy and resonant acoustic. (Jed Distler / Gramophone)

La Rêveuse / Florence Bolton / Benjamin Perrot DIETRICH BUXTEHUDE Sonates en trio - Manuscrits d'Uppsala

During the late 1600s, when Dieterich Buxtehude was organist of the Marienkirche in Lübeck, the town council received a wonderful letter of application from one of the city’s amateur musicians, offering his musical services. The instruments he could play in ‘a fitting manner’ were the violin, viola da gamba, violone, recorders, cornett, dulcian and ‘all manner of wind instruments’, plus the trombone and bass trombone. ‘If necessary’, he concluded, ‘I can cope with keyboard and vocal music.’
No wonder then that the stylus fantasticus of the time reached its peak under Buxtehude’s pen, because clearly even the amateur musicians in his city would have been well capable of getting their fingers around wherever his invention took him, and the intellectual energy and variety of the Lübeck environment is almost palpable in La Rêveuse’s programme of violin and viola da gamba trio sonatas. For starters, in the ensemble’s attitude to programming, because they haven’t just stuck to Buxtehude’s two published collections of sonatas but instead have raided the Uppsala University Library in Sweden for manuscripts of three sonatas he sent to an organist and court director friend in Stockholm. They’ve thrown in some context too, in the form of Becker’s Hamburg-written Sonata in D for violin and viol, and an anonymous-but-likely-to be-Lübeck-linked viol sonata from Oxford’s Bodleian Library, which also only exists in manuscript form.
This scholarly contextual thinking and energy has also thoroughly pervaded the actual performances. Overall there’s a real sense of music happening right now; also of intellectual nimbleness. Then there’s the continuo section’s easy movement, and the nuanced, dancing lilt from Stephan Dudermel on the violin and Florence Bolton on the viola da gamba. In fact, listening to this album feels rather like being delightfully, playfully – and thoroughly willingly – seduced. (Charlotte Gardner / Gramophone)

PAUL ELWOOD Émissions Transparents

Paul Elwood has many strings to his bow: among them, banjo player, composer, and improviser. From Colorado to Marseille, Iowa City to London and Boston, Émissions Transparents documents his far-flung visions and musical adventures.
The title track, Émissions Transparents, features Pablo Gomez on electric guitar with the Callithumpian Consort of the New England Conservatory, directed by Stephen Drury. This five-movement composition explores invisible communications – be they radio transmissions, angelic apparitions, or ghostly voices from the unknown, that manifest Elwood’s interest in the paranormal and interstellar space travel. 
Since he was a teenager Elwood has been drawn to the New York School of composition from the 1950s and 60s that highlighted composers John Cage, Christian Wolff, Morton Feldman, and Earle Brown. Elwood has been fortunate to work under the baton of Cage and to perform on a couple of occasions with Wolff. He commissioned Wolff to compose a work for solo banjo, the result being the aptly-named “Banjo Player,” completed in 2015. This is the premiere recording of this virtuosic tour de force. 
Two tracks on the recording were improvised with percussionist Eddie Prévost of the legendary AMM ensemble, during a long and leisurely summer Sunday afternoon session in London in 2016. For Arthur S. Wolff: London Improvisation(s) 4a and 4b combine bowed banjo with Prévost’s tasteful bowed percussion.  
Ashe County Lament features pianist Rose Chancler and the voice of Freight Hoppers alum, Carrie Fridley, singing the Appalachian folk tune The Girl I Left Behind. The track mixes live piano with manipulations of Fridley’s voice – all reflective of both Elwood’s background in folk music and his fascination with electronic sound design. Another stellar voice on the album is that of Aly Olson with the University of Iowa Percussion Ensemble singing text written specifically for this project by poet Albert Goldbarth, two-time National Book Critics Circle Awards winner. Plutonic Winds connects with Émissions Transparents in a science-fiction-like world in which cold winds from Pluto rake the Kansas plains. 

miércoles, 30 de enero de 2019


ln this album we can find various realities transformed in sound and different kinds of writing belonging to the same area, the so­ called Sur, kaleidoscopic and impossible to restrict to a single form of poetics. The works performed here are the musical representation of the fusion between the academic style and the richness of the popular element typical of that area. Born in Piacenza in 1980, Antonio Amodeo graduated with honors from the “Conservatorio G. Nicolini.” He perfected his skill at the Hochschule fur Musick Mainz with the master Stefan Hladek. He has taken part in many different chamber music ensembles, including the Orchestra a plettro, Diversus Guitar Ensemble, and Quartetto Chitarristico. He gives masterclasses for young guitarists and teaches in many music schools and academies, both in Northern Italy and in Germany.


The 24-year-old Franco-Spanish classical guitarist Thibaut Garcia’s third recording – his second for Erato – revisits the music of Bach and Latin America. But where the first, ‘Demain dès l’aube’, included Bach’s Sixth Partita, BWV830, and the second, ‘Leyendas’, Piazzolla’s Estaciones Porteñas, ‘Bach Inspirations’, as its title suggests, focuses on Bach’s influence on subsequent composers, not just from Latin America but also from Poland and the Balkans.
In his flowing, pellucid interpretations Garcia himself seems to be inspired by Bach’s name, and throughout much of the programme there’s a compelling tension between the rippling enunciation of lighter paragraphs and the precipitous propulsion of more dramatic passages. This is most obvious in Garcia’s thrilling, magisterial performance of Bach’s D minor Chaconne, where he also relishes the ringing campanella effects while injecting a mesmeric fluidity into the rapid scale and arpeggio passages that throw into sharper relief the cleanly etched architecture of the sunlit major section. But it is also there from the beginning, with Barrios’s melancholy La catedral, and later, in the less often-heard Inventions of Alexandre Tansman and Dušan Bogdanović’s superb Suite brève.
An expressive, sweet-toned Elsa Dreisig joins Garcia for the Bach/Gounod Ave Maria and the aria from Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas Brasileiras No 5, while the latter’s Bachian Prelude No 3 looks past the Bogdanović to the most sheerly beautiful takes on Bach’s ‘Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme’ and ‘Jesus bleibet meine Freude’ I’ve heard from any guitarist to date: clear, relaxed and full of feeling. (William Yeoman / Gramophone)

martes, 29 de enero de 2019

Marc Hantaï / Pierre Hantaï BACH Sonates pour Flûte et Clavecin

While I can’t claim to have heard every recording of JS Bach’s works for solo flute and harpsichord in the catalogue, I’ve listened to quite a few. Brothers Marc and Pierre Hantaï’s is the best I’ve come across.
This is of course a highly subjective statement. Well, yes and no. Favourites – such as those by Lisa Beznosiuk, Rachel Brown, Ashley Solomon, Emmanuel Pahud (on modern flute) and Hantaï’s master himself, Barthold Kuijken – exhibit a level of technical accomplishment and interpretative insight that is perfectly susceptible to critical analysis. What separates this recording from those is the extent to which the brothers embrace the music’s rhetoric while sounding less learnt than natural. Which is, you might counter, simply another very sophisticated use of oratory. Whatever. Start listening and you won’t be able to stop.
To focus on Marc for a moment and the odd man out, the Solo (Partita) for unaccompanied flute: the antique dances sway between speech and song, the articulation, the rhythmic and tonal shadings adumbrating harmonic progressions with absolute fluency. To bring Pierre into the picture, right from the opening Adagio of the E major Sonata there is a sense of luxuriant, almost divine peace and tranquillity which one finds again in the Largo of the B minor Sonata. It’s as much to do with the sensitivity of breath and touch as it is to do with the authentic instrument’s natural sonorities. Elsewhere, it is a lithe, détaché approach and tasteful ornamentation which so gently animates the faster movements. In short, this is playing of the greatest subtlety and discernment. (William Yeoman / Gramophone)

lunes, 28 de enero de 2019

Rogerio Tutti MINIMAL

Maestro Rogerio Tutti is a piano virtuoso showman known for his impeccable technique and charismatic personality. 
With vibrating performances and interactive fun stage presence, Tutti has conquered the public presenting the best of the classical music world mixed with his contemporary and original arrangements of the most popular and beloved music. 
Tutti conducts and performs with his own orchestra presenting many of his unique and emotional compositions.

Félicien Brut / Quatuor Hermès / Édouard Macarez LE PARI DES BRETELLES

A native of Auvergne, Félicien Brut shatters the image of the accordion! He discovered at a very young age the instrument and this popular music that characterised it for so long: the musette. Following thorough training at the Jacques Mornet CNIMA (National and International Music and Accordion Centre), he played at numerous dances over the years. In 2009 he went to continue his studies at the Pôle Supérieur de Bordeaux- Aquitaine for, in the meantime, he had also developed a passion for classical music.
The musette is celebrating its centennial, so this is the occasion to bring back, at the centre of a creative project, this style so characteristic of France and the esprit français from the beginning of the 20th century. 
Musette is perhaps the most multicultural musical style there is, born of unprecedented international encounters. Indeed, at the beginning of the last century, France, and especially Paris, experienced large waves of immigration. Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, Eastern Europeans, and Latin Americans arrived in large numbers, settling in the capital. At the same time, France was undergoing a very intense rural exodus. Inhabitants of the provinces were leaving their countryside and also converging on Paris. Natives of Auvergne were amongst the most numerous and moved into the Bastille district with their favourite instrument: the musette, a sort of small bagpipe, of which the air bag is inflated with a bellows.

Eva Zaïcik / Le Consort / Justin Taylor VENEZ CHÈRE OMBRE

Mezzo-soprano Eva Zaïcik, who has signed up with Alpha for several recordings, is one of the most prominent vocal artists of her generation. She was chosen as ‘Révélation lyrique’ at the Victoires de la Musique Classique 2018, and elected the same year a Laureate of the prestigious Queen Elizabeth of Belgium Competition. She has participated in the “Jardin des Voix” of les Arts Florissants under William Christie, also regularly collaborates with Le Poème Harmonique and Vincent Dumestre – but her constant accompanist is the harpsichordist Justin Taylor. Together with two other musician graduates, the violinists Théotime Langlois de Swarte and Sophie de Bardonnèche, they have founded Le Consort, to explore both sacred and secular works by composers such as Charpentier, Campra and Clérambault. For this recording they are joined by the flautist Anna Besson and gamba player Lucile Boulanger, both well-known to the Alpha label, as well as Louise Pierrard (viola da gamba) and Thibault Roussel (theorbo).This recording is devoted to the Cantatas of Lefebvre, Montéclair, Clérambault and Courbois, more than half of which have never previously been recorded.
The cantata inspired non-operatic composers to play out the fashionable narratives of the day on a reduced scale, and in the intimate surroundings of the salons. It is a subtle genre and a vivid depiction of the characters.

domingo, 27 de enero de 2019

Maurizio Pollini CHOPIN

Maurizio Pollini – Chopin comprises four works written between 1843 and 1844, including the haunting Berceuse in D flat major Op.57 and the four-movement Piano Sonata in B minor Op.58, a proud Polish musician’s spectacular creative response to the dominant legacy of German keyboard sonatas. The programme opens with Chopin’s two Nocturnes Op.55 and three Mazurkas Op.56, before moving to the composer’s Opp.57 and 58 scores, with each piece presented in the order of its publication. Pollini here trains the spotlight on the infinite breadth of Chopin’s melodic invention. As the pianist points out, Chopin always favoured variety over uniformity when constructing his own concert programmes.
Pollini’s choice of compositions from a narrow window in time allowed him to revisit works already in his Deutsche Grammophon catalogue and to add the Op.56 Mazurkas to his Yellow Label discography. Maurizio Pollini – Chopin preserves the fruits of a lifelong process of study and experience gained since the pianist began exploring Chopin’s art in the early 1950s. As he once told the New York Times, “The music of Chopin has been with me my entire life, since … I was a boy. My love for [it] has become greater and greater for years.”
For Maurizio Pollini, Chopin’s power lies in his capacity to express profound emotions in music of the utmost clarity and extraordinary beauty. “Chopin is an innately seductive composer,” he observes. “But there is an incredible depth to Chopin, and this depth should come, finally, in performance of him. What was extraordinary about him is that he was able to achieve universality. It is amazing that music so completely personal is able to conquer everybody.” Interviewed by BBC Radio 3 soon after his 75th birthday, the pianist suggested that Chopin wrote for the piano in a more beautiful way than any other composer and that there was a “touch of magic” about his music. “That magic is difficult to explain,” he noted, “but the balance between the different registers of the piano [allows] the music to sing wonderfully … He’s loved in all the world; everybody likes him.”

sábado, 26 de enero de 2019

Véronique Bonnecaze DEBUSSY

At the end of the XIXth century, most French bourgeois families own a piano. This primarily decorative object is played, – sometimes reluctantly – by young girls who are looked upon with some condescension. The novels describing society in these times, have used and abused this somewhat futile image, but with some truth to it. From salon to salon, are played both virtuoso works from the romantic era (naturally by gifted amateurs) and works more accessible to all, garnered in a repertoire ranging from Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) to César Franck (1822-1890). All piano history fits in these two centuries and there is little room for a new language. The young Debussy ripens his only slowly.
Incidentally, he’s not among the most gifted among pianists. He’s even reluctant to play virtuosic works, stunning his teachers with his rather unorthodox style of playing. His first compositions are in a rather outmoded romantic style that led Piotr Tchaikovski (1840-1893) who was sent his score of Danse Bohémienne, to deem rather insipid the writing of the one he used to call “The Little Bussy”.
It is partly thanks to his acquaintances among writers and painters from the end of the XIXth century that Debussy’s idiom evolved. In a context of heated international politics, the return to French classicism allows some artists to reaffirm the values of the age of Louis XIV. Some lock themselves up in pastiche while others make use of this technique in order to find more refined colours. The poems of Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) invite the adoption of this impressionism of tone which Debussy first brings to his orchestral works. The Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, the Nocturnes for orchestra, Pelléas et Mélisande, widen prodigiously the sound field. Then it is his piano’s turn to experience a revolution which first goes almost unnoticed: Pour le piano in 1901 then Estampes two years later. All the works that came afterwards followed the process of this entry into the music of the XXth Century without the composer feeling the need to act as a pioneer. Indeed, his so prodigiously creative music, which today is played with too much caution, makes no claim of being avant-garde. In the musician’s eyes, it simply expresses the pleasure to play and to discover new sounds.

Marina Rebeka MOZART Arias

'A Latvian soprano who has dazzled audiences in New York and Vienna with her impassioned performance of Donna Anna,’ proclaims the jewel case. Reviews I’ve checked out were more mixed. Still, Marina Rebeka makes a fine showing in Anna’s ‘Non mi dir’, with strong, bright, evenly produced tone, a shapely sense of line and precise coloratura. A touch more warmth (we surely have to believe that Anna’s avowal of love to Ottavio is genuine) and closer engagement with the text would have made her performance even better.
With the hint of spinto steel in her voice, it’s a shame that Rebeka doesn’t include Anna’s ‘Or sai chi l’onore’ here, opting instead for Elvira’s ‘Mi tradì’, sung firmly enough, if rather carefully, without any special illumination. In the two Queen of the Night arias she unleashes spitfire coloratura to bring the house down. Konstanze’s gargantuan showstopper ‘Martern aller Arten’ would send any Pasha packing. This is another performance of fierce determination that lacks a tempering tenderness and pathos. Here and elsewhere the orchestral contribution is perfectly competent but rather wanting in temperament.
The hard glare that can afflict Rebeka’s top notes, useful in expressions of vengeance and defiance, is less desirable in Pamina’s aria, taken at a very deliberate, old-fashioned tempo. This is surely not her part. Despite an occasional tendency to sing on the flat side of the note, the Countess’s arias suit Rebeka much better. She finds the right inwardness for ‘Porgi amor’ and builds to a ringing, affirmative climax in ‘Dove sono’. Best of all is her Elettra in Idomeneo, sung with an ideal baleful, impassioned grandeur. If Rebeka doesn’t quite succeed in delivering all of ‘this gorgeous music to the listener’s heart’, as she puts it in the booklet, her debut recital announces a soprano of impressive vocal accomplishment and, at her best, dramatic flair. (Richard Wigmore / Gramophone)

Marina Rebeka SPIRITO

After Mozart and Rossini, the Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka here presents a selection of meaty bel canto scenes on her own label, Prima Classic. It’s a bold venture but one backed up by a formidable voice and plenty of artistry, not to mention musicological research: a charming picture in the booklet shows a white-gloved Rebeka, magnifying glass at hand, poring over the manuscript of Anna Bolena in a Milan archive.
She dives straight in at the bel canto deep end with a ‘Casta diva’ that’s firm and focused, and certainly not lacking in nobility. And immediately one notices the plumminess of the voice, placed – along with her Italian consonants – far back in the throat. This is a big, dark instrument, and one that, as I noted when reviewing her Rossini, seems to nudge into the lirico-spinto category. It’s sturdy and rich across the range and has a formidable top, but also a certain weight that needs to be steered around tight coloratura corners.
As before, Rebeka scores big points for the nobility and grandezza of her performances; she’s at her best when called on to convey determination and steely strength. Her scene from Maria Stuarda is terrific, then, the prayer building up impressively and movingly. She reacts well to the more stately dramaturgy of La vestale’s finale scene, too. And the artistry on display in the Anna Bolena excerpt is moving on its own terms.
It’s when it comes to really tugging the heartstrings that I find myself wishing for a little more variety; and Rebeka doesn’t always let the flesh-and-blood characters behind the impeccably turned notes shine through. A quick comparison with Montserrat Caballé’s account of the Pirata scene or Joyce DiDonato in the Maria Stuarda preghiera (on her ‘Stella di Napoli’ album) shows what a more flexible voice and interpretative approach can bring. (Hugo Shirley / Gramophone)

viernes, 25 de enero de 2019

Rafał Blechacz / Bomsori Kim FAURÉ - DEBUSSY - SZYMANOWSKI - CHOPIN

Bomsori Kim and Rafał Blechacz present their first recording as new duo partners with works by Fauré, Debussy, Chopin and Szymanowski.
New duo partners decided to explore French and Polish repertoire on their first album together, showcasing the enthralling combination of Blechacz’s structural vision and Bomsori's lyrical music-making.


Ödön Rácz was born in Budapest on 6 September 1981 and began to learn to play the double bass at the tender age of nine.
He continued his studies at the St. Stephan Music Conservatory with Gergely Járdányi, a student of Ludwig Streicher.
In 2001 he transferred to the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna where he was accepted into the class of Alois Posch.
Following a successful audition, Ödön Rácz joined the double bass group of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra on 1 September 2004. He has been double bass soloist with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra since 2009.
The latest album from Ödön Rácz, My Double Bass showcases the eponymous instrument’s strengths and versatility in music spanning continents from Bottesini, Piazzolla, and Rota. Rácz collaborates with Noah Bendix-Balgley, the American violinist and present concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, alongside the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Speranza Scappucci, the general music director of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège.

Mélisande McNabney INSPIRATIONS

Like the 17th century French harpsichordists before her, Mélisande McNabney draws on the musical universe during the time of Louis XIV and Louis XV. Inspired by song, the lute, the viola da gamba, and even the complete orchestra, harpsichordists of this era aimed to reproduce these sounds in their compositions and transcriptions. Like her predecessors, Mélisande McNabney performs transcriptions for harpsichord. The award-winning Mélisande McNabney plays keyboard music of all periods, on harpsichord, piano and fortepiano. In August 2015 she received third prize at the International Competition Musica Antiqua in Bruges, Belgium.

jueves, 24 de enero de 2019

ELENI KARAINDROU Tous des oiseaux

Greek composer Eleni Karaindrou’s entrancing new album draws upon music created for two special projects: Tous des oiseaux, a play by Lebanese-Canadian writer Wajdi Mouawad, and Bomb, A Love Story, a film by Iranian actor-director Payman Maadi.
Tous des oiseaux (English title: All Birds), described as “an epic fresco” set against the background of the Israel-Palestine conflict, has won great acclaim for its bold exploration of the complex web of cultural identity.  Premiered at Paris’s Théâtre national de la Colline in November 2017, the play - with Karaindrou’s music as an integral component - has been a major success with press and public. Karaindrou has said of Tous des oiseaux that it opened new horizons and broadened her perceptions, “creating within me images and feelings unknown.”  The play has since gone on to travel the world, with performances scheduled in 2019 from Tel Aviv to Montréal.
Meanwhile, Bomb, Eleni Karaindrou’s first new cinematic collaboration since the death of Theo Angelopoulos, has been nominated for an Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Original Score. Both works, Tous des oiseaux and Bomb, feature compositions for string orchestra, sensitively directed by Argyro Seira, and for Karaindrou’s cast of gifted soloists, here augmented by players of traditional instruments. The archaic tones of kanonaki, lyra and ney are juxtaposed against the texture of Eleni’s writing as well as highlighted in their own right. In what is now a thirty-year tradition, extending back to the Music for Films recording of 1990, Karaindrou’s evocative themes and arrangements acquire new contours and continuity through the mixing and editing of producer Manfred Eicher.  Then, as Eleni puts it in the CD booklet, “we arrive at a new creation which, in some mysterious manner, touches the essence of the works for which the music was originally composed.”
In the music written for Tous les oiseaux, “Winds of War” features the distinctive voice of Savina Yannatou, later heard unaccompanied on “Lament”, delivering a variation of a traditional Greek song, dating back to the 13th century. Several of Eleni’s soloists, including lyra player and lutenist Sokratis Sinopoulos, oboist Vangelis Christopoulos, flautist Stella Gadedi, harpist Maria Bildea and accordionist Dinos Hadjiiordanou have come to be familiar presences in the music, a cast of characters to be combined in changing constellations.
In her writing for the film Bomb, Karaindrou foregrounds Yannis Evangelatos’s bassoon (“an instrument I especially love”), and adds Aris Dimitriadis on mandolin. The Bomb music also benefits significantly from Eleni’s sensitive piano playing, featured more prominently here than on other Karaindrou recordings of recent vintage.

miércoles, 23 de enero de 2019

Kreisler Trio Wien / Julia Purgina / Wolfgang Vladar MOZART Divertimento, K. 563 - Horn Quintet, K. 407

For their debut recording, the Kreisler Trio Wien have chosen Mozart's monumental and much-loved Divertimento in E-flat major, and - together with the Vienna Philharmonic's principal hornist Wolfgang Vladar - the horn quintet. In 2017 the Kreisler Trio Wien celebrated its 10-year anniversary. Since its inception in 2007, the Kreisler Trio Wien has developed into one of Austria’s top chamber music ensembles- a result of their strong sense of musical culture, exhilarating performances and excellent musicianship. The name of the ensemble is an homage to the ingenious Austrian violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler. One marvels at his art, while his musical heritage and personality symbolically stand for triumph over destruction and renewal through the power of music.

Won-Sook Hur JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Goldberg Variations BWV 988

The Goldberg Variations – alongside Wohltemperiertes Klavier, Musikalisches Opfer, Die Kunst der Fuge – constitute the most intense link of Bach’s art of polyphony. Thus, they focus on the whole essential problem of polyphonic composition using the counterpoint technique, on the problem of the polyphonic composition given to perform. In none of Bach’s other works, these two moments – the composer and the executive – are so closely connected, almost identifying with each other. This work, originally for harpsichord, is at the same time the most pianistic of all Bach’s keyboard works. This subtle interpretation of the Variations is performed by Professor Won-Sook Hur, one of the most recognized pianists in Korea, and should interest every fan of composer and didactic Bach craftsmanship.

Alexandre Tharaud BARBARA

It is 20 years since Barbara died, aged 67, on November 24th 1997. Alexandre Tharaud’s idea for this album dates back to the day of her funeral. He, like many other fans, went to the cemetery in Bagneux on the outskirts of Paris. After the crowds and TV cameras had departed, a group of devotees remained at her grave and joined in an impromptu rendition of her songs. “I realised then that Barbara would live on through our voices,” says Tharaud. “I was young, but the recording studio was already central to my life. That morning, at Bagneux Cemetery, I vowed to make an album dedicated entirely to the music of Barbara. I needed time, and singers … The guests on this album are not those anonymous mourners, but dear friends I have invited to lend their own unique voices to this tribute.” 
For Barbara, Tharaud has assembled a rich and imaginative line-up of performers from a variety of generations and diverse artistic and cultural backgrounds. While there is inevitably a Gallic bias among them, many of their names are well known around the globe. Among them are: actress-singers Juliette Binoche, Vanessa Paradis and Jane Birkin; rock star Radio Elvis; singer-songwriters Bénabar, Juliette, Dominique A, Tim Dup, Jean-Louis Aubert and Albin de la Simone; singers Camélia Jordana, Rokia Traoré, Hindi Zahra and Luz Casal; actor-director Guillaume Gallienne; Erato violinist Renaud Capuçon, clarinettist Michel Portal and the Modigliani string quartet. Alexandre Tharaud himself plays on nearly all the tracks – not just piano, but also electronic organ and keyboards, celesta and bells. 

"Like Jacques Brel, the artist known simply as Barbara was a connoisseur of melancholy. Yet this celebration marking the 20th anniversary of her death is anything but dirge-like. The classical pianist Alexandre Tharaud assembles a superb cast, from Vanessa Paradis to Rokia Traoré and Juliette Binoche, while the chamber settings - including a disc of instrumentals - are rich in subtle autumnal shades. A triumph." (The Sunday Times)

lunes, 21 de enero de 2019

Ana María Alonso ALTO MYSTIC

The title chosen for this document, Alto Mystic, reflects what the violist Ana María Alonso and the Ibs-Classical label wanted to suggest as the universe enclosed in an instrument full of secrets such as the viola, an instrument that has transcended from the orchestral ripieno scene to a solo virtuosity in a relatively short time. The accurate reference to the etymological origin of the term (from the Greek mystikós whose first meaning is about something arcane and mysterious) not only reveals the intention of discovering the timbre and expressive effects of the viola but to inducing composers to penetrate into their mysterious world through the works composed for this occasion. In this sense, interpreter and composers have achieved their purpose, without a doubt; Ana María Alonso discovering the subtleties of the viola´s timbre through a technical and expressive refinement of the highest instrumental conception, and the ten composers, each from their creativity, constructing an enriching musical poetic discourse, not only for the violistic repertoire, but for the music itself.

Tilman Hoppstock HOPPSTOCK/WILLCOCKS Works for Guitar

There is a lack of guitar music from the time of Impressionism. This was the reason for Tilman Hoppstock to compose a variety of works for guitar solo under the pseudonym of the fictitious figure of Allan Willcocks during the last few years: Over time, five work cycles have been formed and an entirely individual ‘Willcocks style’ has evolved which is periodically reminiscent of the musical language of Debussy and Ravel or the tonal coloring favored by the English composers Scott and Ireland. Tilman Hoppstock with his splendid guitar technique and musicality leads us with his music into a wonderful world of impressionistic sounds and pictures. The Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet commissioned an “Allan Willcocks” piece by Tilman Hoppstock, who wrote for them a five-movement “Suite Transcendent” in 2014/15, which is now recorded for the first time.


The suite is a crazy blend: it is cerebral and at the same time down-to-earth, archaic and modern at once, regional and universal, melancholy and energetic, harsh and tender, simple and difficult, contemplative and carefree, brilliant and mischievous- an almost entirely forgotten masterpiece. Beethoven’s National Airs with Variations, op. 105, is a work where opposites collide. This is the piece on which the rest of this Beethoven programme is centered. Music critics praise Evgenia Rubinova’s “polyphonic clarity,” her “singing tone and sensual sonorities” (Fono Forum), her “whole hearted musical empathy” (Piano News), her “mastery in terms of musical expression” and her “superior art of balancing extremes” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). In 2003 she won the Silver Medal at the renowned Leeds International Pianoforte Competition. Audiences acclaim and critics unanimously praise her strong personality and fruitful imagination, the variety of tone colors and animated counterpoint revealed in her playing, her sense of architectural balance and her command of a work’s entire structure.

Emőke Baráth, Il Pomo d'Oro, Francesco Corti VOGLIO CANTAR

The Venetian singer and composer Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677) was probably the most remarkable, talented, famous and successful woman of her times in the field of music. In 2019 we will celebrate its 400th anniversary with a new program performed by soprano Emöke Baráth under the direction of Francesco Corti.
The album, Voglio Cantar, present some of her most beautiful compositions for soprano, some works by her teacher Francesco Cavalli, and a delightful variety of contemporary instrumental pieces.
Barbara Strozzi grew up in a household frequented by illustrious intellectuals. In the year 1637 her father founded an academy exclusively focused on music, the ‚accademia degli unisoni’ – which was not only hosted and presided over by Barbara, but also became her stage to perform her own music. She received her musical education from Francesco Cavalli, who then worked in various important musical positions in Venice and was about to launch his career as an opera composer.
Barbara Strozzi published a significant number of music: 8 volumes of madrigals, arias, ariettas, canzoni – including one volume of sacred music. Most of the compositions are focused on the soprano voice, displaying its pure beauty in lyrical melodies. The only painted (supposed) portrait of Barbara Strozzi shows her as a musician in quite a lascivious pose, presenting the then typical association of female musician and courtesan. Barbara Strozzi died in Padova in the year 1677 under unknown circumstances.

domingo, 20 de enero de 2019

Charlotte Schäfer / Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik / Michael Preiser SOL NASCENTE

The debut release of coloratura soprano, Charlotte Schäfer accompanied by the Düsseldorfer Hofmusik led by Michael Preiser in a collection that focuses on the bravura arias written in the period between the Baroque and early Classical eras. With many of these arias being released for the first time, Schäfer’s sublime performance invites us to consider the prescience of the young Mozart with “Sol Nascente” meaning rising sun written at the advent of the new Classical era.

Charlotte Schäfer / Concerto con Anima / Michael Preiser DOLCI AFFETTI

The second solo CD of the young soprano Charlotte Schäfer, together with Concerto con Anima under Michael Preiser, contains true gems of virtuoso coloratura art, which all use texts from the libretto Demofoonte by Pietro Metastasio. Her debut album (ARS38187 - Sol nascente - Italian Arias) received great reviews: "....the young ... soprano Charlotte Schäfer introduces herself with sophisticated coloratura...." Opernglas "She's technically accomplished with superb coloratura and a trill worth the name . " Musicweb International.
Among the composers of the works recorded here for the first time in the world are Johann Christian Bach, Pasquale Anfossi and Giuseppe Sarti.

sábado, 19 de enero de 2019

Natasha Paremski MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition HERSCH Tchaikovsky Variations

Natasha began her piano studies at the age of four with Nina Malikova at Moscow’s Andreyev School of Music. She then studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music before moving to New York to study with Pavlina Dokovska at Mannes College of Music, from which she graduated in 2007. Natasha made her professional debut at age nine with El Camino Youth Symphony in California. At the age of 15, she debuted with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and recorded two discs with Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. Born in Moscow, Natasha moved to the United States at the age of eight, became a U.S. citizen shortly thereafter, and is now based in New York.
The 2017–18 season sees Natasha’s return recitals at the Wigmore Hall and Istanbul Resitalleri, as well as returns to the North Carolina, Oregon, Winnipeg, Colorado, and Columbus symphonies and her debut with Kansas City Symphony. In addition, her recording of Fred Hersch’s Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky – commissioned for her by the Gilmore Festival – will be released on the Steinway & Sons label alongside Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

Gothenburg Symphony / Santtu-Matias Rouvali SIBELIUS Symphony No. 1 - En Saga

Alpha begins a complete cycle of the symphonies by Sibelius alongside some of his symphonic poems with Gothenburg Symphony and its new chief conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali.
In the great tradition of Finnish conductors, Santtu-Matias Rouvali is known for his extremely physical and organic interpretations: ‘Music unmistakeably flows from him,’ commented The Sunday Times.  This was evident when, at a very young age, he stepped in to conduct a concert with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra which began the journey to his first tenure as Chief Conductor with the Tampere Philharmonic; a meteoric rise to a career working at the highest musical level internationally; and a third post as Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. 
When Bachtrack asked him how he shapes the orchestral sound, he replied: ‘I sing it, I move my hands the way I want it (…) the conductor should be able to show tempo somewhere in the body (…) I was also a drum kit player, so my feet and hands can do different things at the same time. When you read the score, you sing it in your head (…) I think it’s the sense of inside groove that you get from playing percussion which is very important in Sibelius’s music .’
In the Gothenburg Symphony he finds a prestigious cohort of musicians with an impressive discography, and joins a line of their illustrious musical directors, notably Neeme Järvi, the orchestra’s principal conductor from 1982 to 2004, but also Gustavo Dudamel, who is honorary conductor. From season 2019-2020 Barbara Hannigan and Christoph Eschenbach have been nominated first guest conductors.

Wiener Singakademie / Shanghai Symphony Orchestra / Long Yu ORFF Carmina Burana

Deutsche Grammophon, the world’s oldest classical label, celebrated its 120th anniversary with a concert of great cultural and historical significance at Beijing’s Forbidden City on October 10. This is the first classical concert to be hosted there since 1998 and the most important one since the Three Tenors stood on stage together in 1994.
In front of an audience of 1,200 specially-invited Chinese and international guests, Long Yu, the first Chinese conductor to perform at the Forbidden City, led the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in their interpretation of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, in partnership with the mixed adult voices of the Wiener Singakademie and the Shanghai Spring Children’s Choir.
DG’s anniversary concert was the first to be held at the Imperial Ancestral Temple (Taimiao) since Zubin Mehta led a production of Puccini’s Turandot there twenty years ago, an event whose worldwide significance contributed to the 2008 Olympics being awarded to Beijing.

jueves, 17 de enero de 2019

Les Talens Lyriques / Christophe Rousset FRANÇOIS COUPERIN Ariane consolée par Bacchus - Apothéoses de Lully & de Corelli

Here, for the first time, we can hear what appears to be a lost cantata by François Couperin. Numerous of his secular airs, chansons and canons survive in manuscript and print, but until now none of the cantatas known to have existed at the time of his death (1733) have been found. Rousset’s cogent argument for attributing this anonymous manuscript work, hitherto known only from a 1716 Amsterdam catalogue entry as ‘Ariane abandonée’, is, I believe, compelling.
This Ariane consolée par Bacchus, somewhat unusually, is for a baritone. Although best known as an opera singer and recitalist of later repertoire, Stéphane Degout adjusts his voice to the varied pace within the recitatives and expresses words such as ‘douceur’ in the first Air and the tongue-twisting text of the ritournelle in the final Air with the lightest touch. Moreover, the acoustic of the Eglise Saint-Pierre (Paris) allows us to enjoy both the warmth of his voice and the detail of his fluent ornamentation. The presence of Christophe Coin playing the concertante bass viol part in these tracks adds further to the pleasure to be had from listening to this modern premiere.
The remaining works on the disc were recorded in the exceptional acoustic of the former 14th-century monastery Les Dominicains de Haute-Alsace. Couperin’s entertaining pair of apotheoses accorded to Lully and Corelli is almost unique in the repertoire because of his ‘acerbic’ programmatic commentaries, elegantly delivered here by Rousset from the keyboard. These works have been recorded many times but rarely so well. Rousset’s vision for his ensemble of oboes, flutes, violins and viol is sublime, as too are his harpsichord realisations. This is a landmark recording to treasure. (Julie Anne Sadie / Gramophone)

Ronny Wiesauer BACH - ZAMBONI

Ronny Wiesauer is a guitarist with a professional classical background who is devoted to both worlds:  Jazz and classical music.
He was born in Austria. After playing guitar  since his early childhood, he studied classical guitar at the music university Mozarteum in the class of Marco Tamayo.
Instead of promoting his career as classical guitarist by attending to guitar competitons, he preferd to oppose this thinking and focused on developing a wide musical range as well on classical guitar as on electric guitar.
Introduced to the theory of „baroque hexachord composing technique“  and its affects to the music history, he immediatly was fascinated how close that hexachord technique was conneted to contemporary and improvised music, and he started to discover these invisible "bridges" between the music theory of baroque music and Jazz. 
In 2010 as a result due his research in baroque hexachord he also started to play the Lute and Archlute, and in 2012 he recorded his third CD "Bach & Zamboni", the first one with the lute.  

Marta Gebska / Grzegorz Skrobiński PER MUSICAM AD ASTRA

This is the debut album of a Polish violinist – Marta Gebska. The young artist is a laureate of extremely numerous competition prizes, and considering her young age, she presents a very mature personality. Her interpretations testify to a unique performance craftsmanship combined with excellent violin technique and signal the emergence of a genuine talent on the Polish music stage. The multitude of artistic means of expression used, the variety of colors, the variability of the character of the sound and its beauty is a matter of the soloist’s rich imagination, enhanced by the values of the great French instrument Gustave Vuillaumme 1923. Listening to her recordings, one can experience not only artistic satisfaction, but also the joy resulting from the harmonious development of Polish violin music, to which both Marta’s masters and outstanding violinists, Roman Lasocki and her father Andrzej Gebski, contributed.

miércoles, 16 de enero de 2019

Boris Giltburg LISZT Études d'exécution transcendante - La leggierezza - Rigoletto Paraphrase

Franz Liszt was one of the very first musical superstars, standing out from the ranks of 19th-century piano virtuosos. He is also the only one of them whose compositions continue to be widely performed to this day. Liszt’s ambitions were most likely triggered in 1832, when after hearing Niccolò Paganini at a concert, the 21-year-old determined to become as great a virtuoso on the piano as Paganini was on the violin. In this he succeeded brilliantly: his career as a touring pianist lasted only eight years (1839–47), but during that time his tours blazed all over Europe, leaving in their wake admiring, unbelieving audiences, swooning ladies, and broken pianos and hearts. 
Liszt’s Études d’exécution transcendante enshrine the spirit of High Romanticism, embodying extremes of expressive drama and technical virtuosity. His encyclopedic approach to technique is shown at its most dazzling in this cycle, heard here in the 1852 revision which Liszt himself declared ‘the only authentic one’. Integration of musical and technical elements is absolute, and the music’s narratives are supported by dramatic physicality, an orchestral richness of sonority, and an exceptional colouristic quality.

Quatuor Modigliani PORTRAITS

Modigliani, one of the greatest portrait painters, is the inspiration for this journey made up of pieces with unique characters. Designed as a portrait gallery, this new opus brings together masterpieces and discoveries. The look or here the ear, linger on the curves, the lines, the singular melodic drawing of each of these partitions. Filigree is another portrait, that of the quartet.

La Rêveuse LONDON. CIRCA 1700

At the end of the seventeenth century, London became a city full of promise, the stuff that dreams were made of: theatres and concerts were packed every night and the music publishing market was flourishing. 
This great European capital at the height of its economic expansion was extremely attractive to the foreign musicians who settled there in large numbers. It provided a most favourable context for the development of instrumental music, fuelled by the final flowering of the English tradition and by the latest European innovations.

martes, 15 de enero de 2019

Dale Kavanagh 20th CENTURY GUITAR

Dale Kavanagh is one of the most prominent classical guitarists of her generation. As a soloist and a member of the acclaimed Amadeus Guitar Duo she has performed all over the world and is the dedicatee of numerous compositions. Domeniconi’s ‘Variations’ are based on a famous Anatolian folk song, while the highly original language of Britten’s evocative ‘Nocturnal’ has its starting point in a song by John Dowland. Cooperman’s Walking on Water was inspired by Peter Sellers’ last film ‘Being There,’ and Ponce’s ‘Folia de España’ is often considered one of the most magnificent guitar pieces ever written. Between 1986 and 1988 Canadian-born Dale Kavanagh was a top prizewinner in Spain’s Segovia Competition, Italy’s Gargnano Competition, Switzerland’s Neuchatel Competition, and first and special prizewinner in Finland’s Scandinavian International Guitar Competition. She performs internationally as a soloist and in the Amadeus Guitar Duo with German guitarist Thomas Kirchhoff and has given recitals in more than 70 countries.

Norbert Anger / Michael Schöch STRAUSS | WAGNER Werke für Violoncello und Klavier

Like Richard Strauss, besides the dominating stage works Richard Wagner’s oeuvre catalogue shows several works for other genres, including compositions for choir, piano and chamber music as well as songs. Amongst them, the Wesendonck-Lieder, composed after texts by his occasional muse, Mathilde von Wesendonck, the wife of a Swiss industrialist, have attained special popularity. Very special is the version which can be heard on this recording for deep voice played by the violoncello. Additionally, the ‘Album Page’ and prelude to ‘Tristan und Isolde’ in the cello/piano version by Richard Wagner can be found on this release. These pieces are beautifully performed on this release by cellist Norbert Anger and pianist Michael Schöch.

Orquesta Sinfónica de San Luis Potosi / José Miramontes Zapata MANUEL M. PONCE Orchestral Music Vol. 1

The Mexican composer Manuel María Ponce (1882–1948) is best known for a handful of popular songs and guitar pieces, and yet he left a huge legacy of some 500 works – orchestral, chamber and piano music, art songs and folksong arrangements. These works together form the foundation of the Mexican national repertoire, and yet they are as good as unknown.
The works recorded here – some for the first time – reveal a composer with a surefooted command of the orchestra: his early impressionism is infused with echoes of Mexican indigenous culture in textures of unsuspected richness. This release is the first in a Toccata Classics series exploring Mexico’s unknown heritage of classical music.
José Miramontes Zapata graduated from the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire in Leningrad. He has worked as pianist, choir director and cultural manager. In 2000 he founded the Orquesta Sinfónica de San Luis Potosí and as artistic director and principal conductor of the Orchestra he has promoted many choral and orchestral activities with local young musicians, developing a constant cultural growth in San Luis Potosí, with more than 80 concerts per year. The San Luis Potosí Symphony Orchestra occupies an important role in the diffusion of Mexican symphonic music, with concerts in some of the major halls in México, China and Europe.

lunes, 14 de enero de 2019

Sebastian Bohren / Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Andrew Litton MENDELSSOHN - BRITTEN Violin Concertos

Sebastian Bohren constantly continues on his way – and does it well. He carefully chooses his broad, varied repertoire and masterfully brings it to sound. Whether solo, in a chamber ensemble or with a large orchestra, whether musical rarities or established milestones: his playing arouses the enthusiasm of audiences and critics alike! 
On the new album, Sebastian Bohren now devotes himself to violin concertos by two great composers: one of them is a repertoire piece par excellence, whereas the other, despite the undoubted genius of its creator, is rarely heard. Together with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton, Sebastian Bohren has recorded violin concertos by Felix Mendelssohn and Benjamin Britten; Tchaikovsky’s graceful Sérénade mélancolique completes the program.

Sarah Beth Briggs SCHUMANN Papillons, Kinderszenen BRAHMS Opp. 117, 118

For her first solo recital recording for AVIE Records, award-winning pianist Sarah Beth Briggs turns to some of the greatest collections of Romantic miniatures ever written, largely inspired by one woman: Clara Schumann, wife of Robert Schumann and muse to Johannes Brahms. The bookends of the album are Schumann's early and youthful Papillons and Kinderszenen. In between is autumnal Brahms - his Op. 117 Intermezzi and Op. 118 Klavierstücke.
Multi-award winning pianist Sarah Beth Briggs earned multiple plaudits for her previous AVIE recordings, a Gramophone Critics' Choice for her pairing of concertos by Hans Gál and Mozart, and a Gramophone Editor's Choice for her Briggs Piano Trio's pairing of works by Gál and Shostakovich. For her first solo recital recording for AVIE, Sarah turns to some of the greatest collections of Romantic miniatures ever written, largely inspired by one woman: Clara Schumann, wife of Robert Schumann and muse to Johannes Brahms. The twelve short dance movements of Schumann's early and enigmatic Papillons set the scene, giving way to autumnal, late Brahms - his Op. 117 Intermezzi and Op. 118 Klavierstücke. The album ends as it begins, with youthful Schumann and his lovingly crafted Kinderszenen, written over half a century earlier.

i Flautisti – The London Recorder Quartet DOUCE DAME JOLIE

What can be encompassed in music within 60 minutes? Africa, Japan, Germany. London, Vienna, the Balkans ... Four virtuoso recorder players, i Frautisti, will guide you through this one-hour odyssey. Since their getting together in 2009 at the Royal College of Music in London, the female ensemble have given premieres of a number of pieces, directly written for them. The composers who have created music for them include such celebrities as Tarik O'Regan and Nathan Theodoulou. i Flautisti have appeared at renowned festivals and led master classes in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic. Their live performances have also enchanted BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4 listeners. The present recording serves to mark the ensemble's 10th anniversary, featuring ten pieces that have earned them enthusiastic responses at concert venues. The album organically blends the Middle Ages and Baroque with torrential Balkan rhythms and the contemporary world. Yet you should not approach the modern tunes with trepidation: i Flautisti present (for the most part in world premiere) music that is beautiful, comprehensive, often catchy even. The ensemble's great forte - also the common denominator of the recording - is an engrossing musicality, vivacity and passion. You will definitely want to take the hour-long trip again and again.
From the Middle Ages to the present time – from Africa through Japan to the Balkans; a thrilling musical journey with a virtuoso recorder quartet.

domingo, 13 de enero de 2019

Julia Hagen / Annika Treutler JOHANNES BRAHMS

Johannes Brahms Sonatas for cello and piano op. 38 and op. 99 Six Lieder op. 86 (arranged for cello and piano). One of the underlying principles of Johannes Brahms’s works is the way the composer creatively engages with a range of musical traditions, from the old German folk song through the madrigal to Viennese Classicism and the Romanticism of the likes of Schumann and Mendelssohn.
The young cellist Julia Hagen is known as one of the most promising instrumentalists of her generation. Most recently she has made her debut with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra as well as with the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra at the famous Suntory Hall in Tokyo.
Annika Treutler grew up in Detmold and is now based in Berlin. She studied with Prof. Matthias Kirschnereit at the Rostock College of Music and Drama and Prof. Bernd Goetzke at the Hanover College of Music, Drama and Media. The young artist won third prize at the Montreal International Piano Competition in 2014 national.

sábado, 12 de enero de 2019


The 120th anniversary of Deutsche Grammophon led to an initiative illuminating the very beginning of the recording industry: the legendary Shellac Era, historically located between c.1897 and the 1930s, is a fascinating epoch of pioneering artists, courageous producers, smart technicians and engineers and truly a Golden Age of unprecedented musical innovation.
This album presents the most culturally important of the rediscovered shellac tracks: Pietro Mascagni conducting his own works, including the captivating Intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana; Caruso’s baritone “rival” Titta Ruffo singing Largo al factotum; legendary violinist Váša Příhoda performing Dvořák and Elgar; Mozart tenor Julius Patzak performing Ottavio’s aria from Don Giovanni; and international stars like Louis Armstrong and Lale Andersen contribute some jazz standards.

viernes, 11 de enero de 2019

Seiji Ozawa / Mito Chamber Orchestra BEETHOVEN 9

“Ozawa may be entering a glorious Indian summer of creativity” Gramophone

45 years after his debut Philips recording of Beethoven’s 9th, Seiji Ozawa returns to this epic masterpiece
The Mito Chamber Orchestra features many international star players including Radek Baborák (horn), Ricardo Morales (clarinet) and Philippe Tondre (oboe). The German baritone Markus Eiche leads a quartet of leading Japanese soloists and the Tokyo Opera Singers in a fascinating performance on a chamber orchestra scale.

Orquesta Juvenil Universitaria Eduardo Mata / Gustavo Rivero Weber EL ÁRBOL DE LA VIDA

The impetus of the Mexican Revolution galvanised the use of indigenous melodies in a new and original wave of musical compositions that loosened dependence on European models. José Moncayo’s infectiously joyful Huapango, one of Mexico’s best-known works is, in its distinct national character, deeply rooted in folk music. Silvestre Revueltas’s La noche de los mayas is a symphonic suite derived from film music that employs Mexican percussion instruments in a vividly inventive way. The process of linking folk influence with classical techniques continues to the present day with Hebert Vázquez’s El árbol de la vida which uses the folk style known as the son.

Luís Rabello / Floor Braam RADAMÉS GNATTALI Flor da Noite

Luis Rabello: “The music of Radamés Gnattali (1906-1988) stands very distinguished on the Brazilian classical music landscape given the composer unique background: a hybrid of classical virtuoso pianist, composer of symphonies, concertos and sophisticated chamber music and popular composer who immensely contributed to different musical styles in the Brazilian music scene such as the samba, choro, bossa nova and the Brazilian jazz.
Gnattali started his career as a classical pianist and was considered one of the greatest virtuosos of his generation. He spent a great part of his life as the composer, arranger and conductor of the National Radio orchestra in Rio de Janeiro.
It was in 2005, thanks to Roberto Gnattali, that I had my first immersion in Gnattali's universe. Roberto Gnattali, composer and teacher at the University of Rio de Janeiro, is the nephew of Radamés Gnattali. Nowadays considered the curator of Radamés Gnattali's music, Roberto is an expert of all his uncle's recordings and compositions.
Gnattali’s widow surprised me with an unexpected present when she allowed me to take the digital copies of all music Gnattali has written for piano, that included solo, chamber and concertos. The present album is a fortunate consequence of that!
The album Flor da noite brings to the public the very first recording of Gnattali's entire repertoire for violin and piano.

Diana Damrau / Jonas Kaufmann / Helmut Deutsch ITALIENISCHES LIEDERBUCH


Diana Damrau and Jonas Kaufmann, reigning stars of opera, are also consummate interpreters of song. In early 2018, with master pianist Helmut Deutsch, they performed Hugo Wolf’s multi-faceted Italienisches Liederbuch in 12 cities around Europe. “One couldn’t ask for more,” wrote the Telegraph after their London concert, which took place two days before this live recording was made in the German city of Essen.