Kevin Puts – Symphony No. 4 / To touch the sky / If I were a swan

Conspirare, Craig Hella Johnson & Balti... - Kevin Puts To Touch the Sky, If I Were a Swan, Symphony... - Artwork

Symphony No. 4, From Mission San Juan: I. Prelude: Mission San Juan Bautista, ca.1800

From Kevin Puts – Symphony No. 4 / To touch the sky / If I were a swan (2013)

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Kevin Puts: Symphony No. 4, From Mission San Juan: I. Prelude: Mission San Juan Bautista, ca.1800

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts (born 1972) is known for his distinctive and richly colored musical voice. Making their label début, Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra perform Kevin Puts’ Symphony No.4 (“From Mission San Juan”), inspired by Native American melodies. Opening this program of world première recordings, Craig Hella Johnson leads Conspirare in two choral settings of texts by women poets: “To Touch the Sky” and “If I Were a Swan”.

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Polish Piano Quintets

polish quintet

Juliusz Zarębski
Piano Quintet in G minor Op. 34
Scherzo. Presto

From Polish Piano Quintets (2012)

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Juliusz Zarębski: Piano Quintet in G minor Op. 34 – Scherzo. Presto

In 1935, at the peak of the neoclassical period, the Piano Quintet in G minor Op. 34 by Juliusz Zarębski was published. Better late than never! The Quintet was written at the beginning of 1885, during the period of convalescence of the composer (who suffered from tuberculosis) in his home town of Żytomierz. The Quintet was the last and the most outstanding masterpiece written by Zarębski, who died in September of this same year at the age of 31. Zarębski was a member of the 19th century guild of composers and virtuosos. Extremely talented, he studied piano and composition in Vienna and Petersburg. He composed mainly salon and virtuoso music for the needs of his numerous tournées; the most famous collection is called Roses and thorns (Róże i ciernie). The great talent of Zarębski is reflected in the opinions of Franz Liszt, who had seen in him not only the great virtuoso (sharing the interest in a two-keyboard piano with the maestro from Weimar), but also a deeply sensitive composer. Liszt insisted that Zarębski should seriously devote himself to composing. It is therefore hardly surprising that the Quintet was dedicated to Liszt.

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Chamber Music (Polish)

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Maciej Małecki
Polish Suite for string quartet (2007)
Melodia

From Chamber Music (Polish) (2010)

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Maciej Małecki: Polish Suite for string quartet (2007) – Melodia

This is not only the debut album of OPiUM String Quartet, but also the first-ever CD recording of three out of the four presented compositions: those by Maciej Małecki and Sławomir Czarnecki, which have never been released on record. These world premieres are complemented by the popular old favourite – Wojciech Kilar’s Orawa, originally written for string orchestra, but arranged here for string quartet by Krzysztof Urbański. Orawa, inspired by highlander folklore, sets the tone for the whole album. For the project “Back to Melody”, the four musicians selected pieces by three contemporary composers, evidently inspired by folk tradition, with a fullness of expression typical of that tradition and, in some cases, a nostalgic melody, combined with the exuberance of folk rhythms and dances. All the four compositions preserve the spirit of folk music, not only Polish, but also (in Małecki’s work) – Jewish, and these folkloric features make it possible to arrange them into a coherent, attractive whole, whose distinct character derives from the different moods and colours of the individual pieces.

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Eisler: Ernste Gesänge, Lieder with Piano

Matthias Goerne, Ensemble Resonanz and ... - Hanns Eisler Ernste Gesänge - Lieder with piano - Artwork

Serious Songs 5 : XX Party

From Eisler: Ernste Gesänge, Lieder with Piano (2013)

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Eisler: Serious Songs 5 : XX Party

From the Twenties and the Berlin of the Weimar Republic until his emigration to the United States, of his return to Vienna after the end of Nazi period up to his last days in East Berlin, Hanns Eisler’s life was a long exile in the face of artistic, technical and political upheavals of the 20th Century. Distance, irony and melancholy are the aesthetic consequences that characterize the selection of songs presented here.

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CPE Bach Cello Concertos

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Cello Concerto in B-Flat Major, Wq. 171, H. 436
III. Allegro assai

From CPE Bach Cello Concertos (1997)

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CPE Bach: Cello Concerto in B-Flat Major, Wq. 171, H. 436 – III. Allegro assai

The cellist Tomasz Strahl and Andrzej Mysinski’s widely known ensemble Concerto Avenna present the charming early classicistic cello concertos by Carl Philip Emanueal Bach, the son of the great Johann Sebastian.

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St Matthew’s Passion

René Jacobs, RIAS Kammerchor and Akadem... - JS Bach St Matthew Passion, BWV 244 (Matthäus-Passion) - Artwork

St. Matthew Passion: Part 29 Chorale O man, bewail ‘your great sin

From St Matthew’s Passion (2013)

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Bach: St. Matthew Passion: Part 29 Chorale O man, bewail ‘your great sin

It has haunted René Jacobs since childhood: first as a boy soprano in Ghent, then as a countertenor, he has constantly frequented the supreme masterpiece that is the St Matthew Passion. Today he examines it at the point of intersection between historical musicology (forget the work’s deceptive ‘stereophony’!) and theology; served here by artists totally devoted to the project and a three-dimensional multichannel recording, the ‘great Passion’ embodies more than ever the paradox of a drama at once intimate, theatrical, and collective. An initiatory journey, a progress towards the light that will grip every listener.

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Silvestrov Piano Works

Naive Music
no. 7 Waltz

Elisaveta Blumina

From Silvestrov Piano Works (2013)

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Silvestrov: Naive Music – no. 7 Waltz

About Valentin Silvestrov (b. 1937)

This recording is devoted to piano works, by the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, from various creative periods of his life. The piano is the composer’s most important source of creative activity and it embraces a wide range of genres; there are sonatas and cycles for solo piano as well as large-scale compositions for piano and orchestra.

In recent years, which the composer calls his ‘Bagatelle’ period, Silvestrov has concentrated his activities on miniatures, for various combinations and, above all, for the piano. According to his own words he is interested first and foremost in melody; not in melody as something complete in itself but rather as an answer to momentary burgeoning motifs, exclamations or phrases. Hence his preference for many commonly used ‘miniature’ titles such as “Moment(s)…”).

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Veni Emmanuel – Music for Advent

Choir of Clare College, Cambridge My Music

Rachmaninov – All-Night Vigil, Op.37: VI: Bogoroditse Dyevo

The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge
Graham Ross, conductor

From Veni Emmanuel – Music for Advent (2013)

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Rachmaninov: All-Night Vigil, Op.37: VI: Bogoroditse Dyevo

The familiar hymn Veni Emmanuel is emblematic of the Advent season: a period of reflection upon the meaning of Christ’s coming. Framing this programme, the hymn paraphrases the great “O” Antiphons (plainchant settings traditionally sung on the days leading up to Christmas), complemented here by later works echoing their rich imagery and symbolism.

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Cello Concerto – Elgar / Tchaikovsky / Dvořák

Jean-Guihen Queyras, BBC Symphony Orche... - Elgar Cello Concerto Op 85 - Tchaikovsky Variations on a Rococo Theme Op 33 - Artwork

Antonín Dvořák
Klid (Silent Woods), Op. 68, No. 5, B. 182

Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Jin Belohlavek, conductor

From Cello Concerto – Elgar / Tchaikovsky / Dvořák (2013)

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Dvořák: Klid (Silent Woods), Op. 68, No. 5, B. 182

On the face of it there is little in common between the elegiac song of Elgar’s Concerto, the Bohemian nostalgia of Dvorak’s exquisite miniatures, and the stylistic exercise of Tchaikovsky revisiting the 18th century. But Jean-Guihen Queyras sees in this programme ‘a fascinating mirror effect’, with each composer ‘playing on contrasts to elucidate his intentions’. Alongside the great Czech conductor Jirí Belohlávek, he reveals every facet of these Late Romantic works.

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Piano Recital: Blechacz, Rafal

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Schumann
Sonata in G minor Op. 22 – Andantino

Rafal Blechacz, piano

From Piano Recital: Blechacz, Rafal (2005)

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Schumann: Sonata in G minor Op. 22 – Andantino

The Romanticism saw a bountiful development of piano music. It was a century which brought not only an abundance of works by the most distinguished composers Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, and others but also added lustre to the century that followed. 20th-century composers could hardly ignore the achievements of the previous age, even if they were sometimes critical of them. It was, in fact, this very act of rebellion and rejection of the Romantic aesthetic that set many of them on their way up to the peak of the musical Parnassus. But even in the art of these rebels one can come across some important works illumined by a seductive romantic radiance. The history of music depends on the mutual interpenetration of styles, trends and aesthetics, from those radically rejecting the past to those freely drawing on its heritage.

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Piano works – Arnold SCHOENBERG

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Trois pièces pour piano (1894)
II Andantino grazioso

Florent Boffard, piano

From Piano works – Arnold SCHOENBERG (2013)

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Schoenberg: Trois pièces pour piano (1894) – II Andantino grazioso

The composer of the celebrated Pierrot lunaire, Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) wrote five sets of piano pieces which correspond to the essential phases of his development, from a tonal idiom to atonality, then to the twelve-note series, while conserving a remarkable stylistic unity that has influenced most of the composers of the 20th century.

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Frédéric Chopin – Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń

Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń chopin

Etude in C Sharp Minor Op.25 No. 7

Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń

From Frédéric Chopin – Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń (2013)

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Chopin: Etude in C Sharp Minor Op.25 No. 7

In an interview of 2005, conducted by the recently departed first lady of Polish journalism, Teresa Torańska, Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń modestly suggested that “the world can very well do without my playing.” Having listened to her wise and mature interpretations of Chopin’s most demanding masterpieces – interpretations that until recently could only be admired by the artist’s closest circle of friends – I will not hesitate to claim that Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń was wrong in keeping them private – and that for much too long!

Marcin Gmys

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Béla Bartók – Violins Concertos no. 1 & 2

Isabelle Faust, Swedish Radio Symphony ... - Bartók Violin Concertos No 1 & 2 - Artwork

Violin Concerto No. 2, Sz 112 – II. Andante tranquillo

Isabelle Faust, violin
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Daniel Harding

From Béla Bartók – Violins Concertos no. 1 & 2 (2013)

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Bartók: Violin Concerto No. 2, Sz 112 – II. Andante tranquillo

Such is the fame of Bartók’s Second Violin Concerto (1937-38), thanks to its supreme accomplishment, that it has virtually eclipsed the First, written thirty years before! Yet this earlier work, rediscovered long after the composer’s death, has a fascinating story all its own… True to her custom, Isabelle Faust has gone back to the multiple musical sources of this First Concerto – a work that came ‘straight from the heart’, since Bartók’s romance with a young violinist lay at the core of its creative process.

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Olga Pasichnyk – Bella mia fiamma… (Mozart Concert Arias)

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“Nehmt meinen Dank” K.383

Olga Pasichnyk

From Olga Pasichnyk – Bella mia fiamma… (Mozart Concert Arias) (2013)

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Mozart: “Nehmt meinen Dank” K.383

The concert arias of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – skilfully designed, cut and tailored with the precision of a master couturier to suit the voices of favoured singers – make up a theatrical piece where costumes, sets and even the libretto are of minor importance. Attention is focused on the inner world of the Hero who loves, suffers, despairs, seduces, doubts, hates, dies and… lives.

A relationship with this music is nothing less than a voyage to a magical island on the liner “Orchestra” steered by the most beautiful of instruments – the Human Voice.

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Balakirev – Complete Piano Works Vol. 1 Piano Sonatas

Piano Sonata in B flat minor
III. Intermezzo: Larghetto

Nicholas Walker

From Balakirev – Complete Piano Works Vol. 1 Piano Sonatas (2013)

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Balakirev: Piano Sonata in B flat minor – III. Intermezzo: Larghetto

About M. A. Balakirev (1837 – 1910)

A brilliant pianist, improviser, noted conductor and selfless champion of other composers, Balakirev is surprisingly little known today. Yet as leader of the Russian composers known as ‘The Mighty Handful’, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky, Borodin and Cui, he strongly influenced not only their work but also that of Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Ravel and Stravinsky, setting the standard by which others were judged. For a variety of reasons, however, he neglected his own composing, some works existing for years only in his head as unwritten piano improvisations. In the 1870s he worked as a clerk for the Warsaw Railway, after suffering a number of setbacks which resulted in a deep depression; in 1883 he was appointed to the post of director of the Imperial Chapel Choir, but it came with many administrative duties so that by the time of his final creative flowering (1900-1910) many of his earlier champions had died, and Balakirev himself no longer appeared in public as a pianist. By the time he could devote himself to composition, his style was no longer at the cutting edge, and most of his output fell into obscurity almost as soon as it was written.

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Ponce – Complete Piano Works : 1

Valentina

Alvaro Cendoya

From Ponce – Complete Piano Works : 1 (2013)

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Ponce: Valentina

About Manuel Maria Ponce (1882 -1948)

Manuel María Ponce was the author of a substantial and significant body of work and, as one of Mexico’s most prolific and well-known composers, is still held in great esteem today. His catalogue takes in virtually all genres and forms of music. One fundamental characteristic of his work is the use he made throughout his career of different styles, reflecting his range of knowledge and mastery of different compositional techniques. Broadly speaking, his music ranges from the post-Romanticism of the previous generation of composers to a modernism which made sporadic appearances in his early works but really began to establish itself in the music he wrote during his time in Paris (1925-33) and thereafter.

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Schubert – Complete works for violin and piano

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Fantasy in C major D934
III. Andantino

Alina Ibragimova (violin), Cédric Tiberghien (piano)

From Schubert – Complete works for violin and piano (2013)

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Schubert: Fantasy in C major D934 – III. Andantino

This recording of Schubert’s complete works for violin and piano is a pure delight. Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien’s delicate partnership offers a subtle and stylistic dose of musicality and classical elegance. Both are talented soloists and complement each other perfectly.

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Vagn Holmboe Concertos

Viola Concerto Op. 189
I. Allegro moderato, ma con forza

Erik Heide, violin
Lars Anders Tomter, viola
Norrköping Symphony Orchestra
Dima Slobodeniouk, conductor

From Vagn Holmboe Concertos (2013)

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Vagn Holmboe: Viola Concerto Op. 189 – I. Allegro moderato, ma con forza

About Vagn Holmboe (1909 – 1996)

The spirit of folk culture plays an important role in the music of the Danish composer Vagn Holmboe. As was the case with Béla Bartók (one of Holmboe’s most important sources of inspiration), folkloristic studies have here contributed significantly to the compositional process. Holmboe is the most influential Danish composers of the generation after Carl Nielsen and his large output includes twelve symphonies, chamber concertos, and a long series of extremely fine string quartets.

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Bach Cantatas
Gardiner

Chorus: “Gott fähret auf mit Jauchzen”

John Eliot Gardiner

From Bach Cantatas
Gardiner (2013)

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Bach: Chorus – “Gott fähret auf mit Jauchzen”

Another masterpiece by John Eliot Gardiner.

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Castelnuovo – Tedesco
The Piano Concertos nos. 1 and 2
Solo Piano Works

Passatempi Op. 54
V . Con brio alla Viennese

Pietro Massa
Neubrandenburger Philharmonie
Stefan Malzew

From Castelnuovo – Tedesco
The Piano Concertos nos. 1 and 2
Solo Piano Works (2013)

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Castelnuovo – Tedesco: Passatempi Op. 54 – V . Con brio alla Viennese

About Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895 – 1968 )

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (Florence 1895 – Beverly Hills 1968) was a composer and humanist. His life was characterized by a lasting tendency to discover himself as a component of ancient cultural traditions, first the Tuscan and then the Jewish one. On the other hand, he showed an inclination to withdraw from the historical present, on the one hand, due to his reserved disposition and, on the other, because of the tragic events that rocked his existence.

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