Jul 20

Rachel Podger & Arte Dei Suonatori – Antonio Vivaldi: La Stravaganza – 12 Violin Concertos (2003)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 103:53 minutes | 1,75 GB
Official Digital Download – Source: LinnRecords.com | Covers & Digital Booklet

These performances of Vivaldi’s La Stravaganza – a collection of 12 violin concertos – are truly extravagant. They’re not designed to be listened to in one sitting and shouldn’t be: it’s not the sameness of the orchestration which might get in the way, it’s the intensity with which Vivaldi composed them and the manner in which the remarkable Rachel Podger plays them. Fans of Andrew Manze will love Podger for similar reasons.

While Vivaldi was imitated and paraphrased for several decades in the 18th Century, his style is actually quite inimitable. His admirers could add to but not originate the formula. This is why his singular voice speaks to us now with such genuine directness and individuality. The concertos of La Stravanganza, remarkable for their range of coloration, constitute Vivaldi’s evolving style of extravagance and ecstasy. Immersing herself in the 12 Concertos of La Stravanganza was an intense and exhilarating experience for violinist Rachel Podger, and one which has left her full of wonder at Vivaldi’s seemingly endless capacity for invention.
— Gramophone’s Best Baroque Recording of 2003 CCS SA 19503 (Channel Classics)

Tracklist:
01 – Concerto in B Flat, Opus 4 No. 1 – Allegro
02 – Concerto in B Flat, Opus 4 No. 1 – Largo e cantabile
03 – Concerto in B Flat, Opus 4 No. 1 – Allegro
04 – Concerto in E Minor, Opus 4 No. 2 – Allegro
05 – Concerto in E Minor, Opus 4 No. 2 – Largo
06 – Concerto in E Minor, Opus 4 No. 2 – Allegro
07 – Concerto in G Major, Opus 4 No. 3 – Allegro
08 – Concerto in G Major, Opus 4 No. 3 – Largo
09 – Concerto in G Major, Opus 4 No. 3 – Allegro assai
10 – Concerto in A Minor, Opus 4 No. 4 – Allegro
11 – Concerto in A Minor, Opus 4 No. 4 – Grave e sempre piano
12 – Concerto in A Minor, Opus 4 No. 4 – Allegro
13 – Concerto in A Major, Opus 4 No. 5 – Allegro
14 – Concerto in A Major, Opus 4 No. 5 – Largo
15 – Concerto in A Major, Opus 4 No. 5 – Allegro
16 – Concerto in G Minor, Opus 4 No. 6 – Allegro
17 – Concerto in G Minor, Opus 4 No. 6 – Largo
18 – Concerto in G Minor, Opus 4 No. 6 – Allegro
19 – Concerto in C Major, Opus 4 No. 7 – Largo
20 – Concerto in C Major, Opus 4 No. 7 – Allegro
21 – Concerto in C Major, Opus 4 No. 7 – Largo
22 – Concerto in C Major, Opus 4 No. 7 – Allegro
23 – Concerto in D Minor, Opus 4 No. 8 – Allegro
24 – Concerto in D Minor, Opus 4 No. 8 – Adagio-Presto-Adagio
25 – Concerto in D Minor, Opus 4 No. 8 – Allegro
26 – Concerto in F Major, Opus 4 No. 9 – Allegro
27 – Concerto in F Major, Opus 4 No. 9 – Largo
28 – Concerto in F Major, Opus 4 No. 9 – Allegro
29 – Concerto in C Minor, Opus 4 No. 10 – Spirituoso
30 – Concerto in C Minor, Opus 4 No. 10 – Adagio
31 – Concerto in C Minor, Opus 4 No. 10 – Allegro
32 – Concerto in D Major, Opus 4 No. 11 – Allegro
33 – Concerto in D Major, Opus 4 No. 11 – Largo
34 – Concerto in D Major, Opus 4 No. 11 – Allegro assai
35 – Concerto in G Major, Opus 4 No. 12 – Spirituoso e non Presto
36 – Concerto in G Major, Opus 4 No. 12 – Largo
37 – Concerto in G Major, Opus 4 No. 12 – Allegro

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Jul 20

Lucas Debargue – Bach, Beethoven, Medtner (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:10:53 minutes | 869 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital booklet | © Sony Classical

Lucas Debargue, the most talked about pianist at the 2015 Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, releases his first studio album BACH, BEETHOVEN, MEDTNER.

Nikolai Medtner is a Russian composer, contemporary of Rachmaninov & Scriabin with German roots and influences. Debargue performed Medtner’s melodious sonata to spectacular success at the 2015 Tchaikovsky Competition with applause that lasted over fifteen minutes.

“I think it makes more sense to engage in a work like this one, brilliant but misunderstood, rather than in others we are too used to hearing,” says Debargue about Medtner

Besides Bach’s melancholic Toccata C minor BWV 911, Debargue is keen to engage in forgotten works as with Medtner and further puts a spotlight on the Sonata No. 7 in D major by Beethoven, which remained in the shadow of the famous Pathétique

Tracklist:

01. Toccata in C Minor, BWV 911: Toccata in C Minor, BWV 911: Toccata
02. Toccata in C Minor, BWV 911: Toccata in C Minor, BWV 911: Fugue
03. Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op. 10, No. 3: I. Presto
04. Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op. 10, No. 3: Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op. 10, No. 3: II. Largo e mesto
05. Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op. 10, No. 3: Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op. 10, No. 3: III. Menuetto – Allegro – Trio
06. Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op. 10, No. 3: Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op. 10, No. 3: IV. Rondo – Allegro
07. Piano Sonata in F Minor, Op. 5: I. Allegro – Maestoso, ma a tempo – Alla breve
08. Piano Sonata in F Minor, Op. 5: Piano Sonata in F Minor, Op. 5: II. Intermezzo – Allegro
09. Piano Sonata in F Minor, Op. 5: Piano Sonata in F Minor, Op. 5: III. Largo divoto – Maestoso
10. Piano Sonata in F Minor, Op. 5: Piano Sonata in F Minor, Op. 5: IV. Finale – Allegro risoluto

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Jul 20

Antonio Vivaldi – La Cetra: 12 Violin Concertos
Rachel Podger / Holland Baroque Society
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz: 2,58 GB | Artwork
Label/Cat#: Channel Classics # – | Country/Year: Europe 2012
Genre: Classical | Style: Baroque, Violin | Source: Official Download

Podger is a dynamic and unfailingly accurate virtuoso with exceptional interpretive instincts that can turn an unimposing rhythmic accent, a tiny melodic figure, or a seemingly routine harmonic progression into a moment of surprise or sheer wonder not only at the technical facility but also at the unexpected expressive effect. These concertos are full of challenges for the soloist, and Podger, who has considerable experience not only with Vivaldi, but with Mozart, Bach, and Haydn, has no apparent fear of any of them. And she also is a confident leader, bringing her very capable orchestral colleagues perfectly along with her, not only concerning tempos, but more importantly into her personal conception of dynamics, her volatile phrasing and often relentless rhythmic thrust. This is what makes these performances so exciting, invigorating, and so memorably different from the Vivaldi we’ve previously known and loved from performers such as Fabio Biondi, Giuliano Carmignola, and Andrew Manze.

There’s nothing not to like in terms of the music, and there are interesting little tidbits of trivia, such as the C minor theme of the Largo in Concerto No. 1, which bears an all-too-striking resemblance to the theme of Bach’s G minor fugue in Book 1 of the WTC. For some reason the first movement of the D minor concerto (No. 8) is foisted on many third or fourth-year violin students, perpetuating the idea that Vivaldi is “easier Bach”. Well, it isn’t. And just listen to Podger’s no-holds-barred performance and you’ll want to slap a warning label on the work: “For Adults Only”.
The Holland Baroque Society is a superb ensemble-it reminds me of the Quebec-based Les Violons du Roy-a group of young and very talented musicians whose inherent youthful energy and technical virtuosity, not to mention serious dedication to their music, reassures us older types that the future of classical music is secure. Full disclosure: I happened to be in Amsterdam during these recording sessions, and sat in for an all-too-brief period. I can say without qualification that the sound you hear is absolutely faithful to the superb acoustics of Amsterdam’s Waalse Kerk and to the vibrant timbres of the Holland Baroque Society’s period instruments. (A wonderful thing about these performances is the way the instruments themselves and their unique colors are celebrated and exploited-not just the bowed strings, but also the lute, organ, and harpsichord.) When listening to this CD I turned the volume up just slightly past my normal listening level, and I was rewarded with a room-filling reproduction of what I’d heard in Amsterdam. “Uitstekend!” Highly recommended. David Vernier “ClassicsToday.com”

Tracklist:
Concerto No. 1 in C major RV 181a;
Concerto No. 2 in A major RV 345;
Concerto No. 3 in G minor RV 334;
Concerto No. 4 in E major RV 263a;
Concerto No. 5 in A minor RV 358;
Concerto No. 6 in A major RV 348;
Concerto No. 7 in B-flat major RV 359;
Concerto No. 8 in D minor RV 238;
Concerto No. 9 in B-flat major RV 530;
Concerto No. 10 in G major RV 300;
Concerto No. 11 in C minor RV 198a;
Concerto No. 12 in B minor RV 391;

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Jul 15

Franz Schubert – Symphonies Nos 1 & 2 – Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Thomas Dausgaard (2014)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 76:35 minutes | Digital Booklet | 3,52 GB

On the final disc of a complete cycle, Thomas Dausgaard and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra offer us their readings of Franz Schubert’s first two symphonies. Written between 1813 and 1815, by a composer still in his teens, both works exemplify the influences of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven on the young man – something which was long regarded as a weakness: until well into the twentieth century (with just a few exceptions) their existence was of interest primarily to archivists. They nevertheless contain abundant proof of Schubert’s melodic genius – for instance in the Andante of Symphony No.1 – and other trademarks of the composer are already in evidence: his beloved ‘Wanderer’ rhythm in the finale of the Second Symphony, and throughout his confident and individual handling of form and harmony. The previous three discs in the cycle have met with critical acclaim and distinctions, with many reviewers welcoming the fresh approach towards the undisputed masterpieces (the ‘Unfinished’ and the ‘Great C major’) as well as to the less familiar earlier works. The present disc include two fillers, of which one is the rarely heard Funeral March from the unfinished opera Adrast from 1819-20, Schubert’s second attempt in the genre. Far better known is the closing work, the well-loved ‘Rosamunde Overture’. Composed around the same time as Adrast, it was actually part of the music to the melodrama Die Zauberharfe, but has later become associated with the incidental music to Rosamunde, Fürstin von Zypern, which Schubert would write some three years later.

Tracklist:
Symphony No.1 in D major, D82 (1813)
01 I. Adagio – Allegro vivace 10:52
02 II. Andante 06:43
03 III. Menuetto. Allegretto 04:06
04 IV. Allegro vivace 05:56
05 Funeral March from Adrast, D137 (1819–20) 04:34
Symphony No.2 in B flat major, D125 (1814–15)
06 I. Largo – Allegro vivace 14:12
07 II. Andante 08:26
08 III. Menuetto. Allegro vivace 03:00
09 IV. Presto vivace 08:23
10 Die Zauberharfe, Overture (‘Rosamunde’ Overture) 10:23

Personnel:
Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Örebro
Thomas Dausgaard conductor

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Jul 15

Franz Schubert – Symphonies Nos 1 & 2 – Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Thomas Dausgaard (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 76:35 minutes | 1.28 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Digital booklet | Source: eClassical
Genre: Classical | Recorded: June 2013 at the Örebro Concert Hall, Sweden

On the final disc of a complete cycle, Thomas Dausgaard and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra offer us their readings of Franz Schubert’s first two symphonies. Written between 1813 and 1815, by a composer still in his teens, both works exemplify the influences of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven on the young man – something which was long regarded as a weakness: until well into the twentieth century (with just a few exceptions) their existence was of interest primarily to archivists. They nevertheless contain abundant proof of Schubert’s melodic genius – for instance in the Andante of Symphony No.1 – and other trademarks of the composer are already in evidence: his beloved ‘Wanderer’ rhythm in the finale of the Second Symphony, and throughout his confident and individual handling of form and harmony. The previous three discs in the cycle have met with critical acclaim and distinctions, with many reviewers welcoming the fresh approach towards the undisputed masterpieces (the ‘Unfinished’ and the ‘Great C major’) as well as to the less familiar earlier works. The present disc include two fillers, of which one is the rarely heard Funeral March from the unfinished opera Adrast from 1819-20, Schubert’s second attempt in the genre. Far better known is the closing work, the well-loved ‘Rosamunde Overture’. Composed around the same time as Adrast, it was actually part of the music to the melodrama Die Zauberharfe, but has later become associated with the incidental music to Rosamunde, Fürstin von Zypern, which Schubert would write some three years later.

Tracklist:
Symphony No.1 in D major, D82 (1813)
01 I. Adagio – Allegro vivace 10:52
02 II. Andante 06:43
03 III. Menuetto. Allegretto 04:06
04 IV. Allegro vivace 05:56
05 Funeral March from Adrast, D137 (1819–20) 04:34
Symphony No.2 in B flat major, D125 (1814–15)
06 I. Largo – Allegro vivace 14:12
07 II. Andante 08:26
08 III. Menuetto. Allegro vivace 03:00
09 IV. Presto vivace 08:23
10 Die Zauberharfe, Overture (‘Rosamunde’ Overture) 10:23

Personnel:
Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Örebro
Thomas Dausgaard conductor

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Jul 15

Robert Schumann – Symphonies Nos 3 & 4 – Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Thomas Dausgaard (2008)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44.1 kHz | Time – 75:00 minutes | 684 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover | Source: eClassical
Recorded: October 2006 (Manfred), May 2007 (Symphony No.3), May & August 2007 (Symphony No.4), August 2007 (Hermann und Dorothea) at the Örebro Concert Hall, Sweden

For some years, Thomas Dausgaard and his Swedish Chamber Orchestra have been developing their project ‘Opening Doors’, performing symphonies and other orchestral works from the Romantic era with the smaller-than-usual forces of a modern-day chamber orchestra. It has been possible to sample the results of this approach in various music centres around the world during the team’s extensive tours, as well as on disc. The present disc is the fourth of their Opening Doors recordings and at the same time the closing disc of a ‘series within a series’ – a triptych featuring Schumann’s complete symphonies. Previous instalments have been praised for the freshness of the interpretations. ‘A brilliant recording, which overturns common and oft-repeated judgements regarding Schumann the symphonist’ was the reaction of the reviewer on German website Klassik Heute, while the review of the second disc in International Record Review included the following prediction: ‘If the final disc maintains such excellence, this could well be the Schumann cycle to have.’

Here now is that final Schumann disc, which includes the ‘Rhenish’ Symphony (No.3) as well the fourth symphony in its final 1851 version. (The original version was actually composed in 1841 as the composer’s second work in the genre, and is included on BIS-SACD-1519.) Besides the two symphonic works this generously filled disc also includes two shorter pieces. The Manfred overture opens Schumann’s music to Byron’s dramatic poem: regarded by Clara Schumann as ‘one of the most poetic and most gripping of Robert’s pieces’, it is the only part of the extensive score that is regularly performed. In the case of Hermann und Dorothea, it was a work by Goethe that provided the inspiration. Originally conceived as an opera about two lovers in the confusion after the French Revolution, it was in the end reduced to a concert overture, which prominently features the Marseillaise.

Tracklist:
Symphony No.3 in E flat major (‘Rhenish’), Op.97
1. I. Lebhaft 8’18
2. II. Scherzo. Sehr mäßig 5’20
3. III. Nicht schnell 4’48
4. IV. Feierlich 4’47
5. V. Lebhaft 5’30
6. Overture to ‘Manfred’, Op.115 11’07
7. Hermann und Dorothea, Overture, Op.126 8’53

Symphony No.4 in D minor, Op.120 (final version, 1851)
8. I. Ziemlich langsam – Lebhaft – 9’38
9. II. Romanze. Ziemlich langsam – 3’34
10. III. Scherzo. Lebhaft – 5’26
11. IV. Langsam – Lebhaft 7’39

Personnel:
Svenska Kammarorkestern, orchestra
Thomas Dausgaard, conductor

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Jul 12

Jean Martinon, Orchestre National De L’O.R.T.F – Debussy: Complete Orchestral Works (1974/2012) {2011 Remaster}
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 291:53 minutes | 5,47 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front cover | © EMI Classics

Renowned conductor Jean Martinon leads the Orchestre National De L’O.R.T.F through masterpieces by Claude Debussy. This is one of the definitive renditions, bursting with unparalleled virtuosity. Both the conductor and the orchestra are in exquisite form. Absolutely essential.

Tracklist:
01 – La Mer : I De l’aube à midi sur la mer
02 – La Mer : II Jeux de vagues
03 – La Mer : III Dialogue du vent et de la mer
04 – Trois Nocturnes : I Nuages
05 – Trois Nocturnes : II Fêtes
06 – Trois Nocturnes : III Sirènes (with women’s choir)
07 – Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
08 – Marche écossaise
09 – Berceuse héroïque
10 – Musiques pour le Roi Lear : I Fanfare
11 – Musiques pour le Roi Lear : II Le sommeil de Lear
12 – Jeux (poème dansé)
13 – Images : I Gigues
14 – Images : II Ibéria – a) Par les rues et par les chemins
15 – Images : II Iberia – b) Les parfums de la nuit
16 – Images : III Rondes de printemps
17 – Images : II Iberia – c) Le matin d’un jour de fête
18 – Printemps (Suite symphonique, orch. Henri Büsser) : 1ère partie
19 – Printemps (Suite symphonique, orch. Henri Büsser) : 2ème partie
20 – Children’s Corner Suite (orch. André Caplet) : Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum
21 – Children’s Corner Suite (orch. André Caplet) : Jimbo’s lullaby
22 – Children’s Corner Suite (orch. André Caplet ) : Serenade for the doll
23 – Children’s Corner Suite (orch. André Caplet) : The snow is dancing
24 – Children’s Corner Suite (orch. André Caplet) : The little shepherd
25 – Children’s Corner Suite (orch. André Caplet) : Golliwogg’s cakewalk
26 – Petite Suite (orch. Henri Büsser) : I En bateau
27 – Petite Suite (orch. Henri Büsser) : II Cortège
28 – Petite Suite (orch. Henri Büsser) : III Menuet
29 – Petite Suite (orch. Henri Büsser) : IV Ballet
30 – Danse sacrée et danse profane : I Danse sacrée
31 – Danse sacrée et danse profane : II Danse profane
32 – La Boîte à joujoux (orch. André Caplet) : Prélude
33 – La Boîte à joujoux (orch. André Caplet) : II Le champ de bataille
34 – La Boîte à joujoux (orch. André Caplet) : I Le magasin de jouets
35 – La Boîte à joujoux (orch. André Caplet) : III La bergerie à vendre
36 – La Boîte à joujoux (orch. André Caplet) : IV Après fortune faite
37 – La Boîte à joujoux (orch. André Caplet) : Epilogue
38 – Fantaisie (for piano and orchestra) : I Andante – Allegro
39 – Fantaisie (for piano and orchestra) : II Lento e molto espressivo
40 – Fantaisie (for piano and orchestra) : III Allegro molto
41 – La plus que lente
42 – Première Rapsodie (for orchestra with principal clarinet)
43 – Rapsodie (for orchestra with saxophone solo)
44 – Khamma (Légende dansée – orch. Charles Koechlin)
45 – Danse (Tarentelle styrienne – orch. Maurice Ravel)

About the Mastering:
Four engineers at Abbey Road Studios in London have remastered these historic EMI recordings from their original analogue sources for release in pristine hi-def. Between them, Simon Gibson, Ian Jones, Andy Walter and Allan Ramsay have many years of experience remastering archive recordings for EMI and other record labels. The process always starts with finding all of the records and tapes in EMI’s archive in London and comparing different sources and any previous CD reissues. We consult each recording’s job file, which contains notes about the recording made by the engineer and producer. For example, this sometimes explain why there is more than one set of tapes to choose from. All of the tapes are generally in good condition and we play them on our Studer A80 π inch tape machine, after careful calibration of its replay characteristics.

In order to have the best digital remastering tools at our disposal for the remastering, we transfer from analogue to the digital domain at 96 KHz and 24-bit resolution using a Prism ADA-8 converter and capture the audio to our SADiE Digital Audio Workstation.

— Simon Gibson, January 2012

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Jul 12

Joseph Swensen, Scottish Chamber Orchestra – Sibelius Theatre Music (2003)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 65:45 minutes | 1,21 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Covers & Digital booklet | Source: LINN

The foundations of Sibeliuss reputation are his symphonies, tone poems and increasingly his songs but the music he wrote for the stage throughout his creative life includes some of his finest scores. This disc presents his theatre music from 2 distinct periods – the 1900s (contemporary with his Violin Concerto, and the Second and Third Symphonies) and the 1920s, including some of the last works of his to survive.

This album could have been merely a compilation of Sibelius’s incidental music were it not for Andante festivo, written not for a stage play but for a factory! Undeniably attractive, it doesn’t seem particularly festive, and Joseph Swensen – who omits the optional timpani parta – does nothing to revise my opinion.

The four numbers from Belshazzar’s Feast are infrequently recorded. Composers from cold countries bring out their brightest colours when painting Asia (think of Nielsen’s Aladdin), and Sibelius’s response to Hjalmar Procopé’s forgotten drama is exotic, yet unmistakably Sibelian, particularly in the ‘Nocturne’, with its beautiful flute melody. Swensen is at least as good as Jukka-Pekka Saraste……

More familiar yet is The Tempest. There might have been room for the first suite too had Linn omitted the Andante Festivo or the over recorded Valse Triste. Here and in Pelleas, Swensen comes up against the estimable Sir Thomas Beecham, who nevertheless omits numbers in both. Beecham and the RPO sound richer and make a more imposing impression than Swensen and the Scottish players, although the current performance is appropriately moody.

With Pelleas, we reach well-charted territory. (The BBC’s The Sky At Night never reached the United States, but those of us who have been reading booklet notes forever know that ‘At the Castle Gate’ is that programme’s theme.) I like the menace that Swensen fiinds in this music, and also in The Tempest. ‘At the Seashore’, (the number Beecham omits) is quite threatening; Nature’s violence anticipates the human violence lying ahead. Tuomas Ollila and Paavo Jarvi (especially) are plain beside Swensen.

Without overdoing it, the Scottish string players wash some of the colour from their tone by holding back on the vibrato. This was a good idea and it works well, so kudos to all for giving us a slightly different look at a very familiar piece. Roy McEwan’s booklet notes generously put the individual numbers into the context of the larger drama. Linn’s engineering is top notch.

Tracklist:

01 – Pelleas and Melisande At the Castle Gate
02 – Pelleas and Melisande Melisande
03 – Pelleas and Melisande At the Seashore
04 – Pelleas and Melisande A Spring in the Park
05 – Pelleas and Melisande The Three Blind Sisters
06 – Pelleas and Melisande Pastorale
07 – Pelleas and Melisande Melisande at the Spinning-Wheel
08 – Pelleas and Melisande Entr’acte
09 – The Death of Melisande
10 – Kuolema Valse Triste
11 – Belshazzars Feast Oriental Procession
12 – Belshazzars Feast Solitude
13 – Belshazzars Feast Nocturne
14 – Belshazzars Feast Khadra’s Dance
15 – The Tempest: Suite No. 2 Chorus of the Winds
16 – The Tempest: Suite No. 2 Intermezzo
17 – The Tempest: Suite No. 2 Dance of the Nymphs
18 – The Tempest: Suite No. 2 Prospero
19 – The Tempest: Suite No. 2 Song 1
20 – The Tempest: Suite No. 2 Song 2
21 – The Tempest: Suite No. 2 Miranda
22 – The Tempest: Suite No. 2 Naiads
23 – The Tempest: Suite No. 2 Dance Episode
24 – Andante Festivo

Produced by Andrew Keener.
Engineered by Philip Hobbs and Calum Malcolm.
Recorded at the Usher Hall Edinburgh, U.K., March 2003.

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Jul 12

Katia & Marielle Labeque – Minimalist Dream House (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 02:09:01 minutes | 2,47 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

To be musically avant-garde in the 1950s meant to be difficult. Not by the end of the 1960s. That decade saw a group of American beatniks overthrow the musical givens of postwar Europe. In a series of disobediently straightforward compositions La Monte Young, Terry Jennings, Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Philip Glass declared that music could be clear, honest, pretty and experimental. Turning their backs on the conventional centres of musical power, the earliest minimalist works got their first public audience in La Monte Young’s 1960-61 Chamber Street Series in Yoko Ono’s New York loft. Through the 1960s in art galleries and alternative spaces, the minimalists slowly demystified, democratised and Americanised European modernism. They rejected the angst (what Philip Glass would call “crazy creepy music”). They rejected the invisible games. They rejected the theatricality. “I don’t know any secrets of structure that you can’t hear,” wrote Steve Reich in his 1968 minimalist manifesto, Music as a Gradual Process. Minimalism claimed that there was enough interest in the sounding process itself and enough new territory to be explored in rhythmic patterning to sustain a work. If one removed the Baroque complications – the harmonic story-telling and thematic cleverness – that were obscuring the natural beauties of rhythm and sound, what would be revealed and discovered could provide classical music with a new lease of life. They were right. Minimalism was the last great musical revolution of the 20th century. And it became the most influential and successful ism of them all. In the spirit of the loft concerts we also present new works by David Chalmin, Raphael Seguinier and Nicola Tescari.

Tracklist

CD1
Four Movements for Two Pianos (Philip Glass)
1 I. 05:59
2 II. 05:37
3 III. 06:47
4 IV. 05:15
Experiences No. 1 (John Cage)
5 Cage: Experiences No. 102:19
Hymn to a Great City (Arvo Part)
6 Part: Hymn to a Great City :03:17
The Poet Acts (Philip Glass)
7 Glass: The Poet Acts 03:42
The Time Curve Preludes (William Duckworth)
8 No. 1 02:26
9 No. 2 02:07
10 No. 17 02:32
Water Dances, Arr. for two pianos (Michael Nyman)
11 I. Dipping 04:48
12 II. Stroking 06:35
Images (Howard Skempton)
13 Interlude 4 01:20
14 Prelude 5 03:03
15 Interlude 5 00:51
16 Prelude 7 02:31
17 Postlude 01:47

CD2
Gameland (David Chalmin)
1 Chalmin: Gameland 06:06
The Time Curve Preludes (William Duckworth)
2 No. 7 03:18
3 No. 12 02:56
Pyramid Song (Radiohead)
4 Thom Yorke: Pyramid Song 05:09
In Dark Trees (Brian Eno)
5 Eno: In Dark Trees 03:48
Avril 14th (Richard James)
6 Avril 14 02:10
Water Dances, Arr. for two pianos (Michael Nyman)
7 IV. Gliding 04:43
8 V. Synchronising 05:55
In C (Terry Riley)
9 Riley: In C 28:58
Free to X (Raphael Seguinier)
10 Seguinier: Free to X 05:02

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Jul 12

Myung Whun Chung (정명훈) – Piano (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 54:59 minutes | 1,01 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: HighResAudio.com | Digital booklet | © ECM

The ECM New Series debut of Myung Whun Chung features the widely-celebrated conductor as pianist. Recorded at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice, in July 2013, the album marks the first occasion that Chung has recorded solo. In a performer’s note, he describes the album as a gift for younger listeners, as well as a personal thanks to those who share his love of this music. Chung’s touch and sensitivity for dynamics cast a new light on familiar pieces – by Debussy, Chopin, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Schubert, Schumann and Mozart – as they are experienced in a gently flowing sequence which also serves to highlight affinities between the compositions. Although conducting now fully occupies his professional life, Chung (born 1953 in Seoul) made his debut as pianist with the Seoul Philharmonic at the age of seven. He later studied the piano with Maria Curcio, the last and favourite pupil of Artur Schnabel. In 1974 he was a prize winner in the Tchaikovsky Competition. He then began his career playing piano trios with his sisters, Kyung Wha Chung and Myung Wha Chung.

Better known as a dynamic conductor with a large repertoire of 19th and 20th century orchestral music, Myung Whun Chung is also a noted pianist, though he is seldom heard in this capacity. On his 2013 ECM New Series release, he presents ten greatest hits of the piano, and while they may be surprisingly easy for a musician of Chung’s abilities, their simplicity is deceptive. Such pieces as Debussy’s Clair de lune, Beethoven’s Für Elise, Tchaikovsky’s Autumn Song, Schumann’s Träumerei, Chopin’s Nocturne in C sharp minor, and Mozart’s Variations on “Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman!” are miniatures that are frequently heard on student recitals, though it’s less common to hear them interpreted by a sensitive and skilled pianist. Chung has selected these pieces because he has strong personal associations with them, dating back to his music lessons in childhood, and the impulse to record them for his grandchildren was a strong inducement to make this album. But beyond the artistry that Chung displays, which will be attractive to many listeners, these chestnuts may not be sufficiently challenging to entice experienced fans of piano music, and may miss the core ECM audience.

Tracklist:
01 – Debussy: Clair de Lune
02 – Chopin: Nocturne in D-flat major, Op.27/2
03 – Beethoven: Fur Elise
04 – Tchaikovsky: Autumn Song
05 – Schubert: Impromptu in E-flat major, D899/2
06 – Schumann: Traumerei
07 – Schumann: Arabeske
08 – Schubert: Impromptu in G-flat major, D899/3
09 – Chopin: Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. Posth.
10 – Mozart: 12 Variations on ‘Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman’, K.265

Produced by Manfred Eicher. Engineered by Rainer Maillard.
Recorded July 2013 at Teatro La Fenice, Venice.

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