Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Orchestra

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Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17

Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17


Ticciati has previously recorded Symphonie Fantastique, Les nuits d'été & La mort de Cléopâtre and L'enfance du Christ; the latter was named Gramophone's 'Top Choice' recording of this repertoire.

Ticciati and the SRSO are joined by the Swedish Radio Choir, a phenomenal ensemble and one of the best large-scale choruses in Europe, alongside featured soloists Katija Dragojevic mezzo-soprano, Andrew Staples tenor and Alastair Miles bass.

Roméo et Juliette was considered a pinnacle of French Romanticism and a brilliant example of Berlioz's orchestral mastery. The work is one of the most original conceptions of the nineteenth century: deftly poised between symphony and stage drama.

Robin Ticciati fully communicates the range of Berlioz's imagination; he brings an innate understanding of the romanticism of the music and succeeds in delivering a performance that is brimming with color.

“If freshness and vitality appeal more than sheer richness, try listening to this” BBC Music Magazine, November 2016 *****

“orchestrally superb...The sound pictures are precise and subtle...Katija Dragojevic is a gorgeously warm mezzo, and Alastair Miles a stentorian bass in the final Serment de réconciliation, but a boxy acoustic underbalances the chorus.” The Guardian, 11th September 2016 ****

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Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique & Rameau: Suite de Hippolyte et Aricie

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique & Rameau: Suite de Hippolyte et Aricie


Berlioz:

Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

Rameau:

Hippolyte et Aricie: Orchestral Suite


A world might seem to divide the unbridled Romanticism of Berlioz from the highly controlled art of Rameau, standard-bearer of the French Late Baroque. And yet, at a distance of less than a century ('Hippolyte' was premiered in 1733, the 'Fantastique' in 1830), the same passion links two works more similar than their stylistic divergence might suggest. There is the same audacity in the orchestration, combined with an innate sense of drama that springs repeated rhythmic and harmonic surprises. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra performs here a task requiring unusual versatility under their Music Director, Daniel Harding, establishing a dialogue between two very different pioneers.

Daniel Harding is also Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and Music Partner of the New Japan Philharmonic. He takes up the baton at the Orchestre de Paris -the first British maestro in the orchestra’s history - this September, 2016. He is Conductor Laureate of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra for life.

“Harding’s own Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra are stylish in both. There’s some brazen playing to enjoy – the low brass in March to the Scaffold sound like a foghorn – but the impression of a lack of refinement is deceptive: the balance and pace are always tautly in check.” The Guardian, 1st September 2016 ****

“Daniel Harding’s gilt-edged Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra…[find] exceptional detail and expressiveness in these searing readings of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie suite. The Rameau is crisp and precise with venomous fire in its belly…the Berlioz is ripe, explosive and furiously exciting” The Scotsman, 3rd September 2016 *****

“I like the combination; the way it emphasises Rameau’s sense of colour and dramatic daring … an audacious coupling, I enjoyed it a lot, not just the idea but also the execution” CD Review, 27th August 2016

“the performance is a cracker. The Swedes play with a passion, swagger and relish for the grotesque that makes a nonsense of national stereotypes, and Harding’s attention to detail is exemplary without impeding the music’s drama” The Times, 16th September 2016 *****

“This is my new favourite Symphonie Fantastique on modern instruments, and it should be yours too … Everything sounds superb (sample the church bell in the last movement), and Harding knits everything together with an impressive sureness of intent ... Enormous fun.” The Arts Desk, 1st October 2016

“the key seems to lie in the really very surprising string tone that Harding draws from his Swedish orchestra in both works. They have an acidic edge in the Rameau, which reminds you of the period specialists, but Harding’s masterstroke is to carry this on into the Berlioz, creating an utterly distinctive soundworld for the Symphonie Fantastique … fascinating on both a musical and an intellectual level” MusicWeb International, October 2016

“vibrant, pointed, stylish Rameau…more massive than our ears are used to but still quick on its feet … Harding’s Berlioz is resilient, pliant, conducted with a temporal freedom that always seems ambitious but ends up feeling electrifyingly right … Turn from Harding to his current peers – perhaps even to Charles Munch or Igor Markevitch – and it’s like going from IMAX cinema to living-room black-and-white.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2016

“an arresting juxtaposition … Smart work from the uncredited harpsichordist and taut direction by Daniel Harding anchor the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra’s performance of the suite from Hippolyte et Aricie … With vibrato selectively applied, Harding’s Symphonie Fantastique rivals Philippe Herreweghe’s in its translucency, yet he has a Mahlerian quality, at once highly detailed and expansive.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2016 ****

“The dances from Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie are sprightly in rhythm and crisp in articulation. The overall effect is one of highly sculpted music-making, though not without moments of impressive, full-bodied vehemence. The Berlioz is volatile, with Harding relishing the surprises that come from his refusal to smooth out rough edges.” The Irish Times, 19th October 2016

“a crisply enunciated, stylistically credible performance, from artistically deployed harpsichord continuo to the last double dot … be privileged to hear Harding commanding a detailed instrument-by-instrument understanding of Berlioz’s scoring, expressive and dynamic markings meticulously detailed and enthrallingly expounded to form an awesome aural portrait of the ‘heroics’, terrors and ‘poetics’ pervading this extraordinary work.” Classical Ear, 4th November 2016

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - October 2016

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Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Ballades Op. 10

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Ballades Op. 10


Brahms:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Harding

Ballades (4), Op. 10


Paul Lewis (piano)

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

Innovative for its time, Brahms’s Piano Concerto no.1, premiered in Hanover in 1859, took some time to become established in the repertoire. It is a work that redefined the norms of the genre: the traditional confrontation between virtuoso soloist and orchestra is bypassed in favour of a balanced treatment and a more ‘symphonic’ approach. The 'Ballades' too derive from the impetus towards a renewal of forms, characteristic of the young Brahms’s output.

“His account has clarity, muscle and steely pride, but also intimacy, vulnerability and volatility: the combination is magnetic. Conductor Daniel Harding goes for full-out symphonic bulk from the start and his Swedish orchestra sounds hearty and brooding – fuzzier-edged than Lewis’s metallic attack, but generally the partnership works.” The Guardian, 7th April 2016 ****

“His playing in Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 disdains romantic heroics in favour of poise and proportion, fine judgment and the purest of trills. The risk is that he sounds aloof from the mighty battles being waged in the orchestral part, performed with romantic sweep and a lot of darkly portentous bass lines by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Harding.” Financial Times, 8th April 2016

“Lewis’s richly evocative account of the early Ballades shows that, at 21, Brahms was already himself. So he was (despite its protracted birth pangs) in the marvellous concerto. Lewis is equal to its challenges ... the captivating F major passage, after the fugato, is a delight, and the Swedish woodwind play expressively for Harding.” Sunday Times, 10th April 2016

“Lewis shows himself thoroughly prepared for the power, the emotional turmoil and the radical vision that Brahms unleashed in his First Concerto … Lewis too enjoys a productive partnership with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted with passion and intensity by Daniel Harding.” The Telegraph, 16th April 2016

“[a] wonderful combination of the statuesque and finesse, [the] recording encompasses it beautifully.” CD Review, 16th April 2016

“The sound is big, wholesome, thrilling, even appropriately terrifying...Lewis’ approach is always integral, powerful yet unpretentious. He evokes every nuance of expression contained in this all-embracing concerto...Brahms’ four Ballads, Op. 10, form a beautiful counterbalance, Lewis evoking their essential sensuousness and beauty.” The Scotsman, 18th April 2016

“Harding has opted for an intensely dramatic reading of this piece, with plenty of Sturm und Drang on offer...the way Lewis gently but assertively glides in, almost as if he has actually been playing all along but it's only now that he has decided to make us aware of his presence, is a great moment, and sets the tone for his entire performance...As in the concerto, the range of colours that Lewis offers us in the Four Ballades is quite something.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 15th April 2016

“The Swedish Radio Symphony, under Daniel Harding’s expert baton, distinguish themselves. The wind band, plangent and exquisitely blended, floats effortlessly above a string choir of almost embarrassing luxuriousness…Lewis is pervasively lyrical in the concerto [and] the beauty of his sound is evident throughout…for a Brahms D minor Concerto of manifold beauties this account could scarcely be bettered” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

“[Lewis and Harding] encapsulate the contrasting moods of defiance and lyricism without indulging in unwarranted touches of rubato or having to negotiate awkward gear changes…Lewis brings all the requisite power to the ‘sturm and drang’ octaves and trills, but maintains flow and a wonderful feeling for inner voicing in the chorale theme…memorable” BBC Music Magazine, June 2016 *****

“Harding doesn’t hesitate, unequivocally conducting a majestically broad, imperiously thrusting but malleable exposition, its end quietly tapered for Paul Lewis’s poetic entrance...Here is mutually crafted musicianship … [with] Lewis’s insightful interpretations of the multi-faceted beauties that are the Ballads closing the disc.” Classical Ear, 4th May 2016

“This pianist’s light fluent touch is a delight, as is the orchestra’s often fleet playing … Paul Lewis’ innate musicianship always shines through in this beautifully thought out performance, impressive in its restrained power … This is a formidable Brahms disc from Lewis.” The Classical Reviewer, 8th May 2016

“It’s thrillingly played, excitingly conducted and full of both power and beauty, making it the best Brahms 1 we’ve had since Zimmerman and Rattle in Berlin (review), as well as Lewis’ best disc for a while, too.” MusicWeb International, June 2016

Presto Disc of the Week

15th April 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

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Erland von Koch: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4

Erland von Koch: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4


Koch, E von:

Symphony No. 3, Op. 38

World Premiere Recording

Sinfonia seria (Symphony No. 4), Op. 51

World Premiere Recording

Impulsi

Nordic Capriccio


During a long and active life Erland von Koch (1910-2009) became one of Sweden’s best-loved composers, describing his artistic goals as follows: ‘I aim for a simple, clear, melodic style, often with elements of folk tone and with a definite rhythmic profile... The older you get, the more aware you become of the importance of melody.’ One of von Koch’s most frequently performed orchestral works is Nordiskt capriccio, which was inspired by a folk tune from Dalecarlia, and which forms the festive finale on the present disc. The compositions which precede it are less well known. They include Impulsi (the first part of a triptych later completed with the works Echi and Ritmi) whilst the two symphonies 3 and 4 appear for the first time on disc. In Symphony No. 3, influences from Bartók and Hindemith can be detected; composed in 1948, it is a work which in its thematic material contrasts defiance with lyricism and, finally, a feeling of release. Sinfonia seria, von Koch’s fourth work in the genre, followed a few years later, undergoing a final revision in 1962. As indicated by the title, the underlying mood of the work is grave and bittersweet. With this disc, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Per Hammarström are making their case for a hoped for, and long overdue ‘discovery’ of Erland von Koch’s symphonies.

“Per Hammarström, in his first recording, secures a performance [of the Nordic Capriccio] that is if anything the tautest yet and wrings even more warmth from the lyrical second subject [than any competitor]…the main part of the disc is given over to premiere recordings of the neo-classical Third and Fourth Symphonies…all four works [on the disc] are hugely attractive and idiomatically played, and I recommend this disc unreservedly” Gramophone Magazine, April 2016

“Dark undercurrents swirl in both symphonies, moments of unsettling beauty juxtaposed with passages of fidgety rhythmic energy…Hammarström balances the orchestral sound judiciously, with wind lines and the all-important percussion coming through clean and clear against lean, expressive strings” BBC Music Magazine, July 2016 ****

BIS - BIS2169

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Dorothea Röschmann sings Mozart Arias

Dorothea Röschmann sings Mozart Arias


Mozart:

Oh smania! oh furie!...D'Oreste, d'Aiace (from Idomeneo)

Deh, se piacermi vuoi (from La clemenza di Tito)

Porgi amor (from Le nozze di Figaro)

E Susanna non vien! … Dove sono i bei momenti (from Le nozze di Figaro)

In quali eccessi ... Mi tradì quell'alma ingrate (from Don Giovanni)

Solitudini amiche ... Zeffiretti lusinghieri (from Idomeneo)

Ecco il punto...Non più di fiori vaghe catene (from La clemenza di Tito)

Bella mia fiamma, addio... Resta, oh cara, K528


20 years after her critically acclaimed début at the Salzburg Festival as Susanna In Mozart’s Le Nozze Di Figaro, Dorothea Röschmann releases her first solo Mozart album, including famous arias from Don Giovanni and Le Nozze Di Figaro. Dorothea Röschmann is in the prime of her voice and referred to "as one of the leading Mozart sopranos today“ (Der Tagesspiegel). The CD track list not only reflects her at her glorious best, but is also a dream come true for Dorothea: “Mozart is the reason I wanted to do opera,” she says. “To be able to embody Mozart figures on stage, that was my dream. His characters are real human beings, with sadness and joy and wit. It’s the whole picture that you get. It sounds strange, but signing Mozart really is a dream come true.” (Dorothea Röschmann in interview with the Guardian). The album is recorded with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by their music director Daniel Harding.

“Röschmann, in her late forties, is at the height of her powers, with a strong voice which she can rein in, and without the coy pecking that German sopranos have often indulged in in Mozart. The trouble is that she is so winning an artist that almost all the arias made me want to listen to the complete opera from which they come, with her in the relevant role.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2016 ****

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Miah Persson - Sempre libera

Miah Persson - Sempre libera


Bellini:

Eccomi in lieta vesta...Oh! quante volte (from I Capuleti e I Montecchi)

Bizet:

Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante (from Carmen)

Carmen: Entr'acte to Act III (Intermezzo)

Delibes:

Viens, Mallika...Sous le dôme épais (from Lakmé)

Katarina Karnéus (mezzo)

Donizetti:

Quel guardo il cavaliere (from Don Pasquale)

Gounod:

Ah! Je ris de me voir (from Faust)

Ah! Je veux vivre dans ce rêve (from Roméo et Juliette)

Messager:

Le jour sous le soleil beni (from Madame Chrysanthème)

Meyerbeer:

Ombra leggiera (from Dinorah)

Offenbach:

Barcarolle (from Les Contes d'Hoffmann )

Puccini:

Quando me'n vo (from La Bohème)

O mio babbino caro (from Gianni Schicchi)

Verdi:

È strano! è strano!...Ah! fors è lui...Sempre libera (from La Traviata)

Andrew Staples (tenor)


On her latest recording for BIS Miah Persson ventures into the fields of bel canto, opéra lyrique and verismo in the company of Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. The range of characters is wide, from a teenage Juliet, eager to live life to the full in Gounod’s Je veux vivre, to Verdi’s Violetta, a courtesan at the height of her powers, who in her scene and aria È strano tries to convince herself that her freedom is more valuable than love. The programme includes some of the emotional high points in the opera literature (Bellini’s Oh! quante volte, Puccini’s O mio babbino caro), as well as light relief (Norina’s cavatina So anch’io la virtù magica) and moments of pure, unadulterated beauty, such as the Flower Duet from Lakmé and Offenbach’s Barcarolle. In the two latter pieces, Miah Persson is joined by her Swedish colleague, the mezzo-soprano Katarina Karnéus, while the tenor Andrew Staples makes a cameo appearance in Sempre libera, as Alfredo, singing of his love for Violetta below her window.

“Popular though they are, the choice of items and their sequence in this recital are refreshingly unhackneyed, more than just a hit list of vocal display items...Persson's is, as always, a voice that makes you want to follow a musical and dramatic story, one that genuinely talks character and emotion to the listener. She is no brainless automatic canary...Recommended.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2015

“much of the programme delights: Persson charms with Juliette’s Waltz Song and Dinorah’s Shadow aria, and gives us Giulietta’s solo (Bellini), preceded by its rarely recorded accompanied recit with horn solo. The famous duets — Delibes and Offenbach, with Katarina Karneus — are gorgeous.” Sunday Times, 7th June 2015

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Martin Fröst: Nordic Concertos

Martin Fröst: Nordic Concertos


Crusell:

Introduction and Variations on a Swedish Air Op. 12

Östgöta Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Arie van Beek

Hillborg:

Clarinet Concerto (Peacock Tales)

Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen

Holmboe:

Concerto No. 3, Op. 21, for clarinet & orchestra

Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Owain Arwel Hughes

Rehnqvist:

On a Distant Shore (Concerto for clarinet and orchestra)

Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Petter Sundkvist


Martin Fröst (clarinet)

Testifying to the multi-facetted talent of Martin Fröst as well as to the different responses that the clarinet has awakened in composers over the years, the present compilation brings together four concertante works in recordings that have all been previously released on separate discs.

The opening work, Fröst’s fellow-Swede Anders Hillborg’s Peacock Tales, is the longest of the four, as well as being something of a calling card for Fröst; it was composed specifically for him in 1998.

Bernhard Crusell, active during the beginning of the 19th century, is today mainly known for his clarinet concertos and clarinet quartets. Here Martin Fröst’s clarinet jauntily guides us through one of his earliest works: Introduction, Theme and Variations on a Swedish Air – the air in question being a drinking song popular at the time.

“Martin Fröst displays versatility and staggering virtuosity: eventful Anders Hillborg, assertive Holmboe, atmospheric Karin Rehnqvist and jolly Crusell.” BBC Music Magazine, Awards Issue 2015

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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)


Continuing their survey of works performed by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Weitblick label presents a 2CD set of Brahms' Complete Symphonies, conducted by the ever-favourite, Evgeny Svetlanov.

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Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 4

Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 4


Beethoven:

Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37

Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58


Maria João Pires joins ONYX. Her first release for the label is of two Beethoven concertos she has played often, but never before recorded. After giving concerts in Stockholm last October, she went directly into the studio with Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. This remarkable recording is the result. These are performances of such passion, poetry and drama - Beethoven as he should sound, just as if you are hearing these great concertos for the first time!

Maria João Pires has provided a personal note on her approach to these works.

“she’s recording the third and fourth piano concertos for the first time — and playing them with such unaffected simplicity that you always feel the notes speaking, never the pianist herself. Turbulent emotions, grandiose gestures and winking gaiety arrive as they should, yet nothing is pushed to extremes.” The Times, 18th July 2014 ****

“Surprisingly, Pires’s beautifully clear singing tone and exemplary articulation, in this set, seem to suit the fiery C minor better than the lyrical G major...the playing of the Swedes is characteristically vivid and sensitive.” Sunday Times, 27th June 2014

“the Swedish orchestra’s strength, subtlety and sonority establish a good foundation and foil for Pires’s performances here. That wonderfully rounded, opalescent tone that her touch invariably produces is coupled with the insight, poetic sensibility and discreet life-giving force that come from years of experience.” The Telegraph, 31st July 2014 *****

“the present performances are beautiful … immaculate fingerwork, crystalline sonority and natural, instinctive musicianship … the recorded sound is both clear and warm, which suits these performances very well … Collectors who love these two concertos can never have too many versions of them, so this release should certainly be added.” International Record Review, October 2014

“Pires’ fingers caress the keys gently in the first movement [of No. 4] and dance over them playfully in the finale, turning her style to suit every phrase and mood...This disc was both exhilarating and enlightening to listen to. Let’s hope there is more on the way.” MusicWeb International, 20th October 2014

“Never for a moment does she over-reach herself or force pace and sonority...Few pianists have ever been more true to their own lights and it is hardly surprising that her many performances of this concerto in London and elsewhere have become the stuff of legends...It is my dearest wish that this will become a complete cycle.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2014

“Pires’ first disc for Onyx is something very special. This is playing of great poise and depth...Harding coaxes lithe, transparent playing from his Swedish colleagues - there’s an almost ‘period’ feel.” Classical Music *****

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

GGramophone Awards 2015

Winner - Concerto

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - October 2014

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Credo

Credo


Beethoven:

Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor, Op. 31 No. 2 'Tempest'

Fantasia for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra in C minor, Op. 80

Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra & Choir, Esa-Pekka Salonen

Corigliano, J:

Fantasia on an Ostinato

Pärt:

Credo

Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra & Choir, Esa-Pekka Salonen


A physical high-resolution Pure Audio format, using existing Blu-ray technology; no video content. It is intended for playback on any Blu-ray disc player, giving it an advantage over previous high-definition standards (such as SACD) which required specific hardware; navigated with the remote control of your Blu-ray player.

Formats:

HD formats 2.1/5.1

PCM Non-Compressed

DTS HD Master Audio

Dolby True HD

Sampling frequency: 96khz to 192khz

Dynamic range: 144 Decibels

Bit-rate: 21.5 Megabits/sec

NB: This product is audio-only: there are no images or video-content. It also requires a Blu-ray player and will not play on standard CD-players.

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