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Roman Maciejewski: Transcriptions for Two Pianos, Vol. 1

Roman Maciejewski: Transcriptions for Two Pianos, Vol. 1


Katarzyna Rajs, Piotr Kępiński (pianos)

Piano transcriptions of great music works created by Roman Maciejewski, like his many other compositions, they were ‘taken out of the drawer’ by his brother Wojciech only in the late 1980s. It is a varied collection including four-handed or two-piano compositions. These stylistically and formally diversified works are masterpieces of the musical repertoire of all ages. When reaching for this repertoire today one should be aware of the specific character of such works and their performance. On the one hand, it is a form of popular music, but on the other they are individual interpretations of great musical masterpieces.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

CD Accord - ACD230

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Beethoven: Quartets Opp. 95 & 131 (for String Orchestra)

Beethoven: Quartets Opp. 95 & 131 (for String Orchestra)


Beethoven:

String Quartet No. 11 in F minor Op. 95 'Serioso'

for String Orchestra

String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131

for String Orchestra


Orchestre d'Auvergne, Roberto Forés Veses

The Orchestre d’Auvergne and Aparté continue their partnership with this new recording dedicated to masterpieces of the romantic repertoire. Beethoven’s Quartet No. 11, Op. 95 and No. 14, Op. 131 belong to the works designed for the private interpretation and inner listening of the happy few music-connoisseurs. Those two chamber music scores came from the mind of a digger of new sounds. The question of the quartets’ reception has to be updated with actual terms and their arrangement for string orchestra by Gustav Mahler reminds subtly that the public of these works grows over time. The arrangement process shows also admiration and preserves music’s eternal youth for which the Orchestre d’Auvergne and its conductor Roberto Forés Veses play the role of a courier.

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Aparté - AP152

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Rossini: Guillaume Tell

Rossini: Guillaume Tell


Gerald Finley (Guillaume Tell), Malin Byström (Mathilde), John Osborn (Arnold Melchtal), Sofia Fomina (Jemmy), Nicolas Courjal (Gesler), Alexander Vinogradov (Walter Furst), Enkelejda Shkosa (Hedwige), Eric Halfvarson (Melcthal), Michael Colvin (Rodolphe), Samuel Dale Johnson (Leuthold), Enea Scala (Ruodi)

Royal Opera Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Antonio Pappano (conductor) & Damiano Michieletto (director)

Rossini’s final opera helped to lay the foundations of the genre of French grand opéra that dominated European stages throughout the mid-19th century. The opera’s theme is liberty, as exemplified in the struggle against Austrian occupation led by the Swiss archer and patriot Guillaume Tell: in the opera’s most famous scene, Tell shoots an apple from his son’s head, a feat that inspires his countrymen to revolt.

Rossini’s score, here performed in its original French, is one of his most outstanding and packed with glorious arias, choruses and ensembles. The exciting young Italian director Damiano Michieletto makes his Royal Opera House debut with a spectacular and thought-provoking production.

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/JP/KO

Running time: 216 minutes

Sound format: LPCM & DTS Master Audio 5.1

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DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Up to 70% off Opus Arte

Opus Arte Royal Opera House Collection - OA1205D

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

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Shakespeare: The Tempest

Shakespeare: The Tempest


Simon Russell Beale (Prospero), Joe Dixon (Caliban), Mark Quartley (Ariel), Jenny Rainsford (Miranda), Simon Trinder (Trinculo), Tony Jayawardena (Stephano) & Oscar Pearce (Antonio)

Gregory Doran (director)

In a unique partnership with Intel, the Royal Shakespeare Company's production uses today’s most advanced technology in a bold reimagining of Shakespeare’s magical play, creating an unforgettable theatrical experience. Simon Russell Beale returns to the RSC after 20 years to play Prospero in a production directed by Artistic Director Gregory Doran.

On a distant island a man waits.

Robbed of his position, power and wealth, his enemies have left him in isolation. But this is no ordinary man, and this no ordinary island. Prospero is a magician, able to control the very elements and bend nature to his will. When a sail appears on the horizon, he reaches out across the ocean to the ship that carries the men who wronged him.

Creating a vast magical storm he wrecks the ship and washes his enemies up on the shore. When they wake they find themselves lost on a fantastical island where nothing is as it seems.

Subtitles: EN

Running time: 159 minutes

Sound format: LPCM & DTS Master Audio 5.1

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DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Up to 70% off Opus Arte

Opus Arte Royal Shakespeare Company - OA1249D

(DVD Video)

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Special: $18.40

Scheduled for release on 28 July 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Rossini: Guillaume Tell

Rossini: Guillaume Tell


Gerald Finley (Guillaume Tell), Malin Byström (Mathilde), John Osborn (Arnold Melchtal), Sofia Fomina (Jemmy), Nicolas Courjal (Gesler), Alexander Vinogradov (Walter Furst), Enkelejda Shkosa (Hedwige), Eric Halfvarson (Melcthal), Michael Colvin (Rodolphe), Samuel Dale Johnson (Leuthold), Enea Scala (Ruodi)

Royal Opera Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Antonio Pappano (conductor) & Damiano Michieletto (director)

Rossini’s final opera helped to lay the foundations of the genre of French grand opéra that dominated European stages throughout the mid-19th century. The opera’s theme is liberty, as exemplified in the struggle against Austrian occupation led by the Swiss archer and patriot Guillaume Tell: in the opera’s most famous scene, Tell shoots an apple from his son’s head, a feat that inspires his countrymen to revolt.

Rossini’s score, here performed in its original French, is one of his most outstanding and packed with glorious arias, choruses and ensembles. The exciting young Italian director Damiano Michieletto makes his Royal Opera House debut with a spectacular and thought-provoking production.

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/JP/KO

Running time: 216 minutes

Sound format: LPCM & DTS Master Audio 5

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Up to 70% off Opus Arte

Opus Arte Royal Opera House Collection - OABD7195D

(Blu-ray)

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Shakespeare: The Tempest

Shakespeare: The Tempest


Simon Russell Beale (Prospero), Joe Dixon (Caliban), Mark Quartley (Ariel), Jenny Rainsford (Miranda), Simon Trinder (Trinculo), Tony Jayawardena (Stephano) & Oscar Pearce (Antonio)

Gregory Doran (director)

In a unique partnership with Intel, the Royal Shakespeare Company's production uses today’s most advanced technology in a bold reimagining of Shakespeare’s magical play, creating an unforgettable theatrical experience. Simon Russell Beale returns to the RSC after 20 years to play Prospero in a production directed by Artistic Director Gregory Doran.

On a distant island a man waits.

Robbed of his position, power and wealth, his enemies have left him in isolation. But this is no ordinary man, and this no ordinary island. Prospero is a magician, able to control the very elements and bend nature to his will. When a sail appears on the horizon, he reaches out across the ocean to the ship that carries the men who wronged him.

Creating a vast magical storm he wrecks the ship and washes his enemies up on the shore. When they wake they find themselves lost on a fantastical island where nothing is as it seems.

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Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Up to 70% off Opus Arte

Opus Arte Royal Shakespeare Company - OABD7228D

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Flaminis aura

Flaminis aura

Works by Tommie Haglund


Haglund:

Flaminis aura for cello and orchestra

Il regno degli spiriti for string quartet

Sollievo (dopo la tempesta) for string trio

Serenata per Diotima for strings


Ernst Simon Glaser, Julia Kretz-Larsson & Håkan Rudner

Gothenburg Symphony, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Trio ZilliacusPerssonRaitinen, David Afkham & Joachim Gustafsson

This composer portrait opens with Tommie Haglund’s first score for full orchestra – the cello concerto Flaminis aura. Composed in 2001 and rewarded 13 years later with Sweden’s most important composition prize, the work is in a single movement with a slow basic pulse, and thus conforms to a recurring pattern within Haglund’s production. Its Latin title describes a state immediately prior to a religious revelation, and the music forms an exploration of both the human interior and the cosmos – towards the end of the work a tape with space sounds recorded by NASA is heard: a ‘Song of Earth’.

Performed by Ernst Simon Glaser and the Gothenburg Symphony, the concerto is followed by another composition from 2001, the string quartet Il regno degli spiriti, and the string trio Sollievo (dopo la tempesta). Both these works are here performed by the highly regarded string trio ZilliacusPerssonRaitinen (ZPR), joined by Julia Kretz-Larsson on second violin in the quartet. Sollievo… was composed for ZPR in 2013, and its title – ‘relief after the storm’ – refers to the end of a period of painful treatment following a back operation. With a generous playing time of close to 84 minutes, the disc closes with Serenata per Diotima from 2014, interpreted by the strings of Malmö Symphony Orchestra with substantial violin solos from Håkan Rudner. Celebrating the female philosopher of Greek antiquity, the piece was also inspired by the birth of the composer’s first grandchild.

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Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

BIS - BIS2025

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Richard Strauss: Oboe Concerto

Richard Strauss: Oboe Concerto


Strauss, R:

Oboe Concerto in D

Alexei Ogrintchouk (oboe)

Andris Nelsons

Serenade in E flat major for Winds, Op. 7

Alexei Ogrintchouk (dir.)

Sonatina No. 2 (Symphony) in E flat major for 16 wind instruments, AV 143 'Fröhliche Werkstatt'

Alexei Ogrintchouk (dir.)


Despite his advanced age and the chaos surrounding him, Richard Strauss remained highly productive well into the 1940s. As the Second World War was coming to an end in 1944-45, the eighty-year-old composer was working on his Oboe Concerto and Sonatina No. 2 for winds, as well as the Metamorphosen for strings. While the latter work was an explicit response to the destruction Strauss was witnessing, in the Concerto and the Sonatina the composer seemed to be turning his mind away from the events surrounding him. There is a pastoral quality to the oboe concerto, with a highly tuneful solo part and more than occasional touches of nostalgia for the 18th century. Similarly, Strauss headed the score of the sonatina with a dedication ‘to the spirit of the immortal Mozart at the end of a life full of thankfulness’.

To an extent, one might say that Strauss at the end of his life returned to the musical models of his youth. It is therefore fitting that these two works frame the Serenade in E flat major for wind ensemble, composed more than sixty years earlier in the tradition of entertainment music by Schubert and Mendelssohn. Alexei Ogrintchouk, one of today’s leading oboists, has proven himself in previous recordings for BIS ranging from Bach to Nikos Skalkottas and Antal Doráti. With sterling support from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Andris Nelsons, he here makes light of the considerable difficulties of the solo part of the oboe concerto, and also directs his colleagues from the orchestra’s wind section in the works for wind ensemble.

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Super Audio CD

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BIS - BIS2163

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Mahler: Symphony No. 5

Mahler: Symphony No. 5


As a team, Osmo Vänskä and his Minnesota Orchestra began their collaboration with BIS in 2004. Launching a Beethoven Symphony cycle that made reviewers worldwide sit up and take notice: ‘a modern reference edition’ was the verdict from ClassicsToday.com, while Gramophone described it as ‘a Beethoven reforged for today's world’. Twelve years later saw the release of the third and final disc in the Minnesota-Vänskä cycle of Sibelius's symphonies, with individual discs receiving distinctions such as a 2014 Grammy Award (for Symphonies Nos 1 and 4), Gramophone's ‘Editor's Choice’, ‘Orchestral Choice’ in BBC Music Magazine and inclusion on the annual list of best classical recordings in the New York Times. The present disc launches yet another series, of even more monumental proportions, with Gustav Mahler's Fifth Symphony, recorded by the orchestra under Osmo Vänskä in Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis in June 2016. Composed in 1902, the purely instrumental work followed upon three symphonies that had all included vocal parts. This and the opening trumpet motif, an allusion to the rhythm that begins Beethoven's Fifth have been interpreted as Mahler's return to a more conventional idea of the symphonic genre. Other features are less traditional, however – a sometimes bewildering mixture of musical idioms reminds us of the melting-pot that Vienna was at the time, with allusions to Austrian, Bohemian and Hungarian styles. To an unsuspecting audience, the famous Adagietto for strings and harp – probably the best-known of all of Mahler's music – must also have been surprising, appearing at the heart of a work which is otherwise lavishly scored and orchestrated.

“There’s something admirably unhistrionic about Vänskä’s approach, but there are times when his determination to stop the performance from getting overheated holds things back...Against that, both the funereal opening and the joyous release of energy in the finale are superbly stage-managed, and the orchestral playing is exceptional throughout.” The Guardian, 13th July 2017 ****

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Super Audio CD

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BIS - BIS2226

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Stravinsky: Music for Violin, Vol. 1

Stravinsky: Music for Violin, Vol. 1


Rouget de Lisle:

La Marseillaise

for violin solo

Stravinsky:

Pastorale

Prélude et Ronde des princesses

Berceuse from The Firebird

Scherzo from The Firebird

Chanson Russe

Danse Russe (from Pétrouchka)

Suite for Violin and Piano

Duo concertant

Airs du rossignol et Marche chinoise


Ilya Gringolts (violin) & Peter Laul (piano)

In his autobiography, Igor Stravinsky wrote of his not having had any ‘great liking’ for the combination of strings and piano. That there nevertheless are a number of chamber works by him featuring the violin is to a large extent due to the violinist Samuel Dushkin. The two were introduced to each other by Stravinsky’s German music publisher who wanted to persuade him to compose a violin concerto. They obviously hit it off: their collaboration continued after the concerto had come into being in 1931, and they devised a recital programme to perform together on tours.

The centrepiece was Duo concertant which Stravinsky completed in 1932 as his only original composition for violin and piano. Rather than looking for common ground between the two instruments, Stravinsky aimed to emphasize their individuality in a work that he himself claimed was ‘determined by my love of the pastoral poets of antiquity and their scholarly art and technique’. The other pieces on this disc are, with one exception, arrangements of Stravinsky’s own works including The Firebird, Petrushka and Le rossignol. The majority were made for and in collaboration with Dushkin, but a few come from the 1920s and were intended for the violinist Paul Kochanski.

One of these is the Suite for violin and piano, arranged from the ballet Pulcinella – material that Stravinsky revisited in the 1930s in order to make a new version for Dushkin. (The resulting Suite italienne will appear on the second and last volume of Stravinsky’s music for violin, together with the violin concerto and other works.) With this programme, and in the company of the eminent Russian pianist Peter Laul, the highly virtuosic and temperamental violinist Ilya Gringolts makes his return to BIS, the label for which he made his début recording in 1999.

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Super Audio CD

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BIS - BIS2245

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