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Recorded live at the Lucerne Festival 2010 with the Festival Orchestra, this Fidelio is led by the legendary conductor Claudio Abbado − making this release a major operatic event.
The central tenor role of Florestan is known as one of the most demanding and difficult in all opera. For his first complete opera recording for Decca, Jonas Kaufmann, “the world’s greatest currently performing tenor” (London’s Daily and Sunday Express), delivers everything the role demands: fearless tone, peerless style, and heart-stopping dramatic intensity.
Jetzt, Schätchen, jetz sind wir allein
Seit Fidelio bei uns ist
O wär' ich schon mit dir vereint
Ich täusche die Menschen
Mir ist so wunderbar
Marzelline und Fidelio haben sich offensichtlich recht lieb
Hat man nicht aud Gold beineben
In den finstersten Gewolben sitzt ein Gefangener
Gut, Sohnchen, gut
Etwas Neues vorgefallen?
Ha! Welch ein Augenblick!
Und nun zu dir mein lieber Rocco
Jetzt, Alter, hat es Eile!
Abscheulicher! Wo eilst du hin?
Wie Fidelio das wieder geschafft hatte war mir ein Rätsel
O welche Lust
Nun sprecht, wie ging's?
Ach, Vater, eilt!
Leb wohl, du warmes Sonnenlicht
Gott! - Welch Dunkel hier!
Wie kalt es ist diesem unterirdischen...Nur hurtig fort, nur Frisch gebraben
Ihr habt wieder geruht
Euch werde Lohn in bessern Welten
Ist alles bereit?
O namenlose Freude!
Heil se idem Tag, Heil sei der Stunde
23rd June 2011
“Abbado’s command of the score and its structure is consummate, the atmosphere palpable through his perceptive application of orchestral colour. The detail he elicits from his hand-picked Lucerne Festival Orchestra is phenomenal, the blend of sonorities aglow, the clarity of texture refined with a masterly touch.”
26th June 2011
“Abbado and his hand-picked Lucerne orchestra certainly do not disappoint here, as Beethoven’s epic score is delivered with drama and incandescence...Kaufmann’s thrilling Florestan emerges with a gut-wrenching cry from his dungeon. The set is worth sampling for him alone.”
1st July 2011
“Jonas Kaufmann’s first note alone is a good reason to buy this new recording of Beethoven’s stirring opera...The effect makes your jaw drop, your pulse pause, your hairs stand on end...Abbado conducts with magisterial but selfless understanding. In the overture alone (Beethoven’s punchy fourth version is used) you feel electricity and humanity in every jabbing rhythm and lyrically sculptured phrase.”
7th July 2011
“Abbado's contribution is without doubt extraordinary – a loving if slow interpretation, noble in its anguish and elation...An exceptional Florestan – arguably the finest since Jon Vickers's – from Jonas Kaufmann wonderfully conveys his moral greatness as well as the extremity of his suffering.”
9th July 2011
“this is a “modern” Fidelio in so far as it espouses lightly pointed rhythms, transparent textures and attention to detail – but it also captures the hallowed glow of Beethoven tradition...Interest for opera fans lies primarily in Jonas Kaufmann’s Florestan: his aria, beginning on a thread of sound, is as much a meditation as a cry from the depths.”
1st July 2011
“Under Claudio Abbado’s assured direction, the Mahler Chamber and Lucerne Festival orchestras derive a fantastic amount of energy...[Stemme] manages to imbue her Fidelio/Leonore role with the requisite disguised anguish...High praise also must go to the spellbinding ensemble work...Jonas Kaufmann also impresses, most of all in his lachrymose opening to the second act...Due in part to the relative infrequency of recordings of Fidelio, this is one in particular to be cherished.”
The Independent on Sunday
24th July 2011
“the instrumental performance is faultlessly sensitive to the drama it is illustrating. The singing is heroic, both from Nina Stemme as Leonore/Fidelio and Jonas Kaufmann as Florestan. Rachel Harnisch is a touching Marzelline, Falk Struckman a terrifying Don Pizarro.”
“Abbado leads a viscerally charged performance that flies to the very heart of the matter...One of the many glories of this thrillingly articulated Fidelio is the playing of the basses and lower strings sharp-featured and black as the pit of Acheron...This is the best-conducted Fidelio since Furtwängler's; a joy to experience and a privilege to possess.”
“The real star of this performance...is the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, in whose hands the music seems to glow from within. The playing is thrilling throughout, with Claudio Abbado caressing every detail of Beethoven's score...The Arnold Schoenberg Choir rises to the occasion, too, producing hushed singing of great beauty in the Act 1 prisoners' chorus...Kaufmann is a commanding Florestan. His opening phrase as he lies in the depths of the dungeons is spine-tingling.”
“Abbado brings elegance to everything he touches. In the event, Kaufmann is superb, Stemme sings with technical control and warmth of tone, and Abbado conducts with exemplary clarity.”
“I could be in the minority when I state that I find this performance almost clinical...[Kaufmann] can do no wrong and, in fact, he does no wrong here, articulating his despair as well as his hope and desperation with great sincerity...Abbado is obviously going for a lean performance, and he succeeds; one hears things in both orchestra and vocal lines that are frequently smudged elsewhere.”
6th October 2011
“this is a lean, chamber-sized account, every note precisely placed, but with enough punch for the drama to hit home...for superb technical playing, transparency of sound and with Stemme and Kaufmann in glorious voice, this is a Fidelio to treasure.”
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Where next for Claudio Cavina and La Venexiana after their exhilarating run of recordings of Monteverdi madrigals, operas and much more?
One route is proving to be in the direction of Francesco Cavalli, the 17th -century composer who spent much of his working life in Venice, starting off as a chorister in St Mark’s Basilica when Monteverdi himself was in charge. Although Cavalli has been known as a composer of Venetian seicento sacred music, it is his prolific contribution in the field of opera – where he became one of the leading figures involved in the development of commercial opera companies from the 1640s onwards – that has been receiving greater attention from artists in more recent times. And it is with a dramma per musica in Artemisia from the mid 1650s, with its tale of love, deceit and honour and the upholding of the virtues of the Venetian Republic (all this richly captured by the expressive style of Cavalli), that Cavina has chosen to contribute to that fresh look at Cavalli’s music on this new recording from Glossa.
Singers in the established style of La Venexiana, including the vocal star of ’Round M, Roberta Mameli and, recent finalist in the Handel Singing Competition, Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli (who takes the role of the love-torn Queen Artemisia, a character strong enough to drink her dead husband’s ashes...) give vent to this glorious display of Venetian operatic splendour.
“Meraspe's act three lullaby is among the most beautiful things [Cavalli] ever wrote...La Venexiana's performance nicely captures the work's dominant tone of sadness... The vocal honours go to Roberta Mameli and Marina Bartoli, heartbreaking as Artemia and Ramiro.” The Guardian, 9th June 2011 ****
“The score is a musky pot pourri of dewy love songs, indignant recitatives, balmy passacaglias, lullabies and laments...Together with Silvia Frigato's nimble page Eurillo, Allegrezza delivers a warm performance...the house style is super-stylish and the continuo uniformly suave.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2011 ****
“Cavina's choice of singers is perfectly matched to the scale of the production. Soprano Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli captivates us from the very start...It's a voice which can be steely, vulnerable, pathos-laden, joyous and deceitful - all without over-singing or drenching the vocal lines with vibrato...Engeltjes plays the love-interest, Meraspe, with a Michael Chance-like thinness of tone. It's brilliant...the rewards are outstanding.” International Record Review, July/August 2011
“The music is terrific and so is the cast. The singers are especially adept at putting across the dialogue, which has the vigour of a staged performance...The orchestra is perfect: six plucked continuo instruments plus single strings, which accompany some of the arias...this is a triumph for Claudio Cavina and La Venexiana.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2011
“Phantasm’s playing is impeccable...” BBC Music Magazine
This new recording is the only complete collection of William Byrd’s consort music and includes new hymn settings that are premiere recordings.
William Byrd, who studied under Thomas Tallis, was the most celebrated Elizabethan composer of Renaissance consort music, English song, masses, Latin motets and keyboard works.
Byrd’s viol music is polyphonic and full of melancholy. The performances bring out the rich, overlapping textures of the compositions creating a mesmerising sound.
‘William Byrd Complete Consort Music’ is Phantasm’s second album with Linn; the first, ‘John Ward: Consort music for five and six viols’, was a Finalist in the 2010 Gramophone Awards.
Inspired by the great twentieth-century string quartets, Phantasm enjoys taking risks in its search for renditions that renew the expressive traditions of early music.
Critics have called Phantasm’s performances and recordings 'intoxicating', 'revelatory', 'electrifying', 'interpretations pervaded by a truly burning spirit'.
Phantasm’s recordings have won two Gramophone Awards, in addition to numerous other international nominations and citations, and are recognised as the most exciting viol consort active on the world scene today.
Director Laurence Dreyfus, who is also an esteemed musicologist, has made the study of 16th and 17th century instrumental music his life’s work. He brings this vast knowledge and immense passion into Phantasm and its recordings.
Phantasm has been made ‘Ensemble in Residence’ at Magdalen College, Oxford, which will enable them to present exciting series of concerts, both in the UK and internationally, in the coming months.
“Phantasm's new recording is intoxicating...In three, four, five and six parts, the blend, balance, ensemble and tuning is faultless, the sound sweet but never cloying” The Independent on Sunday, 15th May 2011
“With perfect balance, immaculate tuning and exquisitely mathematical rhythm, phantasm reveal the genius in Byrd. While one viol takes the steady plainsong theme in the In Nomines the others move around it, at first decorously, then, unable to resist, dancingly.” Classic FM Magazine, August 2011 *****
“Laurence Dreyfus (himself something of a Renaissance man), combines rigorous intellect with sensitive musicianship...Ensemble and intonation are flawless; keen rhythms and feather-light bowing give a lightness of touch to the dances. The recorded balance is acutely judged, too, ensuring that Byrd's contrapuntal lines are always distinct.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2011 *****
“You’re continually surprised by the potency of Byrd’s musical imagination – the occasional quirky modulation, or the subtle use of dance rhythms which give the music such lift. Linn’s production values are as exceptional as the performances, and this release is also available as a high-quality download. Blissful.” Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk, 23rd July 2011
“The playing is quite simply divine. Phantasm have long been known for their musical precision, to which they bring to this music a warm, woody, soft-edged articulation that suits it very well. The pacing of individual pieces and sections within them seems particularly sensitively judged and Byrd's textures sublimely balanced.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2011
“there is...a sense of richness and interaction between the players which gives everything a warmth and uniformity of sound that is most satisfying.” International Record Review, July/August 2012
This is Volume 2 in the series of orchestral music by Miklós Rózsa. No fewer than four exclusive Chandos artists perform on this release: The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the conductor Rumon Gamba, and soloists Paul Watkins on cello and Jennifer Pike on violin.
Miklós Rózsa was best known for his film music, for which he was Oscar-nominated on thirteen separate occasions, winning three times with A Double Life, Ben Hur, and Hitchcock’s Spellbound. Alongside his film music, Rózsa also wrote music for the concert hall, including some notable concertos.
The Cello Concerto, Op. 32 is a dark, savage, and often quite brutal work. It consists of three movements; a strong driving first movement, an introspective second movement, and an energetic finale which brings the work to a brilliant conclusion. The soloist is Paul Watkins. As one of Britain’s foremost cellists, he performs regularly with the major British orchestras and has made six appearances as concerto soloist at the BBC Proms.
The new, exclusive Chandos artist Jennifer Pike (BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2002) is the featured soloist in Rózsa’s colourfully orchestrated Variations on a Hungarian Peasant Song, Op. 4. Here the theme is taken from a collection of Hungarian folk tunes. It is presented very simply by solo violin, and followed by a series of fourteen variations. These are performed without a break and require some very expressive and virtuoso playing from the soloist. The CD represents Jennifer Pike’s first orchestral release on Chandos. Her first recording for us was a disc of French violin sonatas (CHAN10667) - released in April 2011
“the sheer exuberance and command of orchestral colour channelled into these readings by Rumon Gamba moves this disc into its own sui generis category -- and like its predecessor, this second volume is a delight. The days when the composer’s long association with Hollywood ensured that Rósza’s concert works were looked askance should be firmly put to rest by this exhilarating issue.” london24.com, 17th June 2011
“The second volume in Chandos's survey of Miklos Rozsa's orchestral output gets off to an auspicious start with a beautifully nuanced performance from violinist Jennifer Pike of the Variations on a Hungarian Peasant Song...Paul Watkins delivers a strongly committed performance of the Concerto, brilliantly negotiating the hair-raising technical challenges of the solo part.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2011 *****
“the seductive Jennifer Pike...is equally impressive in both the virtuosity and sweet lyricism of her solo role...[The Cello Concerto] is comparatively austere but emotionally gripping...These are four first-rate works by a still neglected composer, marvellously played and recorded.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2011
“[Watkins is] a very impressive contender and no fan of the composer should hang back from acquiring his account...Chandos scores especially with the sumptuousness of its recorded sound. I await further volumes with interest.” International Record Review, July/August 2011
Simon Simon Trpceski’s recording of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3 was one of the most acclaimed and best-selling classical releases of 2010. His frequent collaborations with Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra are justly celebrated. Together they complete the Rachmaninov canon with this highly-anticipated follow up of Concertos Nos. 1 and 4, and the Paganini Rhapsody.
Rachmaninov Concertos 2 and 3 made the Top 10 of Billboard’s Classical Chart and won a Diapason d’or de l’année. Simon Trpceski will support the sequel with extensive touring and CD signings at which he regularly attracts hundreds of fans.
“Simon Trpceski, Vasily Petrenko and the RLPO bring understanding and instinct to their performances, and take to heart the different temperaments that each of the three works on this recording manifests...the judicious variety of touch and colour, and ability to reveal important details of the music, combine with an expressive maturity to make these performances utterly compelling.” The Telegraph, 16th June 2011 *****
“The virtuosi Macedonian Simon Trpčeski and St Petersburg-born Vasily Petrenko combine in taut, poetic performances with notably coruscating brass playing from an RLPO on impressive and expressive form.” The Observer, 26th June 2011
“Trpceski captures the music’s protean mood switches to perfection, his mercurial fingers dashing off the vivace flourishes of the outer movements and the most brilliant Paganini variations with insouciant bravura and brio...These performances are a meeting of dazzling musical minds, offering an untraditional approach that never sounds wilful, attention-seeking or eccentric.” Sunday Times, 3rd July 2011 *****
“Trpceski relishes Rachmaninov, thrilling his audience with virtuosic passages which easily demonstrate why these pieces in particular were important vehicles for Rachmaninov the exiled pianist. Petrenko maintains timing and tension, whilst never allowing lush lyricism to become stodgy or overwhelming...this is a musical combination which works superbly.” Classic FM Magazine, August 2011 *****
“[Nos 1 & 4] have never been such sure-fire crowd-pleasers, but Trpceski certainly plays them with fire and passion. No. 1 emerges as big-boned and compelling, while he plays up the leanly modernist aspects of No. 4...Trpceski is aided throughout by the unanimity of feeling produced by Vassily Petrenko's direction of the orchestra, conductor and pianist working hand in glove.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2011 ****
“Expectations are fully realised in performances of the highest order...Trpceski was put on this earth to play this music and Petrenko to conduct it...This is a riveting disc, another major landmark for Trpceski and one on which Rachmaninov finds interpreters thoroughly attuned to his emotional world.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2011
The new Rubinstein 2CD album after the great success of "Best of Chopin by Arthur Rubinstein" with more than 10,500 units sold.
A selection of the most popular Liszt works played by the aristocrat of the piano.
“Rubinstein's rounded tone and spacious firepower confirm his legendary reputation, and then some: Liebestraum has an unaffected depth. Unforgettable.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2011 *****
“Listening to these recordings is like eavesdropping on a gracefully ageing veteran, delighted that his fingers are still capable of coming up with the goods...[The Sonata] is played here with a freewheeling grace and humanity. The last few seconds are a highlight - here a miraculous, poetic unwinding.” The Arts Desk, 9th July 2011
“Liszt is not a composer one instantly associates with Rubinstein...This blistering account of the E flat Concerto, recorded in Carnegie Hall when Rubinstein was in his late sixties, might change that perception...the playing crackles with the drama and energy of a live performance.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2011
“…40 years on the comparisons with Boult's other recordings of the Elgar symphonies demonstrate very clearly how fine they are, arguably the finest versions he ever recorded.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2007
“In 1968, when Sir Adrian Boult recorded the two Elgar Symphonies for Lyrita, he wrote an open letter to Gramophone, couched diplomatically but reflecting his fury that at the sessions his recording manager had forced him on technical grounds to have all the violins on the left instead of his usual habit of dividing them between the two sections. That said, and 40 years on, the comparisons with Boult's other recordings of the Elgar symphonies demonstrate very clearly how fine they are, arguably the finest versions he ever recorded. Compared with the EMI versions recorded less than five years later, they are tauter, the ensemble noticeably crisper. The recording is brighter and clearer in this transfer. The difference is particularly marked in No 2 which, as Elgar said, was a work which Boult was the first conductor to make a success after the disappointing reception given at its premiere. The comparison is closer with the mono recording of No 2, which Boult recorded with the BBC SO in 1945, a superb performance but which is still marginally outshone by the Lyrita version.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
Performed as a complete cycle in Berlin, Vienna and New York, the concerts were a tremendous success. The Financial Times even wrote “New York is going Mahler mad.”
A fascinating 22 minutes Documentary on the musical world of Mahler as seen by Barenboim and Boulez.
2011 is the 100th anniversary of the death of Gustav Mahler.
“Barenboim´s reading seethes with subtly controlled passion.” New York Times
“A milestone for the Staatskappelle Berlin.” New York Times
Running Time Total: 101 minutes
Symphony: 79 minutes
Documentary: 22 minutes
Picture 16:9, color
Sound PCM Stereo, DTS 5.1
(Bonus: PCM Stereo)
Subtitles Documentary: English
Packaging NTSC: Amaray 1 DVD
Booklet English, German, French
“The camerawork here is strong, bringing the viewer into the most interesting sections of the orchestra at any given moment and doing so in a particularly musical fashion. For Barenboim and Boulez, the Mahler project was as much about developing a relationship with a particular orchestra as it was with the composer; short of actually being with them in the concert hall, this is probably the best way to experience the results.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2011
Harry Christophers and The Sixteen embark on their second new commissions project with the Genesis Foundation this time featuring works inspired by The Spanish Mystics - St Teresa of Ávila and St John of the Cross.
O Guiding Night is the fascinating result of The Sixteen’s second major collaboration with the Genesis Foundation and features six new works by contemporary British composers Tarik O’Regan, Roderick Williams and Ruth Byrchmore. The new works are all inspired by the poetry of two principals of The Spanish Mystics movement - St. Teresa of Ávila and St. John of the Cross.
The Spanish Mystics were major figures in the Catholic Reformation in Spain during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Their attempts to express in words their experience of a mystical communion with Christ produced some exquisite poetry and writings which went on to influence and shape the Spanish language.
All three of the composers featured on this disc have won critical acclaim for their work in recent years and accolades include GRAMMY Nominations and Composer of the Year Awards as well as numerous commissions and broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and 4. Please see following page for more information on each composer.
The Sixteen and the Genesis Foundation last collaborated on the Padre Pio Prayer recording (COR16071), which featured commissions by James MacMillan, Roxanna Panufnik and Will Todd. As well as the O Guiding Night release, the ensemble is about to embark on a new project, supported by the Foundation, to find the UK’s next generation of ensemble choral singers. For more information on the Genesis Sixteen project visit www.thesixteen.com.
“Thanks to the visceral commitment of Harry Christophers and his choir, and the refulgent beauty of the music, the listener will connect body and soul with these sensuous performances. It's hard not to be moved by the wholehearted expression and emotionally engaging styles of each composer's work, especially given the passion of the music-making here.” Classic FM Magazine, August 2011 *****
“Most conservative in idiom are those of Roderick Williams, moonlighting from his day-job as a baritone. His St John setting O Guiding Night is striking for the instinctive word-setting and audibly engaging the singers...O'Regan relies on an ululating underlay of voices to evoke the erotic, visionary nature of St John's clandestine nocturnal assignation. Harry Christophers and The Sixteen nail it expertly.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2011 ****
“Each composer has set the same three texts and much of the satisfaction of this programme derives from comparing their differing word-setting approaches. In general terms, Tarik O'Regan favours repeating, hypnotic ostinatos, whereas Ruth Byrchmore's approach is more intense and dramatic. Roderick Williams's innate lyricism bursts through and sounds the most naturally and comfortably singable.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2011
“As always, The Sixteen's performances are impeccable, with director Harry Christophers careful to allow the import of the texts and, in the case of the St Teresa and St John settings, the different viewpoints of each composer, to register fully through a careful yet by no means micro-managed deployment of tonal balance and vocal colouring.” International Record Review, September 2011
Heather Shipp (Queen Iseult), Joan Rodgers (Iseult of Brittany, the Whitehanded), Jacques Imbrailo (Sir Tristram), Patricia Orr (Brangwain), Neal Davies (King Mark), Peter Wilman (Sir Andret), Elizabeth Weisberg (Damsel)
New London Orchestra, Members of The London Chorus, Ronald Corp
To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the death of the composer Rutland Boughton (1878-1960), during summer 2010 Dutton Epoch brought a notable team of soloists to the fine acoustic of London’s St Jude-on-the-Hill to make a complete recording of Boughton’s opera The Queen of Cornwall under the sympathetic baton of Ronald Corp. Based on the play of the same name by Thomas Hardy, Boughton’s glorious, lyrical score is vividly realised with Joan Rodgers (Iseult of Brittany), Jacques Imbrailo (Sir Tristram), Neal Davies (King Mark) and Heather Shipp (Queen Iseult) in the leading roles. This is a notable discovery, and all lovers of Boughton’s music will want to explore this lovely score. Included in this deluxe 2-CD set is a 32-page booklet containing the full libretto text, plus rare pictures from the Boughton family archive showing the original 1924 Glastonbury Festival Production of The Queen of Cornwall.
World premiere recording: recorded at St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, 8th - 10th July 2010
“If you can ignore the words, the writing for both voices and orchestra has a surging confidence that's very appealing, and the musical substance grows on one with repeated hearings. In a strong cast, Heather Shipp as the eponymous Queen and Joan Rodgers as the other Iseult stand out...this is admirably full-blooded performance.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2011 *****
“The Queen of Cornwall dates from 1924, by which time Boughton had moved on to a full and productive assimilation of Wagner's instrumental conception of opera and flexible vocal declamation...For me this opera was quite a revelation and it makes one wonder what other treasures of Boughton await rediscovery.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2011
“One of the high points here is the singing of Jacques Imbrailo. His firm voice is well supported and cleanly produced, and his holding a good line is to be praised...Shipp catches Iseult well, her basically soft-grained tone takes on a harder edge when it needs to...[Corp] brings full-blooded playing from the orchestra as is fitting but also draws quieter response in intimate scenes.” International Record Review, March 2011
“This performance is very well cast. Fresh from his success as Billy Budd at Glyndebourne, Jacques Imbrailo sings with an outstanding lyrical beauty that makes Sir Tristram’s ballad-like solos a musical high point, rather than an English apology for Wagnerian grandiloquence. Heather Shipp is excellent as his admirer Iseult...The Queen of Cornwall is a collector’s item for English Wagnerians.” Opera
Lise de la Salle’s sixth recording for Naïve comes a year after the release of her highly-praised disc of Chopin. Once again it is dedicated to a composer with an anniversary being celebrated - Franz Liszt, who was born 200 years ago. The CD includes original works such as his Ballade No. 2 and Funérailles, as well as some of Liszt’s numerous arrangements of music by other composers including Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, and Wagner.
Lise de la Salle was born in 1988 and began studying the piano at the age of four. She gave her first concert at nine, and made her concerto debut in a live broadcast on Radio France at the age of 13. Since 2001 she has pursued an international career that has taken her to such venues as the Berlin Philharmonie, the Hollywood Bowl, the Wigmore Hall in London, the Met Museum in New York, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. At the age of 14, her first recording (V4936) featured the music of Ravel and Rachmaninoff and marked the start of her collaboration with Naïve. In 2004 she released an album of music by Bach and Liszt (V5006) which was ‘CD of the Month’ in Gramophone. This was followed in 2007 by a CD of the First Concertos of Shostakovich, Liszt, and Prokofiev (V5053) with Lawrence Foster and the Gulbenkian Orchestra, which won the same distinction in Gramophone. In 2008 came a double album of Mozart and Prokofiev which was a BBC Music Magazine ‘Choice’, as well as an ‘Editor’s Choice’ in the Gramophone. The year 2010 saw the release of a critically-acclaimed recording of the Piano Concerto No 2 (accompanied by the Dresden Staatskapelle under Fabio Luisi) and the Four Ballades of Chopin (V5215).
De la Salle’s new recording presents a selection of Franz Liszt’s compositions for solo piano that is both eclectic and fairly representative. Large-scale works like the Ballade No 2 in B minor, Funérailles, and Après une lecture du Dante, and shorter pieces such as Nuages gris mix with arrangements of the music of others, including Isolde’s Liebestod by Wagner and Ständchen by Franz Schubert.
“Ms de la Salle is a Lisztian to the manner born. The turbulent passions expressed in the Ballade, Funerailles and Liebestod are powerfully conveyed while Schubert and Schumann song transcriptions are beautifully phrased” Classic FM Magazine, August 2011 ****
“de la Salle gives us a Liszt recital of astonishing strength, poetry and, for one so young, musical maturity. Whether in fist-shaking defiance, radiance or baleful resignation, she is superbly responsive to Liszt's rhetoric in the Dante Sonata. Here, as elsewhere, everything is given time to "speak, to weep and sing and sigh" (part of Liszt's own definition of a true virtuoso).” Gramophone Magazine, September 2011
“Lise de la Salle is fully in command of the technical difficulties and much of her playing is exciting” BBC Music Magazine, September 2011 ****
This sensational new release from German cellist Alban Gerhardt recaptures the novelty of the much-loved encores performed by Pablo Casals. Spanish-born Casals was universally recognized as one of the world’s greatest cellists and had a vast repertoire of intimate encores which were adored by his audiences. The disc features transcriptions of works by many notable composers including Fauré, Chopin, Saint-Saëns, Boccherini and Wagner. Also featured are frequently performed musical gems by David Popper: Vito, Chanson villageoise and his Mazurka in G minor, pieces which have gained a special place in the cello literature.
Gerhardt performs these miniature masterworks with extraordinary finesse and verve. His very personal interpretations never lapse into self-indulgence and he projects a distinctive luminescence of tone with infallible intonation. Gerhardt is intelligently partnered and perfectly matched by pianist Cecile Licad on her Hyperion debut. This unique disc demonstrates sublime musicianship, with both performers revelling in a wide expressive scope from the vivacious to the lyrical.
“There is much more to an encore, as Alban Gerhardt will tell you, than casually capping a recital with an audience-pleaser...Listen to Gerhardt in Benjamin Godard’s Berceuse de Jocelyn and there is a paradigm of the exceptional eloquence and discernment that distinguishes the entire disc.” The Telegraph, 2nd June 2011 *****
“his playing [is] less heart-on-sleeve than Casals's own, but wonderfully eloquent and noble: he can be extraordinarily moving in such once-familiar standards as the Berceuse from Godard's Jocelyn, or in Casals's arrangement of Chopin's Raindrop Prelude...Some of this music makes considerable demands on the pianist, and Cecile Licad rises to its challenges with considerable elegance.” The Guardian, 9th June 2011 ****
“Gerhardt has a honeyed, liquid tone all his own. He has created a well-contrasted programme that clearly took a long time to research and hone...This is cello playing of exquisite sophistication and bold imagination. Casals, I feel sure, would have approved.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2011 *****
“An unexpected disc from a cellist one usually thinks of as a heavyweight...he brings to them absolutely the same seriousness of approach and sensitivity that he does to everything. And it works for an album that feels worthwhile as well as easily digestible.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2011
Alain Lefèvre offers a rare recording of Mathieu's Piano Trio and Piano Quintet. Alain wants the audience to discover this masterful composer who uses the musical language of the great French schools, anchored in the 20th century.
Chausson's Concert is a masterwork of the chamber repertoire and is a true concerto for piano and violin.
“Both works merit attention, the more so in performances, led by the pianist Alain Lefèvre, that are so eloquently expressive, so sure in ensemble and so alert to the music's arresting fluxes of mood. There seems to be an underlying narrative to this music, which the performers convey with animation, tenderness and urgent passion.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2011