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Tchaikovsky: The Complete Ballets

Tchaikovsky: The Complete Ballets


Tchaikovsky:

Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66

Robert deMaine (cello) & James Ehnes (violin)

The Nutcracker, Op. 71

James Ehnes (violin)

Swan Lake, Op. 20


To celebrate the eightieth birthday of Neeme Järvi, one of today’s most prolific conductors, we have gathered his recent recordings of Tchaikovsky’s three full-length ballets (complete versions) in a box set at special price. Recorded in surround-sound with the legendary Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, these are landmark performances, both for the music itself and for the critically acclaimed interpretations.

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Busoni: Orchestral Works

Busoni: Orchestral Works


Busoni:

Orchestral Suite No. 2 'Geharnischte Suite', Op. 34a

Berceuse élégiaque, Op. 42

Concertino for Clarinet and Small Orchestra, Op. 48

John Bradbury (clarinet)

Sarabande and Cortège, Op. 51

Tanzwalzer, Op. 53

Lustspiel Overture, Op. 38

Indianische Fantasie, Op. 44

Nelson Goerner (piano)

Gesang vom Reigen der Geister, Op. 47

Orchestral Suite from Die Brautwahl


This special re-issue gathers the two albums in Neeme Järvi’s exploration, with the BBC Philharmonic, of the unjustly neglected works of the Italian composer Ferruccio Busoni.

Those two volumes, sold here for the price of one, were released to critical acclaim in 2002 and 2005, respectively. The Gramophone reviewer stated:

‘Järvi’s performances on his two Busoni collections are the most consistently sympathetic I’ve heard in some years and they’re sure – not least because of the series’ comprehensiveness – to enhance Busoni’s reputation as an orchestral composer.’

The set spans the varied musical life of an iconic twentieth-century composer, who around WWI shifted from a late romantic style (heard in the Orchestral Suite and Lustspiel-Ouvertüre) to a more personal, loosely tonal style which culminated in the final masterpiece, Doktor Faust, two movements from which, Sarabande and Cortège, are featured here.

“Greater exuberance and amorous sentiment is to be found in the Die Brautwahl suite (drawing on his opera of the same name). The Suite was premiered in Berlin in 1913 by Oskar Fried. The finale has much of the fluttering eagerness of the Lustspiel-Ouvertüre but a degree more polish.” MusicWeb International, August 2017

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Chandos 241 - CHAN241-57

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Strauss in St Petersburg

Strauss in St Petersburg


Smirnitskaya:

Erste Liebe, Op. 14

Strauss, J, II:

Newa-Polka Francaise, Op. 288

Persischer Marsch, Op. 289

Russischer Marsch

Grossfurstin Alexandra, Op. 181

Olga-Polka, Op. 196

Alexandrine-Polka francaise, Op. 198

Abschied von St. Petersburg, Walzer, Op. 210

Bauern-Polka, Op. 276

Grossfursten-Marsch, Op. 107

Vergnügungszug, Op. 281

Wein, Weib und Gesang, Op. 333

Kronungs-Marsch, Op. 183

Hofball-Quadrille, Op. 116

An der Wolga - Polka mazurka, Op. 425

St. Petersburg (Quadrille on Russian Themes), Op. 255

Auf zum Tanze! Polka schnell, Op. 436

Russischer Marsch-Fantasie, Op. 353

Alexander, Op. 33

Pizzicato Polka


This is a double-anniversary disc, offering a rare collection of lively works to celebrate the ninetieth anniversary of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra as well as the eightieth birthday of its principal conductor, Neeme Järvi.

Cheerful marches and dances here trace the career of Johann Strauss II as it manifested itself in his much acclaimed seasons in St Petersburg, at the ‘Russian summer’ concerts in the Vauxhall pavilion in Pavlovsk, where he appeared for eleven seasons (1856 – 65 and 1869), ten of them consecutively. It is an unmissable start to a year-long celebration for Neeme Järvi that will include concerts, promotions, and other CD releases.

“20 tracks in all, with a handful of perennials scattered among the rarities, a veritable party-pack of Strauss family exotica. Järvi's performances are spirited and straightforward. Most enjoyable.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2017

“Neeme Järvi and his Estonian players impart to these endlessly inventive scores an infectious sense of joie de vivre and conviviality that no doubt reflects the spirit in which they would have been performed during sunny afternoons spent in St Petersburg’s Pavlovsk Park…luxurious engineering imparts to this glorious music a sparkling summer radiance and warm glow.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2017 ****

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Chandos - CHAN10937

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Atterberg: Orchestral Works, Vol. 5

Atterberg: Orchestral Works, Vol. 5


Atterberg:

Symphony No. 7, Op. 45 'Sinfonia romantica'

Symphony No. 9, Op. 54 'Sinfonia Visionaria'

Anna Larsson (soprano) & Olle Persson (baritone)

Gothenburg Symphony Chorus


The final volume in our Atterberg series with Neeme Järvi and his Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra is finally out. Recorded on SACD like most of the previous ones, it features two late, again rarely performed symphonies.

The seventh, featured here in its final, threemovement form, was written in 1942, fourteen years after its famous predecessor, the Dollar Symphony.

Originally in four movements, the work was received dismissively by the critics, and only acquired its final shape in 1969, when Atterberg decided to tear out the last movement from the original score (it became Vittorioso, see Vol. 4). In response to what he regarded as a critical insult, he also decided to baptise the work Sinfonia romantica, just to infuriate the modernistically inclined critics even further.

The composer himself referred to his Ninth and last Symphony as ‘evil’. Setting parts of the Old Icelandic poem Völuspá, it recounts indeed how evil came into the world and how it in the end will lead to total destruction. By this time he had become a very conservative composer, rejecting atonality and dodecaphony. Composed in 1955 and 1956, during a period of much administrative travel in Europe, it is one of his longest works, yet structured as a single movement in large-scale rondo form.

“Järvi and his Gothenburg forces produce exemplary performances, strong in interpretative outline…[and] vividly recorded” Gramophone Magazine, August 2016

“[Järvi] is well inside the composer’s language.” MusicWeb International, October 2016

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Chandos Neeme Järvi Atterberg Orchestral Works - CHSA5166

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Neeme Järvi conducts Ibert

Neeme Järvi conducts Ibert


Ibert:

Ouverture de fete

Escales

Bacchanale

Divertissement

Hommage a Mozart

Feerique

Sarabande pour Dulcinée

Paris, Suite Symphonique pour orchestre


Neeme Järvi and the OSR continue their exploration of French orchestral music with this fourth album: a merry collection from the best of the vigorously ebullient music of Jacques Ibert. Among the numerous winners of the famous Prix de Rome between its institution by Napoleon in 1803 and its abandonment in 1968, the twentieth century provides us with repertoire works from only one composer: Jacques Ibert, whose characteristically clear orchestration is emphasised by strong melodic lines and supported by lively ostinato patterns in the bass. At the same time, the album reveals what an eclectic composer Ibert was. The contrast between his two best-known pieces is a perfect example: Divertissement, for small orchestra, is light-hearted, even frivolous; Escales..., on the other hand, is a ripely romantic work for large orchestra. Like the previous recordings in this series, the unique acoustic of Geneva’s Victoria Hall is perfectly captured in surround sound on this SACD.

“Ibert emerges from it all as a fine composer, whose unity lies in his almost impudent diversity, and who is often far from frivolous as some have maintained. And the disc allows Järvi to show off his Swiss orchestra to perfection. Very fine.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

“This disc reveals much of interest to explore beyond the familiar items. Feérique sparkles, and the symphonic suite Paris finds Ibert at his most inventive, mixing jazzy playfulness with suave exoticisms…the highlight, though, is Escales, which finds Järvi and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande on top form and benefiting from recorded sound that is wonderful on CD and outstanding on SACD.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2016 ****

“An attractive introduction to Ibert’s exquisitely crafted orchestral music” MusicWeb International, 9th June 2016

“Neeme Järvi conducts the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in sumptuous performances” Financial Times, 22nd July 2016

“Generously-filled, splendidly played and magnificently recorded” classicalsource.com, December 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2016

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Chandos - CHSA5168

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Neeme Järvi conducts Martinů

Neeme Järvi conducts Martinů


Martinu:

Špalíček: Suite No. 1

Špalíček: Suite No. 2

Rhapsody-Concerto for Viola and Orchestra

Mikhail Zemtsov (viola)


This album with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and its artistic director, Neeme Järvi, features two mature works by Martinů, recorded in the splendid acoustic of the Estonia Concert Hall in Tallinn.

One of the most wide-ranging composers of music for the stage, Martinů was also enthusiastic about the theatrical possibilities of including new media in his operas. Špalíček

in many ways belongs to this experimental tendency. Although it was published and billed at its first performance as a ballet, it might best be described as an opera-ballet, as alongside the many dances there are extensive roles for chorus as well as tenor, soprano, and bass soloists. Martinů described the work on his manuscript as deriving from folk games, customs, and fairytales.

The lyrical Rhapsody-Concerto was written in 1952, at a time when Martinů was fighting homesickness and depression, worsened by the political situation in his native Czechoslovakia. The work is a marked move toward a more romantic sound world. The soloist here is Mikhail Zemtsov, principal violist of the Residentie Orchestra The Hague since 2001 and a prize winner at the first International Viola Competition (Vienna) and the Elisa Meyer String Competition (Hamburg).

The exploration by Järvi and the ENSO of hidden gems from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries has proved highly successful, their recent recording of works by Suchoň (CHAN10849) awarded the Choc de Classica.

“The Estonian strings sing their hearts out…the woodwind solos are very lovely, too. Viola-player Mikhail Zemtsov impresses with the sheer beauty of tone” BBC Music Magazine, March 2016 ****

“Järvi conducts with bags of panache and charm…Zemtsov plays with dark, moody lyricism throughout. The orchestra strings sound very plush…an affecting performance” Gramophone Magazine, March 2016

“Martinů is always entertaining and delightful and this is a useful coupling” MusicWeb International, 3rd June 2016

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Chandos - CHAN10885

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Saint-Saëns: Cello Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

Saint-Saëns: Cello Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

and other works


Saint-Saëns:

Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33

Truls Mørk (cello)

Cello Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 119

Truls Mørk (cello)

Le carnaval des animaux

Louis Lortie (piano), Hélène Mercier (piano) & Alasdair Malloy (glass harmonica)

Africa - Fantasie for piano & orchestra Op. 89

Louis Lortie (piano)

Wedding Cake - Valse-Caprice for piano & strings, Op. 76

Louis Lortie (piano)


The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Neeme Järvi present this unusual collection of popular works by Saint-Saëns, for orchestra and piano or cello.

Truls Mørk, this season Artist in Residence with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, is the soloist in the two contrasted cello concertos. His ‘seemingly flawless technical command’ is tested in the suave, expressive, famous No. 1 as well as in the many taxing solo passages, huge leaps, and double-stopping flourishes of No. 2.

The indefatigable duo Louis Lortie and Hélène Mercier join in the posthumously published Carnival of the Animals, after a highly successful recording of Concertos by Poulenc with Edward Gardner, Disc of the Week in The Sunday Times. They offer the original version, which features a glass harmonica (normally substituted by a glockenspiel). Louis Lortie is also the soloist in the entertaining fantasia Africa, which incorporates folk tunes of the different countries in which it was composed and which is brought off with consummate zest, as well as in the most characteristic and probably challenging of the composer’s keyboard pieces, the Caprice-Valse Wedding-cake, written for the second wedding of the composer’s virtuosic pianist friend Caroline Montigny-Rémaury.

“This is one of those recordings where it seems invidious to look for faults and which just encourages you to sit back, relax, listen and wallow. Mørk brings his characteristic incisiveness and mountain-spring tone to the concertos...The Grande fantaisie zoologique receives one of its most successful performances on disc (sans narrator) with just the right balance of instrumental virtuosity, sensitive musicianship and, where the opportunity presents itself, fun.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2016

“[Mørk's] noble command is ideal in the darkly blazing, virtuosic second concerto. One of our great lyric instrumentalists, he gives a deeply-felt, but never over-dramatised performance, a piercing tenderness underlying what can sound sentimental in the hands of a lesser artist. Bergen's beautifully-tuned winds create subtle intimacy in the idyllic Andante” BBC Music Magazine, March 2016 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2016

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A Festival of Fučík

A Festival of Fučík


Fucik:

Entry of the Gladiators

Under the Admirals Flag, Op. 82

Mississippi River

Die Regimentskinder

Winterstürme

Der alte Brummbar, Op. 210

David Hubbard (bassoon)

Florentiner, Op. 214

Marinarella

Donausagen

Hercegovac, Op. 235

Uncle Teddy, Op. 239

Miramare


Thirty years after having recorded Dvořák’s complete Symphonies on Chandos, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and its laureate conductor Neeme Järvi tackle another romantic Czech composer: Julius Fučík, famous for his more than 400 polkas, marches, and waltzes, some of the best of which are featured here.

Fučík studied violin in his early years, switching later to the bassoon, with a subsidiary in percussion and timpani. Playing in Austrian regiments, he gained invaluable experience of writing for military band and became a very prolific composer of marches. The most famous of these is of course Entry of the Gladiators, completed in 1899 and performed throughout the world ever since.

Full of energetic, effervescent Bohemian crossrhythms, tuneful brass melodies (often now associated with a circus atmosphere), but also more lyrical expressions, this album is a festival in itself.

“Nicely crafted and highly enjoyable music, played with all the life and fizz it requires by Järvi and his Scottish-based colleagues. What he lacks in memorable melody he makes up for with swagger, immense charm and foot-tapping brio – and, my goodness, this career bandmaster certainly knew how to orchestrate. The sound picture is a Chandos spectacular.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2015

“Järvi and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra deliver this excellently recorded anthology with great enthusiasm, throwing themselves into these brightly coloured scores without a hint of condescension or irony…this is a highly enjoyable reminder of the delights of Romanticism's popular side.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2015

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2015

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Chandos - CHSA5158

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Shostakovich: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

Shostakovich: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2


Shostakovich:

Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 99

Violin Concerto No. 2 in C sharp minor, Op. 129


This album in our Lydia Mordkovitch Tribute features her famous 1989 recording of Shostakovich’s violin concertos with Neeme Järvi and the Scottish National Orchestra.

Lydia Mordkovitch was one of the founding artists of Chandos and over the years made more than sixty CDs. Her native Russia was strongly represented in her repertoire, as exemplified in her ‘mesmerising and intense’ performances of Shostakovich (The Telegraph’s obituary), heard to special effect in this album recorded at Glasgow City Hall. The original release – part of Neeme Järvi’s comprehensive Shostakovich series – won a Gramophone Award in 1990 and was highly praised by the magazine: ‘While her first is magisterial, the revelation is the under-rated Second, here shining as no other version.’

Completed in 1948, the First Concerto was written for the great Russian violinist David Oistrakh, Lydia Mordkovitch’s teacher. It was only premiered in 1955, after years of Stalinist censorship. This is a truly symphonic concerto and the musico-dramatic plan, on a grand scale, looks forward to that of the famous Symphony No. 10. The Second Concerto was completed and premiered in 1967 and also dedicated to David Oistrakh. More spare in texture and enigmatic in character, this late example of Shostakovich’s music could hardly present a sharper contrast to the First Concerto.

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Chandos Classics - CHAN10864X

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Johan Halvorsen: Orchestral Works Volumes 1-4

Johan Halvorsen: Orchestral Works Volumes 1-4


Grieg:

Norwegian Bridal Procession, Op. 19, No. 2

orch. Halvorsen

Halvorsen:

Bojarernes Indtogsmarsj (Entry of the Boyars)

Andante religioso

Marianne Thorsen (violin)

Mascarade Suite

La Mélancolie

Symphony No. 1

Intrata (Sats 1) (Suite Ancienne) Op. 31

Danses Norvegiennes

Marianne Thorsen (violin)

Symphony No. 2 'Fatum'

Air Norvegienne, Op. 7

Chant de Veslemoy

Marianne Thorsen (violin)

Symphony No. 3

Bergensiana

Black Swans

Premiere recording

Wedding of Ravens in the Grove of the Crows

Premiere recording

Fossegrimen Suite incl. Danse visionaire

Marianne Thorsen (violin) & Ragnhild Hemsing (Hardanger fiddle)

Wedding March, Op. 32, No. 1

Marianne Thorsen (violin)

Norwegian Rhapsody No. 2

Norwegian Rhapsody No. 1

Passacaglia for Violin & Cello/Viola (after Handel)

Melina Mandozzi (violin) & Ilze Klava (viola)

Norwegian Fairy Tale Pictures, including ‘Dance of the Troll Maidens’

Queen Tamara: Dance Scene

The King: Symphonic Intermezzo

Norwegian Festival Overture


Neeme Järvi and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra have lifted the lid on one of Norway’s best-kept musical secrets with their series devoted to the orchestral works of Johan Halvorsen. Now, in this four-disc box set, these fresh and revealing recordings have been brought together for the first time.

Johan Halvorsen was among the most prominent Norwegian musical figures of his day, not only as one of the leading composers of his generation but also as a violinist and conductor. His compositions develop the national romantic tradition of his friends Grieg and Svendsen, but his was a distinctive style marked by brilliant orchestration which in turn was inspired by the French romantic composers.

Many of the works in the series reflect Halvorsen’s long association with the theatre. The varied fruits of this career produced such scores as Fossegrimen, the neoclassical Suite ancienne, the exotic Dance Scene from 'Queen Tamara', and his Symphonic Intermezzo from 'The King', a tone poem much indebted to the musical language of Liszt and Wagner.

The series also includes his output in more traditional genres. Halvorsen composed the three great symphonies late in his career, the first only at the age of fifty-nine, and they are strongly in the mould of late romantic composers such as Tchaikovsky, Dvorák and Svendsen.

Among Halvorsen’s many short, stand-alone works are a number of pieces for violin and orchestra, which reflect Halvorsen’s own abilities on the instrument, while drawing on nationalist influences. The leading Norwegian violinist Marianne Thorsen is the soloist.

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Chandos Johan Halvorsen Orchestral Works - CHAN10834

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