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Benjamin Britten (1913-76)

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Britten: War Requiem, Op. 66

Britten: War Requiem, Op. 66


Annette Dasch, James Taylor & Christian Gerhaher

Festival Ensemble Stuttgart, Helmuth Rilling

Britten’s War Requiem may be one of the largest and most enduring works of the 20th century. Soloists Annette Dasch, James Taylor and Christian Gerhaher, along with conductor Helmuth Rilling give a truly shattering performance of Britten’s huge choral masterpiece. This is a very welcome release presented in superb SACD sound.

“The orchestra sounds almost human in its emotional involvement, while the choral singing is of the highest order. Add the beautiful solo performances and it’s impossible to recommend this highly enough.” Classic FM Magazine, March 2009

“A wonderful performance and a most moving experience. Critically, one must keep the experience (subjective) as distant from the relatively objective facts of the performance as possible: on this occasion that wasn't very easy, or even desirable. Certainly all the elements in this complex organisation are well served. The soloists are admirable, Annette Dasch pure in tone, powerfully concentrated in style, James Taylor a tenor whose voice can respond to what is gentle and compassionate in his music as to the unsparing harshness, and Christian Gerhaher authoritative, humane and (like the others) entirely firm in his singing. The choir is fine in blend, precision and enunciation; the boys' choir, too, ideal in its embodiment of unsanctimonious sanctity. For the chamber ensemble and full orchestra, only admiration, as for the recording's producer and engineer who have dealt so well with the difficult task of keeping these elements distinct and unifying them at the same time. Above all, we must honour their conductor, whose mature guidance is everywhere in evidence.
It's the sense of unity that has distinguished this experience of the War Requiem most especially.
Rarely has it moved with such logic. That seems a strange word to use in the description of what was so deeply emotional, yet it's right. For the first time the work moved with the singleminded force of a geometrical theorem. Darkness and light, war and peace, noise and quiet are the unifying opposites throughout. The selection and sequence of Owen's poems are so wellfitting that the line – can you call it 'of argument'? – is unbroken and all goes forward to the almost painful easement of 'Let us sleep now'.
Do to try it for yourself.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“A wonderful performance, and listening to it… has been a most moving experience. The soloists are admirable… The choir is fine in blend, precisions and enunciation; the boys' choir too, ideal in its embodiment of unsanctimonious sanctity. For the chamber ensemble and full orchestra, only admiration... Above all, we must honour their conductor, whose mature guidance is everywhere in evidence.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2008

“Rilling is undoubtedly an efficient choir trainer - the Festivalensemble Stuttgart manages even the trickiest passages of Britten's choral writing with suave assurance” The Guardian, 24th October 2008 **

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2008

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

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Hänssler - HAEN98507

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Amadeus Quartet - Quartet Recital 1977

Amadeus Quartet - Quartet Recital 1977


Britten:

String Quartet No. 3, Op. 94

Schubert:

String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D810 'Death and the Maiden'


The Amadeus Quartet became one of the most important chamber ensembles in the world. The ensemble is still remembered for its sensitive and beautiful interpretations of the classical and romantic repertoire. One of their most frequently performed works was “Death and the Maiden.”

“This typically feisty performance of Death and the Maiden, recorded at the 1977 Schwetzingen Festival, makes an apposite coupling for the world-weary Britten.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2011 ****

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Hänssler - HAEN93706

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Benjamin Britten conducts Benjamin Britten

Benjamin Britten conducts Benjamin Britten

Historical recordings 1956


includes:

Britten:

Gloriana - Symphonic Suite Op. 53a

Variations on an Elizabethan Theme

Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20


Peter Pears (tenor)

SWR Sinfonieorchester, Benjamin Britten

Heinrich Strobel of Südwestfunk invited many composer-conductors to concerts and productions with “his” orchestra. In early 1956 Britten came to Baden-Baden together with Peter Pears and conducted a concert, parts of which are recorded here. The CD includes Symphonic Suite “Gloriana”, Sinfonia da Requiem and Variations on an Elizabethan Theme.

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Hänssler - HAEN94213

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Bridge, Britten & Bax: Cello Sonatas

Bridge, Britten & Bax: Cello Sonatas


Bax:

Legend

Bridge:

Cello Sonata in D minor, H125

Britten:

Sonata for cello and piano in C major, Op. 65


Johannes Moser (cello) & Paul Rivinius (piano)

The young German cellist Johannes Moser is now an international music celebrity. He has built his reputation in part on his exquisite performances of surprising chamber music repertoire. He continues in this vein with a selection of English works for cello and piano. With a large, full richly moderated tone, Johannes Moser’s cello perfectly fits these British works. Both cellist and pianist are in their element.

“[Moser] brings out an armoury of colours and articulation [in the Bridge], along with a fine sense of architecture which places this performance with the very best...Rivinius, too, brings a rare energy to all three sonatas, together with great sensitivity. Theirs is a probing performance of the Britten, highlighting its debt to Shostakovich and Prokofiev...Two exciting talents who deserve a serious international profile.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2011 ****

“Moser plays with a full, dark tone that fits the Romantic flow of the Bridge Sonata well, and he and Paul Rivinius capture its brooding intensity and lyrical flights...They are responsive to the rapidly changing moods and quirky, sometimes humorous, sometimes savage interjections of Britten's five-movement work.” Classic FM Magazine, November 2010 ****

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Hänssler - HAEN93257

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Four Centuries of Christmas Music

Four Centuries of Christmas Music


Bach, J S:

Christmas Oratorio, BWV248: Sinfonia 'Hirtenmusik'

Christmas Oratorio, BWV248: Großer Herr, o starker König

Britten:

Men of Goodwill (Variations on a Christmas Carol for orchestra)

Haydn:

Ein Magd, ein' Dienerin, Hob. XXVIId:1

Nicolai, C O:

Weihnachts-Ouverture, WoO109 on the chorale 'Von Himmel hoch da komm ich her'

Praetorius, M:

In dulci jubilo

Puer natus in Bethelem

Wachet auf ruft uns die Stimme

Reger:

O Jesulein süß

Stravinsky:

Choral Variations on Vom Himmel Hoch (after J S Bach)


Vokalensemble Stuttgart, SW Radio Orchestra Kaiserlautern, Paul Goodwin

Here is a highly intelligent collection of reflective and joyous music for the Christmas season! Drawing upon musical inspirations from Praetorius to Britten, the SWR Rundfunkorchester Kaiserslautern is joined by World Class soloists (Claron McFadden, Olaf Bär) and magnificent choirs (SWR Vokalensemblem, Mainzer Domchor) in a true Holiday feast. Of special importance to collectors is a recording of the rare, and utterly charming Weihnachtsouvertüre by Otto Nicolai. Hänssler Classic invites you to listen to something NEW this festive season!

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Hänssler - HAEN93114

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Helmuth Rilling: Personal Selection

Helmuth Rilling: Personal Selection


Bach, J S:

St John Passion, BWV245

Michael Schade (Evangelist), Matthias Goerne (Christus), Juliane Banse (soprano), Ingeborg Danz (alto), James Taylor (tenor), Andreas Schmidt (baritone)

Stuttgart Bach Collegium, Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart

Cantata BWV26 'Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig'

Arleen Augér (soprano), Doris Soffel (alto), Adalbert Kraus (tenor), Philippe Huttenlocher (bass)

Stuttgart Bach Collegium, Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart

Motet BWV225 'Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied'

Stuttgart Bach Collegium, Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart

Cantata BWV212 'Mer hahn en neue Oberkeet' (Peasant Cantata)

Christine Schafer (soprano), Thomas Quasthoff (bass)

Stuttgart Bach Collegium, Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart

Brahms:

Nänie von Friedrich Schiller, für Chor und Orchester, Op. 82

Stuttgart Bach Collegium, Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart

Schicksalslied, Op. 54

Stuttgart Bach Collegium, Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart

Gesänge (4), Op. 17

Stuttgart Bach Collegium, Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart

Britten:

War Requiem, Op. 66

Annette Dasch (soprano), James Taylor (tenor), Christian Gerhaher (bass)

Festivalensemble Stuttgart, Aurelius Sangerknaben Calw

Bruckner:

Te Deum in C major, WAB 45

Pamela Coburn (soprano), Ingeborg Danz (alto), Christan Elsner (tenor), Franz-Josef Selig (bass)

Stuttgart Bach Collegium, Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart

Franck, C:

Les Béatitudes, M53

Scot Weir (tenor), Reinhard Hagen (bass), Gilles Cachemaille (baritone - Christus), Keith Lewis (tenor), Cornelia Kallisch (alto), Ingeborg Danz (mezzo), Diana Montague (mezzo), John Cheek (bass - Satan), Juan Vasle (bass)

Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR

Haydn:

Mass, Hob. XXII:14 in B flat major 'Harmoniemesse'

Simona Saturova (soprano), Daniela Sindram (alto), James Taylor (tenor), Michael Nagy (bass)

Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR

Mendelssohn:

Heimkehr aus der Fremde, Op. 89

Juliane Banse (soprano), Iris Vermillion (alto), Carsten Suss (tenor), Christian Gerhaher (baritone), Stefan Muller-Ruppert (bass)

Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR

Schubert:

Gesang der Geister über den Wassern, D714

Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR


On May 29th 2013, Helmuth Rilling, the founder and artistic director of the Gächinger Kantorei and the Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, will celebrate his 80th Birthday.

The spiritual father of the complete edition of the works of J.S. Bach on 172 CDs, a distinguished guest conductor, who has performed with leading orchestras world-wide, has put together for this occasion a special collection documenting his recorded legacy with Haenssler Classics over the past decades, featuring the recordings of his most admired and critically acclaimed works.

Ten CDs, focusing on central moments of Helmuth Rilling’s artistic growth are presented; many of them have received international awards. They show the conductor not only for his profound understanding of J. S. Bach, but as equally familiar with masterpieces of Romantic era.

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Hänssler - HAEN98008

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Johannes Moser plays Shostakovich & Britten

Johannes Moser plays Shostakovich & Britten


Britten:

Symphony for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 68

Shostakovich:

Cello Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 107


The charismatic young virtuoso Johannes Moser performs two 20th century masterworks. Each new release from this artist has received critical acclaim and rave reviews. “…a most impressive achievement that can only enhance this gifted cellist’s growing reputation.” Gramophone (HAEN93257 Bax, Bridge, Britten Sonatas).

“both these virile, confrontational works benefit from [Moser's] terrific energy and impetuous attack. He slices into the Shostakovich at speed...His ringing, acrobatic cadenza and urgent Allegro make this an exciting performance, the equal of any. The WDR Symphony Orchestra have two vital ingredients to bring to the Britten Cello Symphony: fabulous horns and lively timpani.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2012 *****

“[Moser is] a truthful guide, hitting timings very close to the composer's own, and keeps a judicious balance between discipline and feeling. In the long cadenza he typically finds time for thoughtful expression, not just a display of technical skills. The darker resonance that envelops this performance comes largely from the more mellow orchestral playing” Gramophone Magazine, April 2012

“Moser's formidable technique surmounts every obstacle with apparent ease...but conductor Pietari Inkinen is seldom convincing...Moser's reading of the Shostakovich cello concerto is again tautly argued and concise, with classy orchestral support and an especially good solo horn player” International Record Review, June 2012

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Hänssler - HAEN98643

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Masterpieces For Oboe

Masterpieces For Oboe


Britten:

Gloriana - Symphonic Suite Op. 53a

Koechlin:

Pieces for oboe and piano, Op.179

Strauss, R:

Oboe Concerto in D

Zimmermann, B A:

Oboe Concerto


Lajos Lencsés (oboe)

Radio-Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart, Neville Marriner, Bernhard Guller, Uri Segal, Werner Andreas Albert

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Hänssler - HAEN93026

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