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Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828)

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Schubert: Death And The Maiden & String Quintet In C Major

Schubert: Death And The Maiden & String Quintet In C Major


Schubert:

String Quintet in C major, D956

with Danjulo Ishizaka (cello)

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


The highly anticipated new recording from the Gramophone Recording of the Year winners in 2011.

Two years on from their award winning Dvorak album, the Pavel Haas Quartet turn their attention to Schubert’s two late masterpiece.

The String Quartet in D minor has a sort of dark cipher encoded within. The title “Death and the Maiden” reflects the quotation from Schubert’s eponymous song in the second movement. The theme of death is also underlined by other quotations and the choice of the key of D minor, which according to the period definition is characterised by “heavy-hearted womanliness, spleen and foreboding”.

Schubert completed his String Quintet in C major for an uncommon formation with two cellos a mere two months before his death. Its instrumentation occasionally gives an almost orchestral impression, with the cello playing a significant role as the bearer of melody.

The Pavel Haas Quartet invited along a distinguished friend to the recording sessions, the exceptional German-Japanese cellist Danjulo Ishizaka, whose qualities were concisely described by Mstislav Rostropovich: “Phenomenal in his technical ability, perfect in his musical creative power”.

“Throughout, their understanding of the musical argument is exemplary...at every stage the performers respond with both passion and a clear feeling for musical line...In truth, there are so many details that delight the ear it would be almost impossible to list the all” BBC Music Magazine

“This album is scalding to the touch. [the Haas's accounts] are irresistible not only for immaculate surfaces, but for effortless engagement of that grief-stricken quality beneath Schubert’s shows of gaiety and even his most serene assurances.” Sunday Times, 15th September 2013

“If CDs had grooves I would already have worn out these marvellous recordings...The young Czechs have the perfect fusion of virtuosity and profundity.” The Times, 21st September 2013 *****

“The Pavel Haas Quartet, with the superb extra cellist Danjulo Ishizaka, even succeed where most other ensembles fail, making the last movement of the String Quintet into something that seems a fitting conclusion to a work whose first three movements are unquestionably supreme...essential listening for anyone who loves Schubert.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas Issue 2013 *****

“The perfect fusion of virtuosity and profundity from the young Czechs of the Pavel Haas Quartet in Schubert. Death and the Maiden is given the more melodramatic reading, but the subtly nuanced performance of the Quintet in C is sublime.” The Times, 14th December 2013

“For me, the performance here ticks all the right boxes. From the opening chords, you feel that these young players are taking you on a journey. Having a clear vision and understanding of the structure of the music, they explore its full emotional range. Warmth and expressive phrasing are a distinguishing hallmark...These young players are a force to be reckoned with” MusicWeb International, December 2013

“we’re treated here to performances of not only great refinement and polish, but also real emotional depth...A combination of subtle elasticity of tempo whilst never slowing too much gives this performance [of Death and the Maiden] great structural coherency from beginning to end.” Chris O'Reilly, Presto Classical, 23rd December 2013

GGramophone Awards 2014

Winner - Chamber

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - October 2013

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Supraphon - SU41102

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Beethoven & Schubert - Piano Trios

Beethoven & Schubert - Piano Trios


Beethoven:

Piano Trio No. 3 in C minor, Op. 1 No. 3

Piano Trio No. 5 in D major, Op. 70 No. 1 'The Ghost'

Piano Trio No. 7 in B flat Major, Op. 97 'Archduke'

Schubert:

Piano Trio No. 1 in B flat major, D898


Suk Trio

Over the more than 40 years of its activity, the Suk Trio underwent several personnel changes. Yet it was the “classic” Suk – Panenka – Chuchro line-up (the configuration from 1960 onwards) that wrote the most colourful chapter in its illustrious history.

The ensemble was a rare example of perfect coordination between opposites: a noble virtuoso pianist with a crystal-clear touch (Jan Panenka), an earthy and energetic cellist (Josef Chuchro) and a lyrical and melodious violinist (Josef Suk). These outstanding individuals managed to uniquely meld together their disparate temperaments, creating a legendary chamber grouping that was enthusiastically received by listeners worldwide.

Beethoven and Schubert’s piano trios were one of the pillars of their repertoire and at the same time represent the first great apex of this genre. The 25-year-old Beethoven published Piano Trio No. 3 in C major together with another two trios under the opus number “1” in 1795, shortly after his arrival in Vienna. The extensive Trio No. 7, the “Archduke Trio”, was written in 1810-11 and is the work of a mature composer.

Schubert completed his Trio No. 1 in B flat major during the last year of his life (1827) alongside serious and melancholic pieces. The work’s optimistic vein therefore comes as something of a surprise.

Legendary recordings of vintage Beethoven and Schubert by the classic Suk Trio line-up.

“The vintage Czech ensemble is disappointingly laid-back in Beethoven's Sturm and Drang C minor Trio. Their Schubert, however, has a wonderful lightness of articulation - a total delight.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2008 ***

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Supraphon - SU39592

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Josef Suk: Early Recordings

Josef Suk: Early Recordings


Brahms:

Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major, Op. 78

Josef Hála (piano)

Waltz, Op. 39 No. 15 in A flat major

Josef Hála (piano)

Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 100

Jan Panenka (piano)

Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108

Jan Panenka (piano)

Debussy:

Violin Sonata in G minor

Jan Panenka (piano)

La plus que lente

Waltz for Violin and Piano

Alfréd Holeček (piano)

Clair de Lune (from Suite Bergamasque)

for Violin and Piano

Josef Hála (piano)

Dvorak:

Romantic Pieces (4) for Violin & Piano, Op. 75

Josef Hála (piano)

Sonatina for violin and piano in G major, Op. 100

Jan Panenka (piano)

Violin Sonata in F major, Op. 57 (B 106)

Jan Panenka (piano)

Franck, C:

Violin Sonata in A major

Jan Panenka (piano)

Grieg:

Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor, Op. 45

Honegger:

Sonatina for Violin and Cello, H 80

André Navarra (cello)

Janacek:

Violin Sonata

Jan Panenka (piano)

Jezek:

Violin Sonata

Jan Panenka (piano)

Kodály:

Duo for Violin and Cello, Op. 7

André Navarra (cello)

Martinu:

Duo for Violin and Cello No. 1, H. 157

André Navarra (cello)

Mozart:

Duo for violin and viola in B flat major, K424

Milan Škampa (viola)

Poulenc:

Violin Sonata, FP 119

Jan Panenka (piano)

Respighi:

Violin Sonata in B minor

Jan Panenka (piano)

Schubert:

Sonata (Sonatina) for violin & piano in D major, D384 (Op. posth. 137 No. 1)

Jan Panenka (piano)

Grand Duo for Violin and Piano in A Major, D574

Jan Panenka (piano)

Schumann:

Abendlied (No. 12 from Klavierstücke für kleine und große Kinder, Op. 85)

Smetana:

From the Homeland - two duos for violin and piano

Jan Panenka (piano)

Suk:

Four Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 17

Jan Panenka (piano)


Josef Suk (violin)

On the morning on 7 July 2011 the agencies brought the sad news that one of the legends of 20th century music had passed away. Josef Suk ranks among the most accomplished violinists of the epoch. When he launched his artistic career, he was gifted with unquestionable talent but also felt the obligation to meet the enormous general expectations (he was, after all, the grandson of the composer Josef Suk and great grandson of the maestro Antonin Dvořak!).

Back in the mid-1950s he won international recognition – and began recording too. The presented recordings, most of them on CD for the very first time, date from 1956-1967 and introduce Josef Suk as a mature artist with a distinct interpretational approach and a beautiful, characteristic tone. Within a short time, he recorded, primarily with pianists (Holeček, Panenka, Hala), a remarkably extensive repertoire, ranging from pieces by his beloved Dvořak and Suk (to whom he would repeatedly return) to sonatas by Debussy and Janaček (for which he received a Grand Prix du Disque de l’Academie Charles Cros), as well as duos by Kodaly and Honegger with the cellist Andre Navarra.

These carefully remastered recordings serve as a historical document and, above all, bear witness to the art of a superlative young musician whose name would later on be spoken of in the same breath as other legends. Josef Suk’s early recordings – previously unreleased and bearing witness to the legendary 20th-century violinist’s mastery.

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Supraphon - SU40752

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Karel Sejna: Great Czech Conductors

Karel Sejna: Great Czech Conductors


Beethoven:

Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 'Pastoral'

Mahler:

Symphony No. 4

Maria Tauberova (soprano)

Mozart:

Le nozze di Figaro, K492: Overture

La clemenza di Tito, K621: Overture

Symphony No. 38 in D major, K504 'Prague'

Schubert:

Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759 'Unfinished'


Rarely mentioned in the same breath as his illustrious colleagues Talich, Kubelík and Ančerl, Karel Šejna (1896-1982) was perennially second-in-command, yet despite failing to receive the credit he deserves he too played a crucial role in shaping the history of the Czech Philharmonic. Initially solo double-bass of the orchestra, he began conducting upon Václav Talich’s request and in 1939 was officially named its second conductor. And he also remained deputy after the departure of Talich, who was replaced by Rafael Kubelík, as well as after Kubelík’s emigration, when Karel Ančerl was appointed (originally against the orchestra members’ will) to the vacant post of chief conductor. Consequently, still playing “second fiddle”, Šejna went on to conduct dozens of concerts and make numerous recordings, which today rank among the finest in the Supraphon archives. Period critics branded him a flexible and vivid conductor who always required an understanding of the style and consistently worked with detail. In 1972, Šejna rounded off a half-century of work for the Czech Philharmonic with Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. Šejna’s sensitively remastered recordings from 1950-1962, from the bracing Mozart played “with a light hand” to Mahler’s fourth, are now released by Supraphon for the first time on CD.

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Supraphon Great Czech Conductors - SU40812

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Mendelssohn & Schubert - Piano Trios

Mendelssohn & Schubert - Piano Trios


Mendelssohn:

Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49

Schubert:

Piano Trio No. 2 in E flat major, D929


Smetana Trio

After focusing on the Czech trio literature (on highly acclaimed recordings ranging from Dvorák to Martinu) and paying a visit to Tchaikovsky (SU 3949-2), the Smetana Trio has turned to the very heart of the Romantic repertoire for their newest album. Both of the pieces on this disc rank among the most frequently played trios; in both of them, the composers succeeded in striking a rare balance in the texture as well as in the instrumentation, placing all three instruments on an even footing. The success of the Schubert trio, which makes use of Swedish folk melodies, is attested to by the fact that it was the only one of the composer’s works to be published abroad during his lifetime.

Coincidentally the piece received Robert Schumann’s highest praise in his comment on the Mendelssohn trio: “It is a contemporary masterpiece, a work such as Beethoven’s trios were in their day, or Schubert’s Trio in E flat Major, a very beautiful composition which still pleases grandchildren and great-grandchildren years afterwards.” Both pieces find excellent performers in the Smetana Trio, with its sense of ensemble playing. In Schumann’s words, may Mendelssohn and Schubert “still please grandchildren and greatgrandchildren years afterwards” on this recording as well.

“Ardent, emotionally vibrant, spiritually probing and rhythmically vital, they combine great polyphonic clarity with an almost orchestral breadth and depth of sound, the strings moving seamlessly from the soloistic to the sonorously blended...a well-nigh ideal performance.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2010 *****

“The Smetana's reading of the D minor Trio is forthright and strongly soloistic...It's an interpretation full of incident: the opening movement is less a single sweep than a series of episodes” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2010

“I like the Smetana Trio’s no-nonsense approach. They play incisively and with plenty of passion, offering variety of dynamic and colour. But there’s also an earthy unpretentiousness to their music-making.” Sunday Times, 13th June 2010 ***

“...ensemble is everything; the players serving the music, rather than the music serving the players.” The Observer, 20th June 2010

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Supraphon - SU40082

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Playful Clarinet

Playful Clarinet


 

Mexican Hat Dance

Abreu:

Tico-tico no fubá

Bach, J S:

Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV1068: Air ('Air on a G String')

Bizet:

L'amour est un oiseau rebelle 'Habanera' (from Carmen)

Brahms:

Hungarian Dance No. 2 in D minor

Debussy:

Préludes - Book 1: No. 8, La fille aux cheveux de lin

Gounod:

Ave Maria

Jeanjean:

Venice Carnival

Jobim:

The Girl from Ipanema

Kovacz:

Salute, Signore Rossini

Kroepsch:

Fantasy

Matos Rodriguez:

La Cumparsita

Milhaud:

Brazileira from Scaramouche

Monti, V:

Csárdás

Pierné, G:

Canzonetta, Op. 19

Puccini:

Nessun dorma (from Turandot)

Rimsky Korsakov:

Flight of the Bumble Bee

Rubinstein:

Melody in F major, Op. 3 No. 1

Schubert:

Ständchen 'Leise flehen meine Lieder', D957 No. 4

Yradier:

La Paloma


Ludmila Peterková (clarinet), Irina Kondratenko (piano)

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Supraphon - SU39012

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Václav Neumann: Early Recordings 1953-1968

Václav Neumann: Early Recordings 1953-1968


includes

Dvorak:

Symphony No. 1 in C minor, B9 'The Bells of Zlonice'

Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 4

Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 13

Rondo in G minor for cello & orchestra, Op. 94, B. 181

Nocturne in B major for strings, Op.40 (B47)

Grieg:

Lyric Suite, Op. 54

Peer Gynt Suites Nos. 1 & 2

Mahler:

Kindertotenlieder

Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (4 songs, complete)

Messiaen:

Oiseaux exotiques

Le Réveil des oiseaux

Roussel:

Symphony No. 3 in G minor, Op. 42

Schubert:

Symphony No. 3 in D major, D200

Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759 'Unfinished'

Tchaikovsky:

The Seasons, Op. 37b


Věra Soukupová (alto), Yvonne Loriod (piano) & Josef Chuchro (cello)

Prague Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra & Film Symphony Orchestra, Václav Neumann

Under his baton, the splendid Prague Symphony Orchestra made the very oldest recordings of Dvořák’s early symphonies (Nos. 1, 2 and 4), a recording of Trojan’s orchestrated version of Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons, while the Czech Philharmonic recorded Mahler’s enchanting song cycles and major international and Czech modern works – by Messiaen (with the composer’s wife Yvonne Loriod on the piano), Bořkovec and Sommer. This selection is symbolically rounded off by Dvořák’s Nocturne, recorded by Neumann with the Czech Philharmonic in 1968, just a few weeks after the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact forces. A number of these unique and sensitively remastered recordings are being released on CD for the very first time.

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Supraphon - SU41332

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