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Bach, J S: Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1-6 BWV1046-1051 (complete)

Bach, J S: Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1-6 BWV1046-1051 (complete)


Musica Florea, Marek Štryncl

The first Bach recording made by Musica Florea was Magdaléna Kožená and became the landmark international debut of the mezzo-soprano, whom the ensemble accompanied. A number of breakthrough and often highly praised recordings of Czech Baroque music (for example, Cannes Classical Award 2003 for Zelenka’s Sub olea pacis) ensued. Now Musica Florea return to Bach with a recording of the Brandenburg Concertos. A work that has been recorded on innumerable occasions by renowned orchestras here sounds novel, frequently with surprising tempos. It is precisely owing to the selection of tempos that many parts make a gain on musical logic and attractiveness for the listener, began dancing. On this recording, blood flows through the veins of Bach, elsewhere coldly decent, carved in stone.

The instrumentalists’ outstanding technique and stylistic purity go without saying, and with this recording, Musica Florea have confirmed their position among the best Czech and European orchestras dealing with knowledgeable interpretation of Baroque music. The most notable aspect of the recording, however, is their exuding of the sheer joy of Bach’s music. Blood flows through the veins of Bach, elsewhere coldly decent, carved in stone, on the new Musica Florea recording.

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Bach, J S: Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1-6 BWV1046-1051 (complete)

Bach, J S: Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1-6 BWV1046-1051 (complete)

Recorded in Vienna 1950


Eduard Melkus (violin), Nikolaus Harnoncourt (cello, viola da gamba) & Gustav Leonhardt (harpsichord)

Kammerorchester des Wiener Konzerthauses, Josef Mertin

Within a short time, early music enthusiasts had to say their farewells to two personalities who, for half a century, influenced the development of what we call the authentic interpretation of early music: Gustav Leonhardt and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. In 1950 Supraphon made a complete recording of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos performed by a chamber ensemble led by a musician of Czech origin, Josef Mertin (1904-1998). A scholar and organ builder as well, he relentlessly dusted the works of composers from the previous centuries (including Guillaume de Machaut), stubbornly seeking the way to give their music its authentic sound. The names of his pupils who took up his legacy make an impressive list that includes Claudio Abbado, Mariss Jansons and Zubin Mehta. Mertin managed to win a number of students for the interpretation of early music on period instruments, among them musicians without whom we can hardly imagine the field nowadays. The Brandenburg Concertos were performed by an ensemble whose members were the 22-year-old cembalist Gustav Leonhardt (playing the solo in Concerto No.5), a rising violin star Eduard Melkus and - a year younger - the violoncellist Nikolaus Harnoncourt. It was the first time that a chamber-sized ensemble and period instruments were used. Hopefully, listening to the recording will convince you that it is more than just a historical document. As far as Mertin and Harnoncourt are concerned, this unique recording is also a proud reminder of their Czech roots.

Recorded in Vienna, 1950

“Third and Sixth concertos especially satisfying…essential listening for Bach recording historians” Gramophone Magazine, March 2017

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Supraphon Archiv - SU42132

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Hommage a Zuzana Růžičkova

Hommage a Zuzana Růžičkova


Bach, J S:

Chromatic Fantasia & Fugue in D minor, BWV903

French Suite No. 5 in G major, BWV816

Keyboard Concerto in G major (after Vivaldi), BWV980

Cabezón, A:

Capricho

Couperin, F:

Vive le neveu

Falla:

Concerto for Harpsichord & Chamber Ensemble

Martinu:

Concerto for Harpsichord and Small Orchestra

Scarlatti, D:

Keyboard Sonata K519 in F minor

Keyboard Sonata K19 in F major

Keyboard Sonata K278 in D major

Keyboard Sonata K375 in G major

Keyboard Sonata K8 in G minor

Keyboard Sonata K70 in B flat major

Keyboard Sonata K1 in D minor

Keyboard Sonata K63 in G major

Keyboard Sonata K406 in C major

Keyboard Sonata K11 in C minor

plus:

Capricho (a Antonio Cabezon, 1510–1566) 1:02

Vive le neveu (a Francois Couperin, 1631-1698) 1:46


Zuzana Růžičkova (harpsichord)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra & Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, Kurt Sanderling & Vaclav Neumann

Zuzana Růžičkova, an exceptional personality upon whom the critics conferred the title “First Lady of the Harpsichord”, continued the pioneering efforts Wanda Landowska had made to get the harpsichord recognised as an independent concert instrument. The path she took was co-determined by her lifelong relationship to Bach, whose complete works for harpsichord she has recorded, and along it she was also accompanied by a number of friends she regularly met: Karel Ančerl, Gideon Klein, Sviatoslav Richter, Josef Suk.

She hasn’t, however, remained merely a Bach specialist: in addition to early music, she has recorded all the classic modern harpsichord works, including Poulenc’s Concert champetre and her beloved Bohuslav Martinů’s Concerto for Harpsichord, awareness of which she helped to raise all over the world. A number of pieces have been written directly for Zuzana Růžičkova, among them compositions by Jan Rychlik and the remarkable Sei invenzioni canonici per cembalo by Viktor Kalabis, whom the harpsichordist was married to for over half a century.

This representative selection from Zuzana Růžičkova’s highly acclaimed discography is Supraphon’s way of marking her 80th birthday. The overwhelming majority of these recordings are appearing on CD for the very first time. The perfect way to mark Zuzana Růžičkova’s 80th birthday – a harpsichord feast ranging from Bach to the 20th century.

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Supraphon - SU41172

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JS Bach: Harpsichord Concertos

JS Bach: Harpsichord Concertos


Bach, J S:

Keyboard Concertos Nos. 1-7 BWV1052-1058


Zuzana Růžičková (harpsichord) & Miloslav Klement, Karel Klement (recorder)

Prague Chamber Soloists, Václav Neumann

Recorded in Prague at the Rudolfinum, December 19–23, 1966 (Concertos Nos 3 and 4), June 27–28, 1967 (No. 6), June 30, 1967 (No. 7), July 1, 1967 (No. 5), September 14 and 19, 1968 (Nos 1 and 2)

Bach saved my life… You always feel in his music that God is present somehow.” This is not empty declamation. It is a deep confession of harpsichord player Zuzana Růžičková, a survivor of the inconceivable horrors of the Nazi concentration camps. She always felt that Bach’s music was one of the things that helped her survive.

Zuzana Růžičková gave new life to Bach’s music by persistently promoting the use of harpsichord (as opposed to commonly used piano) in performing Bach repertoire in concert. She was the very first person to initiate the gigantic project of recording the complete harpsichord concertos composed by Bach.

Zuzana Růžičková understands the deep inner order and the hidden emotionality of Bach’s music so well that her recordings of his works remain no less inspiring at the present time.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Supraphon Archiv - SU42222

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Bartok - Complete Violin Works

Bartok - Complete Violin Works


Bartók:

Violin Concerto No. 1, BB48a, Sz 36

Violin Concerto No. 2, Sz 112

Rhapsody for Violin & Orchestra No. 1, BB 94b, Sz. 87

Rhapsody for Violin & Orchestra No. 2, BB 96b, Sz. 90

Violin Sonata No. 1, BB 84, Sz. 75

Violin Sonata No. 2, BB 85, Sz. 76

Sonata for Solo Violin, BB 124, Sz. 117

44 Duos for Two Violins, BB 104, Sz. 98

Contrasts for violin, clarinet & piano, BB 116, Sz. 111

Hungarian Folk Songs

Arranged for Violin and Piano


André Gertler (violin), Josef Suk (violin), Diane Andersen (piano) & Milan Etlík (clarinet)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra & Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, Karel Ancerl & János Ferencsik

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Supraphon - SU39242

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Bartók: Violin Concerto & Piano Concerto

Bartók: Violin Concerto & Piano Concerto


Bartók:

Violin Concerto No. 2, Sz 112

Andre Gertler (violin)

Piano Concerto No. 3, BB 127, Sz. 119

Eva Bernathova (piano)


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Supraphon Ancerl Gold Edition - SU36822

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Ida Haendel: Prague Recordings 1957-1965

Ida Haendel: Prague Recordings 1957-1965


Bartók:

Violin Sonata No. 2, BB 85, Sz. 76

Romanian Folk Dances, Sz.56 (arr. Székely for violin & piano)

Beethoven:

Violin Sonata No. 7 in C minor, Op. 30 No. 2

Violin Sonata No. 8 in G major, Op. 30 No. 3

Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major, Op. 47 ‘Kreutzer'

Romance No. 1 for Violin and Orchestra in G major, Op. 40

arr. for violin and piano

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61

Glazunov:

Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 82

Lalo:

Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21

Ravel:

Tzigane

Habanera

Sarasate:

Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20

Sibelius:

Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47

Stravinsky:

Divertimento (transcription for violin & piano by Stravinsky & Samuel Dushkin from Le Baiser de la Fée)

Violin Concerto in D

Tartini:

Violin Sonata in G minor 'Devil's Trill'

Wieniawski:

Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 22

Scherzo-Tarantelle in G minor, Op. 16

Mazurka in G major, Op. 19 No. 1 'Obertas'

Polonaise brilliante No. 1 in D major, Op. 4


Such attributes as charismatic, singular, exceptional are somewhat overused today. Yet in the case of Ida Haendel they are justified. Born in 1928 into a Polish Jewish family, she was a child prodigy, playing Beethoven’s violin concerto at the age of five... and leading master classes in London at the age of 85. After her Prague debut in 1957, she returned to the city throughout the 1960s, either to give concerts (most frequently with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Karel Ančerl, and exclusively accompanied by the pianist Alfréd Holeček at chamber recitals) or to work in a studio.

The present album features the complete live and studio recordings Ida Haendel made in Prague until 1965 deposited in the Supraphon and Czech Radio archives, with a number of them being released for the very first time. Alongside “virtuoso pieces” and sonatas, the CDs include concertos by Beethoven, Stravinsky, Wieniawski, as well as her “flagship” Sibelius. When listening, you will have no doubts as to the veracity of Ida Haendel’s seemingly immodest statement “I am the violin...”

“The Kreutzer is magisterial and played with intelligence and authority...In the Glazunov she brings to the score a wealth of tonal colour. The Wieniawski is a virtuoso tour de force and in the third movement, whilst she doesn’t quite match Heifetz’s quicksilver dexterity, there’s some sparkling fingerwork.” MusicWeb International, 14th October 2014

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Beethoven & Sibelius: Violin Concertos

Beethoven & Sibelius: Violin Concertos


Beethoven:

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61

Sibelius:

Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47


Ida Haendel was rightly branded the “Grande Dame of the Violin” back at the time when it remained a staunchly male domain. When she was seven years of age she met in the final of the Wieniawski Violin Competition such virtuosos as David Oistrakh and Ginette Neveu. Her performances of Elgar’s, Bruch’s and Beethoven’s violin concertos still rank among the benchmark recordings. At the age of twenty-one, the Polish violinist was lauded byJean Sibelius himself, who greatly esteemed her interpretation of his work, the most frequently recorded violin concerto of the 20th century up to the present day. The recording contained on this CD is an invaluable and hitherto unreleased document of the concert that took place at Prague’s Rudolfinum on 18 October 1957. With the utmost mastery, precision and naturalness, the soloist performed the two works with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Karel Ancerl. The special atmosphere was also contributed to by the fact that Jean Sibelius had died less than a month prior to the concert. The sound quality of the recording and the soloist’s flawless live performance(note perfect) are truly awesome. This recording is an encounter with a living legend.

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Supraphon Archiv - SU40242

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Beethoven Concertos

Beethoven Concertos


Beethoven:

Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 (complete)

Jan Panenka (piano)

Prague Symphony Orchestra, Václav Smetáček

Fantasia for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra in C minor, Op. 80

Jan Panenka (piano)

Prague Symphony Orchestra & Prague Radio Chorus, Václav Smetáček

Triple Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Cello in C major, Op. 56

Josef Suk (violin), Jan Panenka (piano) & Josef Chuchro (cello)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Kurt Masur

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61

Josef Suk (violin)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Franz Konwitschny

Romance No. 1 for Violin and Orchestra in G major, Op. 40

Josef Suk (violin)

Prague Symphony Orchestra, Václav Smetáček

Romance No. 2 for Violin and Orchestra in F major, Op. 50

Josef Suk (violin)

Prague Symphony Orchestra, Václav Smetáček


Following the collections of symphonies (Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Kletzki, SU40512) and violin sonatas (Suk, Panenka, SU40772), Supraphon is now releasing the complete Beethoven concertante pieces. All of them (including the Triple Concerto and the genre-unique Fantasia for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra) came into being within a mere sixteen years, between 1793 and 1809.

Although Beethoven deemed the piano “an imperfect instrument”, his five piano concertos form one of the cornerstones of his oeuvre and represent a significant landmark in this genre. Amidst the innumerable recordings made, Panenka’s singular take on Beethoven stands out and astonishes owing to the sheer exuberance of articulation, purity of style and lucidity of tone. In 1962, the famous violin concerto was undertaken by Josef Suk with his characteristically masterful musicality. Under Kurt Masur, the Triple Concerto was performed by the entire Suk Trio and the three superlative soloists, possessing abundant chamber experience, proved to be the ideal interpreters of the “Grand Concerto Concertant”. Beethoven recordings fully deserving of the oft-used attribute “legendary”.

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Supraphon - SU41072

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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9


Beethoven:

Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)

Coriolan Overture, Op. 62

Egmont Overture, Op. 84


Ingeborg Wenglor (soprano), Annelies Burmeister (alto), Martin Ritzmann (tenor) & Rolf Kühne (bass)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra & Prague Philharmonic Choir, Paul Kletzki

Beethoven’s symphonies are among the cornerstones of the symphonic repertoire. They bear witness to the composer’s remarkable journey from airy Classicism to the peerless idiom he had developed on the threshold of the Romantic epoch.

Those who have taken up the challenge to record the complete cycle include the Polish-born conductor Paul Kletzki, who gained great renown after the war, primarily in America. He was the principal conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra for a year and after his debut in Philadelphia went on to conduct the leading American and European orchestras.

This remarkable complete recording of Beethoven’s symphonies was made during Kletzki’s performances with the Czech Philharmonic in 1967, during the orchestra’s golden age under the chief conductor Karel Ančerl. This gem of the Supraphon archives thoroughly deserves the current re-edition in remastered form owing to its freshness and expressive depth.

Beethoven as explored by Kletzki – a legendary, time-honoured recording.

“The Czech Phil’s sound here is charismatic and idiomatic, with a rich, muscular string timbre cushioning highly distinctive wind and brass playing...The interpretations hold up very well – Kletzki’s speeds are unhurried, but never seem unduly slow as he’s so good at sustaining the string lines and giving plenty of lift to the rhythms...[in the Ninth] the Czech choral sound is thrilling and Kletzki has good soloists.” Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk, 9th July 2011

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Supraphon - SU40512

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