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Brahms Works for Viola II

Brahms Works for Viola II


Brahms:

String Quintet No. 2 in G major, Op. 111

with Boris Brovtsyn (violins), Julia Deyneka (viola), Kristine Blaumane (cello)

Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115

(arranged for viola)

with Mariana Osipova

Two songs for contralto with viola obbligato, Op. 91

with Alice Coote (mezzo-soprano) & Ashley Wass (piano)


Maxim Rysanov completes his survey of all Brahms’s chamber works to feature the viola.

On this companion CD to ONYX4033 he is joined by Alice Coote and Ashley Wass in the Two Songs op.91, and takes the solo viola part – the clarinet role – in the op.115 Quintet.

Richard Mühlfeld, the clarinettist for whom Brahms wrote his two sonatas and the quintet, managed to coax Brahms out of self-imposed retirement, and the result is the wonderful Indian summer of late chamber works. Joseph Joachim remarked that the clarinet parts would work well transcribed for viola. Brahms lavished much care on these arrangements, and they have entered the repertoire for the viola, in contrast to the transcriptions of the clarinet sonatas for violin, which remain virtually unperformed.

There may also have been a commercial motive in making such adaptations: the wider the market for chamber music, the more money the publisher and composer would receive. Either way, these transcriptions are valuable additions to the repertoire of the viola.

Maxim Rysanov performed at the 2010 BBC Proms, including the Last Night.

“Viola discs are flooding the market currently...but this Brahms chamber music CD from Maxim Rysanov steals the limelight...It's addictive.” The Observer, 27th February 2011

“In the rhapsodic musings of the slow movement Rysanov becomes the idealised incarnation of the gypsy fiddler that Brahms surely had in mind when composing that uniquely florid part. The whole work recieves a performance of such intensity and expressive unanimity that I'm convinced this version was worth disinterring.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2011 ****

“Rysanov demonstrates yet again his sensitivity and empathy with these pieces. The rich warmth of his tone complements the melancholic autumnal feel which pervades this collection of late works, particularly in the compelling songs, with Alice Coote's beautiful emotive vocal phrasing.” Classic FM Magazine, May 2011 *****

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Dobrinka Tabakova: String Paths

Dobrinka Tabakova: String Paths


Tabakova:

Insight

Concerto for Cello and Strings

Frozen River Flows

Suite in Old Style

Such different paths


Maxim Rysanov (viola, conductor), Kristina Blaumane, Torleif Thedéen, Boris Andrianov (cello), Roman Mints, Janine Jansen, Julia- Maria Kretz (violin), Amihai Grosz (viola), Raimondas Sviackevicius (accordion), Donatas Bagurskas, Stacey Watton (double bass) & Vaiva Eidukaityte-Storastiene (harpsichord)

Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra

ECM New Series presents the first full album devoted to the composer Dobrinka Tabakova, who was born in Bulgaria in 1980, raised from a young age in London, and is now a British citizen. This remarkable recording of her orchestral and chamber compositions for strings is richly melodic, texturally sensuous, and often emotionally radiant.

The disc features Tabakova’s Concerto for Cello & Strings and the Rameau-channeling Suite in Old Style for viola and chamber orchestra - both performed by the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra - as well as three chamber works: the string trio Insight, the string septet Such Different Paths and a trio for violin, accordion and double-bass, Frozen River Flows.

The performers include star violinist Janine Jansen, leading the septet heard in Such Different Paths, and several of Tabakova’s former conservatory colleagues from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama: violinist Roman Mints, violist and conductor Maxim Rysanov, and Kristina Blaumane, principal cellist of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tabakova’s music has a particularly 21st-century feel for its broad palette - its free mix of tonality and modality, of folk-music influence and the example of past masters. In it there resides the new and the familiar, or rather the familiar within the new, and vice versa; there are the spirits of East and West coursing through the pieces, usually hand in hand; and just as the composer’s technical virtuosity is apparent, she displays a gift for direct communication that can be heard in virtually every measure.

“Tabakova writes for her chosen instruments with disarming naturalness and enthusiasm...Contemporary music, in short, that's amazingly easy on the ear.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2013 *****

“The performances are as formidably assured as the roster of musicians would suggest...If not revelatory, Tabakova's is still a thoughtful and approachable new voice which ought to secure an enthusiastic following.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2013

“Tabakova may be Bulgarian-born but she has drunk deep from the British pastoral spring. Her music is tonal, unequivocally emotional and tuneful...Revel in this - you cannot help but be emotionally moved.” MusicWeb International, 16th July 2013

“she’s brilliant at seizing your attention...Tabakova’s Suite in Old Style for viola and chamber orchestra won’t frighten anyone – an affectionate baroque pastiche which does plumb genuine depths...ECM’s sound is, as usual, rich and detailed.” The Arts Desk, 1st June 2013

ECM New Series - 4764826

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Beethoven: Duos for viola and violin, Trio, Cello Sonata No.5

Beethoven: Duos for viola and violin, Trio, Cello Sonata No.5


Beethoven:

Pieces for a Mechanical Clock WoO 33 No. 4

Pieces for a Mechanical Clock WoO 33 No. 5

Duet for Viola and Cello in E flat major, WoO 32 'Eyeglass'

Piano Trio No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 11 'Gassenhauer', for viola, cello & piano

Serenade for string trio in D major, Op. 8: Theme & variations

Cello Sonata No. 5 in D major, Op. 102 No. 2


Maxim Rysanov (viola), Kristine Blaumane (cello) & Jacob Katsnelson (piano)

Maxim Rysanov and friends turn their attention to Beethoven after two highly praised Brahms Viola CDs, ONYX4033 and 4054. Here we have some rare early Beethoven coupled with some late great Beethoven.

The Sonatine WoO 33 was published together with three movements for mechanical clock that Beethoven composed in the early 1790s. The Sonatine is thought to date from 1797. The Trio Op.11 was composed for piano, clarinet and cello, and here it is heard in Rysanov’s own arrangement with the viola replacing the clarinet. Beethoven’s early Serenade for string trio Op.8 of 1797 was arranged (with the composer’s lukewarm approval – he wrote that they ‘were much improved by me in places’) for viola and piano in 1804 as Op.42. The version used here of the 'Theme, Variations and March' is by William Primrose. Finally, from the composer’s later period, we have the last of his five cello sonatas played by Kristine Blaumane and pianist Jacob Katsnelson.

“In the Clarinet Trio, Rysanov has adapted the violin part (itself Beethoven's own alternative for the perkier wind instrument) for viola. No harm in that, especially when the playing is as polished as this. But the lone masterpiece here is the Cello Sonata, Op. 102 No. 2, and Kristina Blaumane and Jacob Katsnelson really plumb the depths of its great Adagio.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2012 ****

“This is the kind of disc that could easily get overlooked, offering as it does a potpourri of mostly lesser-known Beethoven. But that would be a great shame, for it's packed full of delicious surprises, superbly played...there are plenty of opportunities to relish the beauty of Maxim Rysanov's sound in the upper reaches...The rip-roaring finale [of the Clarinet Trio] is particularly effective, dancing with wit and rhythmic elan.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2012

“Arranging and unearthing are key words here...Hard though it might be to sum up this assortment in a simple category, it is chamber music playing of intimacy, range and flair.” The Observer, 5th August 2012

“the individuality and strength of idea that Beethoven brings to a classical format is dynamically vivified; the Clarinet Trio sounds thoroughly idiomatic in its viola manifestation; and Katsnelson and Blaumane give a sublime, sinewy performance of the Fifth Cello Sonata. A fascinating disc.” The Telegraph, 10th August 2012

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Vilde Frang plays Mozart

Vilde Frang plays Mozart


Mozart:

Violin Concerto No. 1 in B flat major K207

Cadenza: Jonathan Cohen

Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K219 'Turkish'

Cadenza: Joachim

Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola & Orchestra in E flat major, K364

with Maxim Rysanov (viola)


Following the success of her discs of Romantic and Late Romantic repertoire, Vilde Frang has recorded Mozart’s Concertos Nos. 1 and 5 ‘Turkish’ and the Sinfonia Concertante K364, enabling music lovers to hear the Norwegian violinist perform Classical repertoire on disc for the first time. The impetus for this album was a 2012 orchestral tour of Asia conducted by Jonathan Cohen in which Vilde performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5. The vibrancy of their musical collaboration was something both artists were keen to repeat and commit to disc. Jonathan’s Cohen’s chamber orchestra, Arcangelo, proved the ideal partner, joined by violist Maxim Rysanov in the Sinfonia Concertante.

Today we tend to think of Mozart as a keyboard virtuoso but he was also an accomplished violinist. Indeed, in 1769, aged 13, he was appointed honorary concertmaster of the Salzburg Court Orchestra. For many years, it was believed that Mozart composed all five of his violin concertos in 1775, but analysis of handwriting and of the manuscript paper suggests the actual date of the first concerto, K207, was 1773. Filled with brilliant passage work, it is generally characterised by high spirits and is filled with dazzling semiquaver and demisemiquaver passages reflecting the influence of such Baroque Italian virtuosi and composers as Pietro Nardini, Pietro Locatelli and Gaetano Pugnani.

Each of Mozart’s subsequent violin concertos, all composed in 1775, is longer and on a larger scale than the preceding one. By the fifth and last, he had created a work still clearly within the Classical concerto tradition yet, in terms of both length and technical demands, approaching the instrumental concertos of the century to come. The Concerto No. 5 K219 is often referred to as the “Turkish” because of its frenzied Allegro section in the middle of the final movement.

Mozart was experimenting with the cross-over form between symphony and concerto during a tour of Europe in 1779. The result was his Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola, composed in Salzburg that same year and probably the greatest of his concertante works. The eminent musicologist Alfred Einstein called it Mozart’s “crowning achievement in the field of the violin concerto” and added that, “Every trace of galanterie has disappeared” to be replaced by the “revelation of the deepest feeling.”

Vilde Frang, born in Norway in 1986, has established herself as one of the leading violinists of her generation, in demand for her musicianship and virtuosity and notable for her thoughtful interpretations and natural sense of style. Since her appearance with Mariss Jansons and the Oslo Philharmonic when she was twelve years old, her career has developed organically and on her own terms. She has appeared on the world’s leading concert stages with the most prestigious orchestras under the batons of the most admired conductors, as well as in recital and chamber music with such colleagues as Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Martha Argerich, Janine Jansen, Leif Ove Andsnes and Maxim Vengerov. With her mentor Anne-Sophie Mutter, she has toured Europe and the U.S. in Bach’s Double Concerto. In 2012 Vilde was chosen to receive the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award, which sponsored her debut with the Vienna Philharmonic under Bernard Haitink at the 2012 Lucerne Summer Music Festival. Her recordings of concertos by Sibelius, Prokofiev, Nielsen and Tchaikovsky and sonatas by Grieg, R. Strauss and Bartók for EMI Classics, now Warner Classics, won Edison Klassiek and Classic BRIT awards, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, the Diapason d’Or and a Gramophone Award nomination. Vilde’s 2014/2015 season includes many performances of Mozart concertos.

Under its founder, artistic director and conductor Jonathan Cohen, Arcangelo brings together exceptional musicians who excel on both historical and modern instruments and have a passion for faithful interpretation. Its members, many with flourishing solo and chamber music careers, value the collaboration required of chamber music as the highest expression of music making. Since its formation in 2010, Arcangelo has made a dramatic impact on the musical scene and has already recorded half a dozen albums to high acclaim, including a Gramophone award.

Violist Maxim Rysanov was born in the Ukraine and studied there and at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Winner of the 2008 Classic FM Gramophone Young Artist of the Year award and a former BBC New Generation Artist, he performs widely in Europe, Asia and America. His chamber music partners include Leif Ove Andsnes, Nicola Benedetti, Martin Fröst, Sol Gabetta, Janine Jansen, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky, Victoria Mullova, Vadim Repin and Maxim Vengerov. Through collaborations with such composers as Dobrinka Tabakova, Richard Dubugnon and Valentin Bibik – and many others – he has helped to extend the repertoire for the viola.

“Frang is a brilliant arrival on the violin scene...Her extrovert personality shines through in the rarely heard Mozart first violin concerto... Jonathan Cohen’s direction makes the most of the breathtakingly original textures of [the K364] duo concerto.” The Observer, 8th February 2015 ***

“Vilde Frang plays the first and fifth with a vitality that is fitting for the music of a precocious teenager.” Financial Times, 1st February 2015

“Frang always stays lithe, clean and nimble. So does her lively accompanying British ensemble, Jonathan Cohen’s Arcangelo...If you want your Mozart honest and durable, without fancy frills, look no further.” The Times, 20th February 2015 ****

“With Cohen’s period-instrument Arcangelo ensemble, [Frang and Rysanov] offer a fusion of traditional warmth and a more bracing instrumental style, sparing with vibrato in their solos, although not banishing it altogether. The results are fresh and invigorating, an unusually equal partnership in which the viola — Mozart’s preferred string instrument — is permitted its moments of glory.” Sunday Times, 15th March 2015

“The First Concerto is immediately captivating: light, energetic and brightly coloured...Frang has the knack of breathing life into every note, whether by variations in phrasing, attack, tone or dynamic...There are two complimentary personalities at work in the Sinfonia Concertante...Compelling listening throughout, with button-bright sound.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2015 *****

“the vitality and sense of freedom she brings to later music is preserved in Mozart; she adopts an airy, graceful style, confining any intense sostenuto to especially expressive moments...This, along with imagining in detail how to bring out the individuality of each phrase, results in performances that compel the attention and, in the quicker movements, expose all the wit of Mozart's youthful imagination.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2015

BBC Music Magazine

Concerto Choice - April 2015

Warner Classics - 2564627677

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Brahms: Clarinet Quintet

Brahms: Clarinet Quintet


Brahms:

Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115

with Janine Jansen ( violin), Boris Brovtsyn (violin), Maxim Rysanov (viola), Torleif Thedéen (cello)

Die Mainacht, Op. 43 No. 2

transcribed by Martin Fröst for clarinet and piano

with Roland Pöntinen (piano)

Clarinet Trio in A minor, Op. 114

with Torleif Thedéen (cello) & Roland Pöntinen (piano) Br

Mädchenlied, Op. 107 No. 5

transcribed by Martin Fröst for clarinet and piano

with Roland Pöntinen (piano)

Immer leiser wird mein Schlummer, Op. 105 No. 2

transcribed by Martin Fröst for clarinet and piano

with Roland Pöntinen (piano)

Vergebliches Ständchen, Op. 84 No. 4

transcribed by Martin Fröst for clarinet and piano

with Roland Pöntinen (piano)

Feldeinsamkeit, Op. 86 No. 2

transcribed by Martin Fröst for clarinet and piano

with Roland Pöntinen (piano)


Martin Fröst (clarinet)

Johannes Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet is core repertoire, not just for clarinettists but also in the entire chamber music genre. As such, it has been on Martin Fröst’s ‘to-be-recorded list’ for a long time, and when he gathered a dream-team of string players for a concert in Stockholm in February 2013, it was the perfect opportunity for BIS to organize a recording session. Brahms’s Quintet was written in 1891 by a composer who only a year previously had renounced composing, but whose creative urge had been reawakened by his encounter with the leading clarinettist of the time, Richard Mühlfeld. Some 120 years later, Fröst – one of today’s most highly regarded musicians and the recipient of the 2014 Sonning Prize – steps into Mühlfeld’s shoes, in the company of Janine Jansen, Boris Brovtsyn, Maxim Rysanov and Torleif Thedéen. As a complement to this substantial work – with a duration of almost 35 minutes – Martin Fröst has transcribed six much-loved songs by Brahms, performing them with his chamber music partner of long standing, the eminent pianist Roland Pöntinen. The songs, composed between 1866-1886, range from high lyricism (Die Mainacht) to bitter-sweet nostalgia (Wie Melodien…), via the humourous Vergebliches Ständchen. To these new recordings has been added a substantial ‘bonus’ – Martin Fröst’s performance with Pöntinen and Thedéen of the Trio for clarinet, cello and piano, which Brahms composed for Mühlfeld in the same year as the quintet. Originally released in 2005, the recording of the Trio received a warm welcome, including an Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, as well as a ‘Disc of the Month’ on website ClassicsToday.com.

Janine Jansen appears courtesy of Decca Classics.

“Sensuous beauty and taut sinew mingle for an interpretation whose fastidious attention to internal balance and every musical detail result in sovereign excellence, in a sovereign recording. Fröst's control instrumental colour is superfine, intensity of phrases shaped through swell and diminution of sound.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2014

“Fröst revels in the deep-plush velvet of his chalumeau regions - and, indeed, sustains this timbre throughout the instrument's register...the ensemble creates cutting-edge rhythmic urgency, and a sense of real momentum.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2014 ****

“the way the clarinet and strings listen to each other and tailor their phrasing accordingly is an object lesson in high-class ensemble playing, while the clarinet-and-piano arrangements of the songs, in which Fröst is partnered by Roland Pöntinen, complement the chamber works nicely.” The Guardian, 21st August 2014

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

GGramophone Awards 2015

Finalist - Chamber

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2014

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BIS - BIS2063

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Kancheli: Styx (1999), etc.

Kancheli:

Styx (1999)

Tavener:

The Myrrh- Bearer (1993)


Maxim Rysanov (viola) & Rihards Zalupe (percussion)

Men of the State Choir Latvija, Liepaja Symphony Orchestra & Chorus 'Kamer…', Maris Sirmais

"My rival has arrived!" Yuri Bashmet

“Maxim Rysanov's viola has an inward, lamenting quality that Yuri Bashmet's more conventionally projected manner misses. And it feels as though the chorus and orchestra (from Latvia's third city) are living and breathing every note… Crucially, the acoustic of Riga's Dome Cathedral has a rich resonance, wonderfully captured. The texts of Styx consist of a succession of names ad words, all of profound and intimate significance to the composer. This performance made me really feel that significance. The extraordinary qualities of Latvian choral singing - fullness of tone, legato and intense stillness - have been often extolled. In The Myrrh-Bearer there is the added advantage of the kind of basso profundo richness that I would imagine Taverner can only rarely have found in the UK.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2007

“Rysanov yields little to Bashmet in terms of intensity of expression and the capacity to sustain an atmospheric melodic line.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2007 ****

“Maxim Rysanov's viola has an inward, lamenting quality. And it feels as though the chorus and orchestra (from Latvia's third city) are living and breathing every note. Crucially, the acoustic of Riga's Dome Cathedral has a rich resonance, wonderfully captured. The sound stage is as wide and deep as the music demands. Expressive extremes register as more abrupt, more startling and more challenging – harder-edged in their ecstasy. The music first transfixes, then scalds, and when consolation intervenes it feels multifaceted and somehow palpably wise. The texts of Styx consist of a succession of names and words, all of profound and intimate significance to the composer. This performance makes one really feel that significance.
The extraordinary qualities of Latvian choral singing – fullness of tone, legato and intense stillness – have been often extolled. In The Myrrh-Bearer there is the added advantage of the kind of basso profundo richness that one would imagine Tavener can only rarely have found in the UK.
Whether his piece is perhaps a little too reliant on those subterranean tones, and whether the pairing with Kancheli reveals a slight thinness of invention, are suspicions that may either firm or fade with further acquaintance. In the meantime, all that seems important is to surrender to the urgency and fervour of another extraordinary performance.
In short, here is a disc to blow the mind of anyone already in tune with these composers, and possibly one that may even lead a few sceptics towards a Damascene conversion.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2007

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Onyx - ONYX4023

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Bach: Cello Suites Nos. 1, 4 & 5

Bach: Cello Suites Nos. 1, 4 & 5

transcribed for viola


Bach, J S:

Cello Suite No. 1 in G major, BWV1007

transcribed for viola by Simon Rowland-Jones

Cello Suite No. 4 in E flat major, BWV1010

transcribed for viola by Simon Rowland-Jones

Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV1011

transcribed for viola by Simon Rowland-Jones


The young violist Maxim Rysanov makes his debut on BIS with three of Bach’s suites transcribed for viola by Simon Rowland-Jones.

Recognised as one of the world’s finest and most charismatic viola players, Maxim Rysanov performs worldwide as a concerto soloist and chamber musician. Rysanov is a past recipient of both the Classic FM Gramophone Young Artist of the Year and the BBC New Generation awards and is a prizewinner of the Geneva International Music Competition and Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition among others. Originally from the Ukraine, he studied with Maria Sitkovskaya in Moscow and with John Glickman in London, his adopted home town.

“Rysanov eschews both puritan authenticity and inappropriate Romantic emoting. His phrasing pays due acknowledgement to the suites' dance roots.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2010 *****

“Rysanov really claims the music for his lush-toned 1780 Guadagnini viola in a manner that few can rival...He gives a spring to the dance rhythms that sounds spontaneous, irresistibly so...No admirer of great viola playing should forgo the pleasures of Rysanov’s playing.” Sunday Times, 22nd August 2010 ****

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Early Music

BIS - BISSACD1783

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Pavane: Maxim Rysanov

Pavane: Maxim Rysanov


Debussy:

Clair de Lune (from Suite Bergamasque)

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

Dubugnon:

Incantatio, Op. 12b

Lied, Op. 44b

Fauré:

Après un rêve, Op. 7 No. 1

Élégie in C minor, Op. 24

Romance in A major for cello & piano, Op. 69

Pavane, Op. 50

Ravel:

Pavane pour une infante défunte


Maxim Rysanov (viola) & Ashley Wass (piano)

On this new disc, Maxim Rysanov and Ashley Wass present works illustrating the striking affinity between the timbre of the viola and the colours in French music.

The disc includes arrangements of music by Ravel, Fauré and Debussy: Alongside two Pavanes, the programme includes perennial favourites such as Après un rêve and Clair de lune.

Rysanov and Wass also perform two contemporary pieces by the Swiss-French composer Richard Dubugnon. Incantatio and Lied, both for viola and piano, are adaptations by the composer of existing works made especially for Maxim Rysanov.

For BIS Rysanov has previously recorded a solo disc with three of Bach’s cello suites and his own arrangement for viola and orchestra of Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations.

“Rysanov has previously demonstrated that there is far more to the instrument than Romantic brooding, but this disc finds him exploring that cliche...and the playing is utterly sublime, especially Rysanov's delicacy in upper registers and gossamer-like harmonics...The sense throughout is more of fine dark chocolate than sugar, and what (only just) prevents this becoming too sickly is the inclusion of Richard Dubugnon's Lied and, especially, Incanto.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2013 ****

“Rysanov is a remarkable string player; in his hands the viola's distinctive voice is explored throughout its range, with consistently beautiful variations of intensity and tone colour. And he and Wass show great sensitivity in finding the appropriate tempo and character for each item.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2013

“I can congratulate Rysanov for his excellent playing, Dubugnon for at least one really excellent piece, and BIS for once again creating an exciting program blending old and new...[Wass's] contributions are simply phenomenal, with a softness of touch which makes one forget the piano is percussive.” MusicWeb International, April 2013

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BIS - BIS1773

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Bach - Inventions & Partita

Bach - Inventions & Partita


Bach, J S:

Two-part Inventions Nos. 1-15, BWV772-786

Transcribed for 2 Violins

Partita for solo violin No. 2 in D minor, BWV1004

Three-part Inventions (Sinfonias) Nos. 1-15, BWV787-801

transcribed for Violin, Viola and Cello


Janine Jansen (violin), Maxim Rysanov (viola) & Torleif Thedeén (cello)

"[Bach's Inventions] are not played enough They deserve to be played! They are such wonderful, genius pieces." Janine Jansen

Recorded: Berlin, April 2007

“In a performance of BWV 1004 so vividly alive, the wary can relax. ..the great Chaconne is both purposefully plotted and breathtakingly executed - listen to the inexorably screwing-up of the tension as the music builds to the central D major section.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2008 ****

“Both sets of Inventions receive exceptional performances, bursting with spirit and imagination. …[in the Partita] … Janine Jansen's…playing is remarkable for its sense of continuity and feeling for the long line. Her Corrente and Giga have a joyful élan...” Gramophone Magazine, Janurary 2008

DG and Decca Sale

Decca - 4759081

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Hymns & Prayers: Kancheli, Tickmayer & Franck

Hymns & Prayers: Kancheli, Tickmayer & Franck


Franck, C:

Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 14

Kancheli:

Silent Prayer

Tickmayer:

Eight Hymns in memoriam Andrei Tarkovsky


Gidon Kremer (violin), Maria Nemanyte (violin), Maxim Rysanov (viola), Giedre Dirvanauskaite (cello) & Khatia Buniatishvili (piano)

Kremerata Baltica

Beautifully-recorded album from master violinist Gidon Kremer and his Kremerata Baltica, spanning a wide range of music, from the spirited to the spiritual, all of it broached with conviction. Intensity and concentration, differently calibrated, are the watchwords here. At the centre is César Franck’s massive Piano Quintet, flanked by works of a ‘spiritual’ cast by Stevan Kovacs Tickmayer and Giya Kancheli, currently celebrating his 75th birthday.

Franck’s Piano Quintet in F minor is the work in which the Belgian-French composer is perhaps at his most impassioned and melodically inventive. BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili (b 1987), in her ECM debut, gives a bold and compelling performance.

Gidon Kremer and Giya Kancheli have a long association that’s resulted in several ECM recordings, including the superb ‘Lament’, and ‘Time...and Again’ and ‘V & V’ on the album In l'istesso tempo. Silent Prayer was composed on the occasion of the 80th birthday of Mstislav Rostropovich and the 60th birthday of Gidon Kremer in 2007 and is dedicated to these two great musicians, both among Kancheli's closest friends. After Rostropovich died shortly after his birthday, the composer entitled the just-finished work ‘Silent Prayer’.

Long a champion of original compositional voices, Kremer presents also music by Stevan Tickmayer, born in the former Yugoslavia in 1963, and currently resident in France. A musician of diverse background, Tickmayer has been studying with Kurtág since the mid-

90s. He began his Eight Hymns in December 1986, on learning of the death of his favourite filmmaker, Andrei Tarkovsky, and played the (unfinished) work in his solo concerts for several years. He revised it in 2003 after working with Kremerata, “the ideal messengers” for this musical mourning.

Gidon Kremer’s relationship with ECM dates back to the legendary album Tabula Rasa from 1984 that put Arvo Pärt on the map. It was followed by several volumes from his famous Lockenhaus festival – from where the performances on this new CD also emanate. Kremer’s second recording of the Sonatas and Partitas for unaccompanied violin by Bach, released in 2005 on ECM New Series, met with unanimous international acclaim.

“Hymns and Prayers combines three works from disparate eras whose moods fit together in a pleasingly astringent manner...The modern pieces are separated by César Franck's "Piano Quintet in F-minor", the lachrymose tone of which works surprisingly well in the context.” The Independent, 27th August 2010 ****

“Buniatishivili delivers a bravura performance of the first movement's powerful arpeggios and octaves, and the finale is strongly characterised, the almost modernistic sul ponticello tremolando strings creating a real sense of forward momentum” BBC Music Magazine, November 2010 ***/****

“Two recent pieces by post-Soviet east Europeans...frame a febrile, sinewy account of César Franck's Piano Quintet, in which Kremer is joined by the pianist Khatia Buniatishvili and a group including the outstanding viola player Maxim Rysanov.” The Guardian, 4th November 2010 **

“No one could accuse Gidon Kremer of taking the easy option when it comes to programming, and so it proves on this disc...this new account [of the Franck], lucidly recorded, is one to reckon with - heard in context or isolation.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2010

ECM New Series - 4763912

(CD)

$14.00

(also available to download from $10.00)

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