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Horizon 1: Premieres 2007
Recorded 18 January 2007 (Matthews), 21 and 22 June 2007 (Eggert);
18 and 19 September 2007 (Verbeij and Glanert) all at Concertgebouw Amsterdam
The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is famous throughout the world for its interpretations of works in the Classical symphonic repertoire. But, as with its legendary performances of the works of Mahler and Strauss at the beginning of the 20th-century, the orchestra is also open to new developments in contemporary music. Exploring new horizons and sound spaces, the orchestra continues to foster relationships with contemporary composers employing unconventional working methods. Compositions by Theo Verbey, Moritz Eggert, Colin Matthews and Detlev Glanert, the first three having been written specially for the RCO, attest to the orchestra's unrivalled sound inspire tour-de-force performances by the musicians.
A supporter and enthusiastic advocate of such orchestral exploits, conductor Markus Stenz leaves his own unmistakable stamp on these live recordings. Jörgen van Rijen was featured in One to Watch in Gramophone, May issue.A Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award winner, the Verbeij concerto was commisioned by the RCO for him, the youngest member when he joined as principal trombone in 1997.
“Colin Matthews's Turning Point that will attract the most attention, though, for it's a major achievement, a 20-minute single movement that seems to change direction completely around its half-way mark, transforming from a lightning fast scherzo to a glacially slow unfolding that reaches a catastrophic climax.” Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 5th September 2008 ***
“Modern works superbly delivered by the RCO…” Gramophone Magazine, November 2008
“All four pieces… share an exuberant love of the possibilities of large forces and the Amsterdamers respond with a deal of warm-spirited élan - letting their hair down with very un-North European abandon in Eggert's Hockney-derived romp which somehow manages to hold together a collage of very different styles: lush to louche, incisive to relaxed. Throughout, Stenz conducts with tremendous authority, acuity and verve.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2009 *****
“one of the most spirited collages of every style under the sun to have come my way.” Sunday Times
“Markus Stenz is a natural interpreter of these pieces, and I hope that Horizon 1 will have numerous successors.” Richard Whitehouse, Gramophone Magazine, November 2008
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Anthology of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Volume 7 - (2000-2010)
Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 'Choral'
Krassimira Stoyanova (soprano), Marianne Cornetti (mezzo), Robert Dean Smith (tenor), Franz-Josef Selig (bass)
Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98
Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20
Symphony No. 8 in C minor
Berceuse élégiaque, Op. 42
Elektra - symphonic suite
Waltraud Meier (mezzo), Robert Dean Smith (tenor), Marcel Reijans (tenor), Juha Uusitalo (bass-baritone), Jan-Hendrik Rootering (bass-baritone), Johan Leysen (speaker)
Claus Peter Flor
Tout un monde lointain (Concerto for cello and orchestra)
Godfried Hoogeveen (cello)
Yan Pascal Tortelier
Musique pour l’esprit en deuil
Symphony No. 97 in C major
Konzertmusik, Op. 50 for strings & brass
Jealousy (original prelude to Jenufa)
Sir Mark Elder
Sir Mark Elder
Fünf tragische Lieder
Detlef Roth (baritone)
Lars Vogt (piano)
Das Lied von der Erde
Anna Larsson (contralto), Robert Dean Smith (tenor)
Les Fresques de Piero della Francesca, H. 352
Les Offrandes oubliées (1930)
Symphony No. 41 in C major, K551 'Jupiter'
No reason to panic
Autumnal sketch, Op. 8
Daphnis et Chloé - Suite No. 2
Marsyas, rhapsody for trumpet with percussion & orchestra
Reinhold Friedrich (trumpet), Gustavo Gimeno (percussion)
Symphony No. 3, Op.45 'Gamelan'
Symphony No. 3 in D major, D200
Symphony No. 2 in C major, Op. 61
Symphony No. 13 in B flat minor, Op. 113 'Babi Yar'
Sergei Leiferkus (baritone)
Pohjola's Daughter, Op. 49
Sir Colin Davis
Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82
Sinfonia Domestica, Op. 53
Der Rosenkavalier - Suite
Violin Concerto in D
Alexander Kerr (violin)
Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 35
Vesko Eschkenazy (violin)
Sir Mark Elder
Lied for trombone and orchestra
Jorgen van Rijen (trombone)
Six Pieces for Orchestra Op. 6
This seventh installment of the Anthology of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (2000- 2010) covers a period in the orchestra's history largely characterised by changing perspectives in a new century. Indeed, it was in 2004 that Riccardo Chailly relinquished his position as chief conductor after a 16-year-long tenure, whereupon the orchestra managed to forge what would be a long-term relationship with the renowned maestro Mariss Jansons. A specialist in Romantic, and particularly Italian, opera repertoire, Chailly was also an advocate of the modern classics and of contemporary music. His collaboration with the RCO resulted in internationally acclaimed recordings of works by such composers as Varese, Stravinsky and Berio.
The Latvian maestro Jansons, a passionate orchestral conductor particularly of the late Romantic repertoire, shifted the orchestra's focus more towards Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss and Shostakovich, invariably endeavouring to strike a careful balance between clarity of form and aesthetics. In addition, Jansons successfully continued the tradition of high-profile co-productions between the RCO and De Nederlandse Opera with performances of Shostakovich's 'Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District' and Tchaikovsky's 'Yevgeny Onegin'. The orchestra itself also underwent changes. A generation of orchestral players, including the illustrious principal wind instrumentalists who had laid the foundations for the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, retired and were succeeded by a group of outstanding young musicians, most of them hailing from outside the Netherlands, resulting in a growing internationalisation of the RCO. There were also changes in the orchestra's business and artistic management and its concert programming policy also saw a shift in direction. The 'Picasso/Rembrandt formula' was retired to make way for the new A Series, featuring more firmly embedded contemporary, often Dutch, repertoire. The launch of the orchestra's own in-house record label, RCO Live, breathed new life into its rich recording tradition. The identity of a modern, 21st-century orchestra would be further bolstered by the RCO's active online presence, its own Web channel, effective use of social media, and the successful digital platform RCO Universe, a novelty in the orchestral world. This CD box set constitutes the final volume of the Anthology of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, a musical journey through time in seven installments, each made up of fourteen CDs of live concert recordings. Drawing on the wealth of recordings in the Dutch public broadcasting network archives, the compilers set out to create a colourful historical overview and sound mosaic whilst doing justice to the unique history of the orchestra from 1935, the year from which its oldest surviving radio recording dates. Repertoire, performance, conductors, soloists and recording quality were the criteria which, in the proper interrelationships, proved to be decisive. Working to document such a vast musical legacy has been a privilege, the compilers having been aware that the making of choices brings with it the duty to showcase as many aspects of this rich history as possible.
The compilers wish to dedicate this series to all the musicians who have been part of the orchestra over the past 125 years. It is hoped that all seven volumes will be re-released as a 'superbox' to celebrate the RCO's anniversary.
“throughout this set it's the astonishing consistency of the orchestral playing that is most vivid...regardless of the conductor or the repertoire, the depth and eloquence of the strings, the quick-witted brilliance of the woodwind and the rounded security of the brass are unfailing.” The Guardian, 3rd January 2013 *****
“Anyone who has been collecting this series will certainly want this latest addition, for the unusual repertoire as much as for the performances … the live sound is tremendous.” International Record Review, February 2013
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