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Korngold: String Sextet Op.10 & Piano Quintet Op.15
• Korngold’s chamber works are full of unusual and densely packed ideas • They are perfomed with precision and verve by camerata freden
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Korngold: String Sextet & Piano Quintet
Erich Wolfgang Korngold was one of the most astonishing prodigies in the history of western music, admired by Mahler, Strauss, and Puccini. His compositions were regularly performed by renowned musicians from around the world.
Korngold composed his Sextet for Strings between 1914 and 1916, at the same time as his opera Violanta, and for this reason perhaps, it takes on some of the theatrical elements of that work. The first movement presents some highly intricate counterpoint among the different voices. In the Adagio the mood shifts to one of intense sensuousness. The third movement brings relief to the highly charged atmosphere. Here Korngold plays – sometimes with an air of irony, sometimes jokingly, sometimes more straightforwardly – with that most Viennese of genres, the waltz. The finale, in typical Korngold fashion, is high-spirited and good-humoured.
The highly successful premiere of the Quintet for Two Violins, Viola, Cello, and Piano took place in Hamburg in 1923 with the composer at the keyboard. The work is in three elaborate and complex movements, with a piano part of considerable difficulty, and string writing on a virtuosic scale. With good humour and charm aplenty, the quintet displays the composer’s sunny disposition. In the work Korngold incorporated a musical code that he had developed to send secret, loving messages to his fiancée during concert performances.
Described by the magazine Gramophone as ‘one of the finest young string quartets’, whose members are ‘musicians with fascinating things to say’, the Doric String Quartet has received rave responses from audiences and critics across the globe. The Quartet’s recent recording of Korngold’s string quartets was a 2010 Critics’ Choice in Gramophone, and the group’s most recent recording on Chandos (CHAN10692), of Schumann’s three string quartets, was ‘Recording of the Month’ in BBC Music. The Quartet is joined on this recording by Kathryn Stott on piano, Jennifer Stumm on viola, and Bartholomew LaFolette on cello.
“The performances are superb.” The Observer, 26th February 2012
“The Doric String Quartet and friends evoke a sepia-toned bygone time in their delicate but enthusiastic interpretations. They are too intelligent to add extra emotion to pieces already bursting with it; instead they faithfully enter the spirit of old Vienna...the Piano Quintet's slow movement is a special highlight - rapt, tender and sincere.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2012 ****
“The Quintet opens with one of those glorious Korngoldian melodies of the type that would later translate into music for the silver screen...The Sextet is given an equally vigorous and stylish reading with passages of great tenderness...It aches to have lyrics attached - at least that is how the vocal quality of the playing emerges in this warmly recorded disc with its excellent booklet” Gramophone Magazine, May 2012
“The Doric Quartet is making a name for itself in Korngold...I’d be more than happy to recommend the Doric Sextet for its tonal warmth, and its finely structured approach to the Sextet” MusicWeb International, December 2012
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Korngold - String Quartets Nos. 1-3 & Piano Quintet
CPO has already explored some of Korngold’s orchestral works, his film music and his opera, but now they have chosen to explore his chamber music, starting with the String Quartets and Piano Quintet.
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Korngold: Violin Sonata & Piano Quintet, Op. 15
Martha Argerich & Friends: Live from the Lugano Festival 2010
Sonata for Two Pianos & Percussion, BB 115, Sz. 110
Martha Argerich (piano), Stephen Kovacevich (piano), Louis Sauvaître (percussion), Danilo Grassi (percussion)
Variations on a theme by Schumann for four hands, Op. 23
Nicholas Angelich, Lily Maisky
Rondo in C major for two pianos, Op. 73
Lilya Zilberstein, Sergei Edelmann (pianos)
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11
Martha Argerich (piano)
Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Jacek Kaspszyk
Porgy and Bess Fantasy
Gershwin/Grainger Fantasy for Two Pianos
Gabriela Montero and Alexander Gurning
Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 49
Gabriela Montero (piano), Alissa Margulis (violin), Geza Hosszu-Legocky (violin), Lyda Chen (viola), Natalia Margulis (cello)
Piano Quintet in E major, Op. 15
Alexander Mogilevsky (piano), Alissa Margulis (violin), Lucia Hall (violin), Nora Romanoff-Schwarzberg (Viola), Mark Drobinsky (cello)
Les Préludes, symphonic poem No. 3, S97
Martha Argerich, Daniel Rivera
Piano Quintet, Op. 108
Lilya Zilberstein, Dora Schwarzberg,Lucia Hal, Lyda Chen, and Jorge Andres Bosso
Violin Sonata No. 1 in A minor, Op. 105
Renaud Capucon (violin), Martha Argerich (piano)
Adagio and Allegro in A flat major, Op. 70
Martha Argerich, Gautier Capuçon, Daniel Rivera
The Firebird Suite
version for 3 Pianos by Carlo Maria Griguoli
Giorgia Tomassi, Carlo Maria Griguoli, and Alessandro Stella
EMI Classics is pleased to release the latest instalment of highlights from the Martha Argerich Project at the Lugano Festival. This is the eight annual 3-CD set celebrating the musical fruits of a project in which young artists join seasoned performers, including Ms. Argerich, to explore wide-ranging chamber music and orchestral repertoire, both well known and rarely heard. The CDs, recorded in the summer of 2010, are being released in anticipation of the Festival’s 2011 season in June.
As a chamber music event, this series has become a laboratory that gives guest artists a chance to prove themselves not only in well-known masterpieces but also in rarely performed repertoire.
This is Martha Argerich’s 70th birthday year, and this year, the Live from Lugano series will be redesigned, starting with this edition. The new cover concept will be incorporated into future Lugano releases and the previous editions will be scheduled for redesign as necessary. The new design reflects the vibrancy of both Argerich and the festival.
The piano stands at the centre of the programming, not only with works originally written for it but also with transcriptions, which played an important historic role in the diffusion of music in remote areas and within family circles.
This brilliant 3-CD set features the breathtaking Martha Argerich and an exciting assembly of classical stars and up-and-coming talent including Gautier Capuçon , Renaud Capuçon, Gabriela Montero , Alissa Margulis , Geza Hosszu-Legocky , Lida Chen, , Natalia Margulis , Nicholas Angelich , Stephen Kovacevich , Lilya Zilberstein, Sergei Edelmann, Lily Maisky, Daniel Rivera , Alexander Mogilewsky, Giorgia Tomassi , Carlo Maria Griguoli , Dora Schwarzberg , Alessandro Stella Alissa Margulis, Lucia Hall, Nora Romanoff-Schwarzberg, Mark Drobinsky, Louis Sauvêtre, Danilo Grassi and Jorge Bosso as well as Orchestra della Svizzera italiana
The repertoire features includes: Schumann’s Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano in A minor, op. 105 and Adagio and Allegro for Cello and Piano, Op. 70, Chopin’s Rondo in C Major, Op. 73 for 2 Pianos, Brahms’ Variations on a Them by Schumann, Op. 23, Liszt’s Les Préludes, Symphonic Poem No. 3, the Korngold Piano Quintet in E Major, Op. 15, Bartók’s Sonata for 2 Pianos and Percussion Sz 110, Granados’ Piano Quintet in G minor Op. 49, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1919) – Version for 3 Pianos by Carlo Maria Griguoli, Schnittke’s Piano Quintet Op. 108 and the Gershwin/Grainger Fantasy for Two Pianos on Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
Few artists have nurtured and promoted emerging young musicians with the level of personal commitment shown by Martha Argerich. In the process, she has created inspired and inspirational chamber music partnerships mixing established and up-and-coming artists. A legend in her own lifetime for her technical mastery and passionate artistry, Argerich possesses an infectious spirit that has fired her own performances and partnerships as well as those of her colleagues and protégés.
Reviewing the CD set highlighting the 2007 Festival, The Financial Times wrote, “The music flies off the page, like a high-calibre jam session in which the participants throw away worldly cares and listen to each other in the moment of performance. There's polish aplenty, as one might expect of well-established musicians, but more to the point, the CD radiates the freshness and electricity of a special occasion. What's so endearing about Argerich's festival concept is that she blends younger players with more experienced colleagues, so there's a cross-fertilisation of ideas. Even when she plays no part … the same invigorating spirit presides.” Gramophone said, “Martha Argerich can put you on alert with just one phrase. A sequence of phrases … becomes the aural embodiment of an archer drawing a bow to maximum stretch. …. The tension is palpable, [the] artists playing into the music to extract all it offers - and clawing listeners out of themselves.”
The ninth season of the Martha Argerich Project takes place in June 2011. Many of the artists on these CDs will take part again this year.
“Even when Argerich is not directly involved, her unique musical spirit seems to hover over the performances; there's a freshness, a sense of discovery, about all the playing here, and it's never dull.” The Guardian, 31st March 2011 ****
“the 2010 edition strikes me as among the best...It includes two electrifying Schumann performances from Argerich and the Capuçon brothers...plus an equally stunning Bartók Sonata for two pianos and percussion featuring Argerich with ex-spouse Stephen Kovacevich...To cap it all, Argerich returns to her youth with a sensational Chopin Piano Concerto No 1, digging into the music’s expressive core as never before.” Financial Times, 2nd April 2011 *****
“if I was to pick one instance of the electricity and expressive freedom encountered on these three CDs it would have to be Argerich's recreation of Chopin's First Concerto...she has rarely sounded more vehement, personal or beguiling. As for the finale, I doubt whether it has ever been played with a more riotous or consuming brilliance in its entire history...All in all, these discs are a reminder of a unique, formidable and ever-enchanting artist.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2011
“the sustained quality of music-making on display here ensures that the collective result is something much more than a high-powered musical love-in...her approach [to the Chopin] is as fresh as ever, and she brings to the music a sense of unexaggerated surrounding immensity in the way that only great artists can...the articulation and control [in the Bartok] are so superb that the work's magisterial power truly comes across.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2011 ****
“Argerich encourages many youthful talents to blossom; she is joined by her former partner Stephen Bishop-Kovacevich for a fine Bartók sonata for two pianos and percussion, rhythmically focused but never brittle...Her solo turn is Chopin's First Concerto, eloquently shaped, with the most rivetingly exuberant finale you could hope to hear.” The Observer, 15th May 2011
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