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Beethoven: Piano Concertos 2 & 3 | Leon Fleisher, Margarita Höhenrieder

Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concertos No. 2 & 3

Margarita Höhenrieder
Leon Fleisher

Kammerphilharmonie Amadé
Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn

Beethoven’s piano concertos impressively reflect the personality and creativity of the revolutionary composer. They are a challenge for each pianist. In this recording of the 2nd and 3rd concertos, the legendary pianist, conductor, and teacher Leon Fleisher and his star pupil Margarita Höhenrieder, who has also gained international recognition, show their personal relationship with Beethoven. At two unusual concert locations – the Zollverein World Heritage Site in Germany’s Ruhr area and the famous Max-Littmann-Saal in Bad Kissingen, which is known for its acoustics – the two discerning artists perform the two concertos together with the Kammerphilharmonie Amadé and the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn. (more…)

CD – J. Ingolfsson, V. Stoupel – Gabriel Fauré

“Concert-Centenaire” Vol. III

Judith Ingolfsson, violin
Vladimir Stoupel, piano

Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in A major, Op. 13
Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2 in E minor, Op. 108

Violinist Judith Ingolfsson and pianist Vladimir Stoupel are both accomplished soloists with international concert careers. In 2006, they began a successful collaboration, searching for new paths in chamber music and devoting themselves to the cultivation of an uncommon repertoire. One of their projects is “Concert-Centenaire,” dedicated to composers whose lives were influenced by the First World War.

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CD – J. Ingolfsson, V. Stoupel – Louis Vierne

“Concert-Centenaire” Vol. II

Judith Ingolfsson, violin
Vladimir Stoupel, piano
Rebecca Li, violin
Stefan Fehlandt, viola
Stephan Forck, cello

Louis Vierne (1870-1937)
Sonata for Violin and Piano in G minor, Op. 23
Piano Quintet in C minor, Op. 42

Violinist Judith Ingolfsson and pianist Vladimir Stoupel are both accomplished soloists with international concert careers. In 2006, they began a successful collaboration, searching for new paths in chamber music and devoting themselves to the cultivation of an uncommon repertoire. One of their projects is “Concert-Centenaire,” dedicated to composers whose lives were influenced by the First World War. (more…)

CD – Mendelssohn’s Elias – RIAS Kammerchor – Akamus Berlin

Felix Mendelssohn – Elias
op. 70, MWV A 25

RIAS Kammerchor
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
Hans-Christoph Rademann, conductor

Marlis Petersen (soprano), Lioba Braun (mezzo – soprano)
Maximilian Schmitt (tenor), Thomas Oliemans (baritone)

“Never was there a more complete triumph – never a more thorough and speedy recognition of a great work of art.” This was the response of the critic in the London Times to the wildly successful premiere of Felix Mendelssohn’s Elias in 1846. Hans-Christoph Rademann began his tenure as Principal Conductor of the RIAS Chamber Choir with this groundbreaking oratorio. After eight productive and successful years, his final concert in July 2015 also featured the work. It was a “Farewell Performance with Furor” (Der Tagesspiegel), not least because of the impressive performers involved: the RIAS Chamber Choir, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, and the soloists Marlis Petersen, Lioba Braun, Maximilian Schmitt, and Thomas Oliemans. (more…)

CD – Sunwook Kim – Franck and Brahms

César Franck
Prélude, Choral et Fugue

Johannes Brahms
Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, op. 5

Sunwook Kim, piano

Korean pianist Sunwook Kim came to international recognition when he won the prestigious “Leeds International Piano Competition” in 2006 aged just 18, becoming the competition’s youngest winner for 40 years, as well as its first Asian winner. Since then, he has established a reputation as one of the finest pianists of his generation, appearing as a concerto soloist in the subscription series of many of the world’s foremost orchestras and giving recitals in leading concert halls. In this second Accentus Music recording Sunwook Kim compares and contrasts César Franck’s Prélude, Choral et Fugue of 1884 and Johannes Brahms’s Third Piano Sonata in F minor op. 5 of 1853.

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CD – J. Ingolfsson, V. Stoupel – Stephan and Magnard

“Concert-Centenaire” Vol. I

Judith Ingolfsson, violin
Vladimir Stoupel, piano

Rudi Stephan (1887-1915)
“Groteske” for Violin and Piano (1911)
Albéric Magnard (1865-1914)
Sonata for Violin and Piano in G major, op. 13 (1901)

Violinist Judith Ingolfsson and pianist Vladimir Stoupel are both accomplished soloists with international concert careers. In 2006, they began a successful collaboration, searching for new paths in chamber music and devoting themselves to the cultivation of an uncommon repertoire. One of their projects is “Concert-Centenaire,” dedicated to composers whose lives were influenced by the First World War. (more…)

LP – J.S. Bach – Inventions and Sinfonias – Zhu Xiao-Mei

Zhu Xiao-Mei, piano

Johann Sebastian Bach
Inventions and Sinfonias

When Bach composed them, in his last years in Köthen, those pivotal years that were to lead him to Leipzig, he already had an incredible number of masterpieces behind him. He took the trouble to make a beautiful fair copy of this work. It’s a product of his maturity. But since these pieces serve as a basic tool for learning the piano, they’re inevitably overshadowed by the larger cycles, like The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Goldberg Variations, The Art of Fugue and so on. But that’s a mistake, because there’s an extraordinary density of music in the Inventions and Sinfonias. Zhu Xiao-Mei

“Johann Sebastian Bach’s Inventions and Sinfonias become real musical pearls in Zhu Xiao Meis incomparably refined playing, peppered by a totally respectful imagination and creativity. Enchanting!”  Pizzicato (more…)

CD – NOSPR – Alexander Liebreich – Szymanowski, Lutosławski

Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Alexander Liebreich, Conductor

Karol Szymanowski
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, op. 19 (1909)

Witold Lutosławski
Livre pour Orchestre (1968)
Musique funèbre à la mémoire de Béla Bartók (1958)

The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra is the country’s leading performing ensemble and one of Europe’s finest broadcasting orchestras. Building on a long tradition, the group performs throughout the world as a musical ambassador for Poland, often featuring works by Polish composers – as the pieces by Karol Szymanowski and Witold Lutosławski on this CD impressively demonstrate. This is the orchestra’s second album with their Principal Conductor Alexander Liebreich. Their first CD together, also with compositions by Szymanowski and Lutosławski, is already cited as a reference recording, with “thrilling, technically brilliant performances.” (Der Tagesspiegel) (more…)

CD – Sunwook Kim – Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Sonatas

Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonatas

No. 21, Op. 53 “Waldstein”
No. 29, Op. 106 “Hammerklavier”

Sunwook Kim, piano

Sunwook Kim lives in London, and came to international recognition when he won the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition in 2006, aged just 18, becoming the competition’s youngest winner for 40 years, as well as its first Asian winner. His performance of Brahms’s Concerto No.1 with the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder in the competition’s finals attracted unanimous praise from the press. Since then, he has established a reputation as one of the finest pianists of his generation, appearing as a concerto soloist in the subscription series of some of the world’s leading orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra (Gardiner, Harding), Concertgebouw Orchestra (Chung), Berlin Radio Symphony (Janowski), NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, Finnish Radio Symphony (Oramo, Manze, Sokhiev), Philharmonia Orchestra (Ashkenazy, Valcuha, Gardner), London Philharmonic (Sinaisky), Radio-France Philharmonic (Chung), NHK Symphony (Steffens), Hallé Orchestra (Elder), and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for his BBC Proms debut in Summer 2014.

(more…)

CD – J. S. Bach – Inventions and Sinfonias – Zhu Xiao-Mei

Johann Sebastian Bach
Inventions and Sinfonias

Zhu Xiao-Mei, piano

“When Bach composed them, in his last years in Köthen, those pivotal years that were to lead him to Leipzig, he already had an incredible number of masterpieces behind him. He took the trouble to make a beautiful fair copy of this work. It’s a product of his maturity. But since these pieces serve as a basic tool for learning the piano, they’re inevitably overshadowed by the larger cycles, like The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Goldberg Variations, The Art of Fugue and so on. But that’s a mistake, because there’s an extraordinary density of music in the Inventions and Sinfonias.” Zhu Xiao-Mei (more…)

Satiesfictions – Promenades with Erik Satie

Always armed with wisecracks, umbrella, and a bowler hat, Erik Satie was not only on the outside one of the strangest figures in the early 20th century French avant-garde; he was a composer, designer, church founder, PR pioneer, and master of witty remarks. In playful episodes, the documentary illuminates the overall phenomenon of Satie. His countless imaginary advertisements evolve into real commercials, and his drawings take on a life of their own as cartoons. Divas, dogs, puppets, and children, as well as pianists playing pianos stacked on top of each other are featured in scenic interludes, while performers turn into “musical furniture” in swimming pools, factories, or at train stations. Interwoven with accounts by Satie’s associates and music experts, the film offers a unique insight into Satie’s cosmos of word and sound. (more…)

Vinyl – J.S. Bach Die Kunst der Fuge – Zhu Xiao-Mei

Zhu Xiao-Mei

Johann Sebastian Bach
The Art of Fugue

Johann Sebastian Bach plays a key role in her life – she is today one of the most significant interpreters of his music. The remarkable biography of this celebrated pianist gives her a unique position in the world of music. Her life has taken her from the re-education camps of the Chinese Cultural Revolution to Paris, where her international career as a pianist began rather late, but for that all the more successful. (more…)

amarcord – The Book of Madrigals

The secular repertory of the Renaissance seems made to order for the five singers of amarcord. In the incomparable setting of the Villa Godi in northern Italy, the group recorded some of the best-known and most beautiful madrigals of the 16th century, creating a bridge to the present day. Fiery declarations of love and the deep pain of parting, erotic innuendoes and bawdy humor – in the interpretations of this prizewinning ensemble, the texts always seem contemporary and relevant. The members of amarcord are accompanied by the exceptional instrumentalists Hille Perl (viola da gamba) and Lee Santana (theorbo), as well as the virtuoso percussionist Michael Metzler.

Wolfram Lattke, Tenor
Robert Pohlers,
Tenor
Frank Ozimek,
Baritone
Daniel Knauft,
Bass
Holger Krause,
Bass

Hille Perl, Viola da gamba
Lee Santana,
Theorbo & Guitar
Michael Metzler,
Percussion (more…)