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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…)

Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 9

Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 9 “Choral”

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Herbert Blomstedt,
conductor

Simona SaturovaMihoko FujimuraChristian ElsnerChristian Gerhaher
MDR Rundfunkchor
GewandhausChor
GewandhausKinderchor

Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and the musical city of Leipzig are closely intertwined with each other: Felix Mendelssohn, Kapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester, made the work an indispensable part of the concert hall repertoire and Arthur Nikisch, one of his successors, established in 1918 the worldwide tradition of performing this groundbreaking and pioneering work at the end of the year. The phenomenal Herbert Blomstedt, Gewandhaus-kapellmeister from 1998 to 2005, once again conducted Beethoven’s Ninth in Leipzig for the 2016 New Year celebrations.

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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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Alban Berg – Wozzeck

Opera in three acts (15 scenes) after Georg Büchner’s “Woyzeck”

Fabio Luisi, Conductor
Andreas Homoki, Stage Director

Philharmonia Zürich, Chor der Oper Zürich
Christian Gerhaher (Wozzeck)
Gun-Brit Barkmin (Marie)

The soldier Wozzeck (Christian Gerhaher) flits through a world that he is unable to decipher. The doctor torments him with absurd medical experiments; the captain humiliates and ridicules him. And Wozzeck’s lover, Marie (Gun-Brit Barkmin), with whom he has a child, cuckolds him with the drum major. Wozzeck becomes a murderer, stabbing Marie to death. Georg Büchner’s drama fragment, on which Alban Berg based his first opera, is an unflinching case study of social injustice and human suffering. But it is also a grotesque piece that thrives on exaggeration – and in which only a fine line separates the unfathomable from the ridiculous. Accordingly, director Andreas Homoki forgoes all realism.

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Lucerne Festival 2015 – Andris Nelsons – Gustav Mahler

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 5

Selected Songs from “Des Knaben Wunderhorn”
Rheinlegendchen, Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen,
Das irdische Leben, Urlicht,
Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt,
Revelge, Der Tamboursg’sell

Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Andris Nelsons, conductor
Matthias Goerne, baritone

Andris Nelsons conducted the Lucerne Festival Orchestra for the third time in August 2015, the orchestra’s second summer without founder and guiding spirit Claudio Abbado. The first half of his concert was already highlight: the baritone Matthias Goerne seemed completely at home in a selection of songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn. His warm, dark voice allows him to capture the somber and tragic atmosphere of this music like no one else. Its shaded timbre is most perfectly suited to the work’s melancholy and nocturnal moods, where one can directly experience how an artist of this caliber can bring music to the edge of the abyss. (more…)

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…)

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…)

Music – A Journey For Life – Riccardo Chailly

A documentary by Paul Smaczny

“Without inner fire, without physical energy, this profession would be unthinkable,” according to Riccardo Chailly, in whose style of conducting accuracy and elegance are unforgettably united with an inexhaustible temperament. This is clear in Music – A Journey for Life, the first film portrait of the Italian maestro, which accompanies him working with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, at La Scala in Milan, and in rehearsals for La Bohème at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia. Chailly’s impressive physical and mental strength lend a uniquely personal dynamic to the musical processes and the collaboration between the conductor and musicians. Music – A Journey for Life also reveals the private person Riccardo Chailly, for whom the rigorous study of scores and time with his family are as important as a steady routine is not. (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.

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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…)

Isang Yun – INBETWEEN North and South Korea

Filmed in North and South Korea, this documentary explores whether music can overcome the boundaries of a divided country. There is one figure representing the two Koreas, a figure whose life in itself forms a bridge between both worlds: Korean composer Isang Yun is one of the very few people acknowledged on both sides. The film traces the course of a life that has been interpreted in different ways, examining the worlds of North and South Korean music, taking the viewer on an exciting journey through two political systems that Isang Yun spent his life trying to reconcile.

 

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Lucerne Festival, Andris Nelsons – Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms
Serenade No. 2 in A major, Op. 16
Alto Rhapsody with male chorus and orchestra, Op. 53
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73

Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Andris Nelsons, conductor
Sara Mingardo, alto
Bavarian Radio Choir

In 2014, all signs pointed to a new beginning at the Lucerne Festival. For the first time, the festival would take place without the incomparable Claudio Abbado, with the young Latvian Andris Nelsons leading the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. Nelsons had already won the trust and respect of both listeners and performers in a moving memorial concert for Abbado in Lucerne. He is known internationally as one of the most gifted conductors of his generation. Now he was poised to lead the prestigious festival into a new era – he brilliantly mastered this “greatest challenge” (as he himself called it) of his career. (more…)

Beethoven, Mozart – Claudio Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra

Claudio Abbado
Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Christine Schäfer, Juliane Banse, Bruno Ganz

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 35 in D major, Haffner, K. 385

Misera, dove son! – Ah, non son io che parlo, K. 369
Ah, lo previdi! – Ah, t’invola – Deh, non varcar, K. 272
Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio!, K. 418
Christine Schäfer (soprano)

Ludwig van Beethoven
Incidental music to Goethe’s tragedy Egmont, Op. 84
for soprano, narrator and orchestra
Juliane Banse (soprano), Bruno Ganz (narrator) (more…)

Memorial Concert for Claudio Abbado

It was a deeply affecting and appropriate farewell. The spirit of Claudio Abbado, the great conductor and founder of orchestras who died in January 2014, was present in music, words, and silence. Thousands upon thousands came to the Basilica di Santo Stefano in Bologna and the Piazza della Scala in Milan to pay their last respects. In Lucerne, the members of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA paid tribute to this extraordinary man and friend with a deeply moving concert – “The emotional intensity was unbelievable; this could only be achieved by true musicians, by those capable of love.” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) Friends and associates look back fondly on Claudio Abbado and speak of how they experienced these moments of grief and farewell.

Andris Nelsons, LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA
Isabelle Faust, violin
Bruno Ganz

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Riccardo Chailly & Gewandhausorchester Leipzig: Mahler 4

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 4 in G major

Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig
Riccardo Chailly
, conductor
Christina Landshamer, soprano

“The greatest mix of colours that ever existed” was Gustav Mahler’s description of the third movement of his Fourth Symphony. Riccardo Chailly, one of the most adept interpreters of Mahler of our time, and the Gewandhaus Orchestra transformed the entire Fourth Symphony into this kaleidoscope of sound. (more…)

John Cage Journeys in Sound

A Film by Allan Miller & Paul Smaczny

This documentary by Oscar-winner Allan Miller and Emmy-winner Paul Smaczny pays tribute to the most fascinating American avant-garde composer John Cage. Shot in America, Germany and Japan, the program premieres rare archival footage; presenting concert excerpts and a set of short episodes, featuring associates of Cage and contemporary artists, playfully delineating different aspects of John Cage. The documentary features interviews with Yoko Ono, David Tudor, Christian Wolff, Steffen Schleiermacher, Irvine Arditti, Toshio Hosokawa, Mayumi Miyata, Calvin Tomkins and many others. “John Cage – Journeys in Sound“ will delight and enthral both Cage novices as well as die-hard fans. (more…)

Die Thomaner – A Year in the Life of the St. Thomas Boys Choir Leipzig

A Film by Paul Smaczny & Günter Atteln

Founded in 1212 the St. Thomas Choir Leipzig is one of the most famous and prestigious boys’ choirs in the world. This documentary accompanies “Die Thomaner”, aged between 9 and 18 years old, over a period of one year. Their unique world, from motets to boarding school and the football pitch, is distinguished by success, pressure to perform, doubt, pride, homesickness, and friendship. The film charts the breadth of the boys’ experience from the classroom to traveling on tour to South America. (more…)

J. S. Bach: St. Matthew Passion – St. Thomas Boys Choir Leipzig

Johann Sebastian Bach: St. Matthew Passion BWV 244

St. Thomas Boys Choir Leipzig
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Georg Christoph Biller

Christina Landshamer (Soprano)
Stefan Kahle
(Alto)
Wolfram Lattke
(Tenor)
Martin Lattke
(Tenor)
Klaus Mertens
(Bass)
Gotthold Schwarz
(Bass)

The renowned St. Thomas Boys Choir of Leipzig, which boasts J. S. Bach as a former cantor, celebrates its 800th anniversary with an extraordinary interpretation of the St. Matthew Passion. The Guardian praised how “the harmonic lines interwove with a transcendence that can only be achieved through living, eating and working together”. This Accentus Music production is the only audio-visual release of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, performed by the choir for which it was written, in St. Thomas Church, Leipzig, where the composer worked and is buried.

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Riccardo Chailly & Gewandhausorchester Leipzig: Mahler 2

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 2 in C minor

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Riccardo Chailly

Soloists: Christiane Oelze (Soprano), Sarah Connolly (Mezzo-Soprano)

Choirs: MDR Rundfunkchor, Berliner Rundfunkchor, GewandhausChor

The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and their Music Director Riccardo Chailly have already acquired legendary status – glorious reviews and many awards for their recordings testifying to their continuing success. At Leipzig’s International Mahler Festival, to mark the centenary of Mahler’s death, they performed his monumental Second Symphony in the Gewandhaus – together with two marvellous soloists and choral forces quite beyond compare. (more…)

Riccardo Chailly & Gewandhausorchester Leipzig: Mahler 8

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 8 in E flat major

Riccardo Chailly
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

Soloists: Erika Sunnegardh (Soprano), Ricarda Merbeth (Soprano), Christiane Oelze (Soprano), Lioba Braun (Alto), Gerhild Romberger (Alto), Stephen Gould (Tenor), Dietrich Henschel (Baritone), Georg Zeppenfeld (Bass)

Choirs: MDR Rundfunkchor, Chor der Oper Leipzig, GewandhausChor, Thomanerchor Leipzig, Gewandhaus Kinderchor

Mahler’s Eighth Symphony is arguably the grandest and most ambitious piece of symphonic music ever written. The composer himself regarded it as his opus summum, and an incredible number of participants at the hugely successful Munich première in 1910 earned it the nickname “Symphony of a Thousand”. (more…)

Gustav Mahler – Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra

Gustav Mahler: Adagio from Symphony No. 10
Twelve Songs from “Des Knaben Wunderhorn

The Cleveland Orchestra
Pierre Boulez
, conductor 
Magdalena Kožená
Christian Gerhaher

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Mahler’s birth and just one month short of his own 85th birthday, composer-conductor Pierre Boulez marked his forty-five-year collaboration with the Cleveland Orchestra by directing this very special Mahler-only concert at Ohio’s splendid Severance Hall. (more…)