Albums

881 albums sorted by Date: from newest to oldest
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Symphonic Music - Released July 3, 2017 | San Francisco Symphony

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Symphonic Music - Released June 30, 2017 | San Francisco Symphony

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For the thirty-year-old Alban Berg, the Three Pieces for Orchestra mark the definite end – as definite as it ever got, anyway – of his apprenticeship to Arnold Schoenberg and his full emergence as an artistic personality in his own right. Though this work does owe a kind of debt to Schönberg’s Five Pieces for Orchestra, it does not sound at all like Schoenberg. One voice whose presence can be sensed is Mahler’s, who had died in May 1911, barely four years after completion of these Three Pieces. The prevalence of waltz and march gestures contributes to this, but there are also more specific homages such as a passage in the Praeludium that is very close to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. No question, Berg is Mahler’s most direct heir, and the Three Pieces are Mahler’s Eleventh much more than Brahms’ First is Beethoven’s Tenth, whatever commentators may have said. Berg had first gone to Schoenberg in late 1904 and until 1910 he studied with him in a nourishing, trying, often exceedingly dependent relationship. In June 1913, Berg visited Schönberg in Berlin, and his stay there was troubled. From the beginning, Schönberg had been concerned about a shortwindedness in his obviously brilliant pupil’s work and had been anxious to get him started on something that involved symphonic development on a large scale. Within a couple of weeks of his argument with Schönberg, Berg began something big – the dramatic, fantastical Three Pieces for Orchestra, which he dedicated to Schönberg despite – or because of? – their differing views. Michael Tilson Thomas, aka. MTT, first conducted the San Francisco Symphony in 1974 and has been Music Director since 1995. His wide-ranging recording policy has put the SFS onto the world scene of the most admired orchestras. © SM/Qobuz

Symphonic Music - Released May 5, 2017 | Oehms Classics

Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Violin Concertos - Released April 21, 2017 | Orchid Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Precisely the year John Adams was born, 1947, none else than Heifetz premiered Korngold’s Violin Concerto which star-violinist Ilya Gringolts plays on this Album, together with Adams’ own Concerto written 1993. Stylistically, these two works are polar opposites, but with a common emphasis on melody – and a common rejection of the ascendancy of atonality and serial techniques. John Adams is a composer who does not like to be pinned down. Being branded a minimalist has not suited him any better than did the confines of his training in the twelve-tone system while he was a student at Harvard. The term itself is a bit of a misnomer, and one might prefer the term “Pattern and Process” music, which highlights the tendency of these composers to set patterns in motion within dense, rhythmically complex textures, and then gradually morph these patterns over time. In the case of his Violin Concerto, the metamorphoses are so subtle that it is well-nigh impossible to trace any repetitive principle whatever, even though it is present. As for Korngold’s Violin Concerto, it might also be called “hypermelodic”. The composer himself noted that the concerto, “with its many melodic and lyric episodes, was contemplated rather for a Caruso of the violin than for a Paganini.” Written at a time in music history where atonality held nearly undisputed sway in musically sophisticated circles (Korngold’s music is emphatically tonal, if harmonically complex), the work was the first in what Korngold hoped would be his triumphant return to concert music, after a long and celebrated career as Hollywood’s preeminent film composer. The piece contains material in each of its three movements from several of Korngold’s film scores; but it would have been a pity indeed to waste such exquisite melodies to a mere movie, and self-recycling of good materials has been around for centuries, even Bach himself being a great self-recycler, an irrefutable role-modem. (c) SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released April 21, 2017 | NMC Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Keyboard Concertos - Released April 21, 2017 | Toccata Classics

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Classical - Released March 10, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Symphonic Music - Released March 3, 2017 | LSO Live

Hi-Res Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Award - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Symphonies - Released March 3, 2017 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
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Chamber Music - Released January 27, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Chamber Music - Released January 20, 2017 | Toccata Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
England's Toccata Classics label has issued several albums devoted to contemporary composer David Matthews, and this one makes a fine starting place if you're curious. Those perusing the graphics will find comparisons with Beethoven, Bartók, Britten, Michael Tippett, Shostakovich, Vaughan Williams, and, if you delve a bit deeper, Schoenberg and Mahler. It sounds preposterous to say that these influences could be combined, but that's where the appeal of this music lies. The three piano trios, from 1983, 1993, and 2005, match their traditionalist medium with clear sonata forms and generally tonal orientation. Yet the music is not neoclassic in effect. Broadly, you'll hear vernacular rhythms that remind one of Bartók; the rigorous polyphony of Tippett; the well-made, direct appeal of Britten; big tunes -- good ones -- that alternately bring to mind Shostakovich or Vaughan Williams; deep chromatic harmony that seems at times to hark back directly to early Schoenberg; and, in the languorously transcendent finales, a bit of Mahler, at least as much as a piano trio can be like Mahler. Everything's familiar, but the sum total of the elements is like nothing you've heard before. The three Journeying Songs, Op. 95, for solo cello are attractively written for the instrument and played by Leonore Piano Trio cellist Gemma Rosefield, but the weaving of disparate elements in these works is not so colorful. The piano trios are remarkable works, however, and the performances spot-on. The engineering, in an unspecified location, is all that could be desired, and the notes by the composer are well worth your time.
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Classical - Released January 20, 2017 | Dacapo

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Chamber Music - Released January 6, 2017 | NEOS Music

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Classical - Released January 6, 2017 | Evidence

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Solo Piano - Released December 16, 2016 | Melodiya

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica