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Classical - Released March 26, 2021 | RUBICON

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Alessio Pianelli’s debut album is a beautifully curated, affectionate, and eclectic musical tribute to his native land, the island of Sicily. He writes: "in "A Sicilian Traveller" I investigate the richness of Sicily’s culture through the music of other composers who have explored – some more explicitly than others – that central aspect in the tradition of art music. Sicilian culture is like a mosaic in which each tile represents one of the many civilisations that have traversed the island over the centuries. Each tile maintains its original identity while contributing to a collective design that is greater than the sum of its parts. It is for this reason I have chosen to travel with my cello through music from such a wide variety of cultures". © Rubicon Classics
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Classical - Released February 26, 2021 | RUBICON

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Hélène de Montgeroult (1764-1836) was one of the most influential pianist composers of the early 19th Century – no mean feat at a time when figures such as Dussek (her teacher), Hummel, Field, Kalkbrenner, Cramer, Moscheles and last but not least Beethoven dominated the field. A field also dominated by men. Her 114 Études de difficultés progressives of 1816 exerted a considerable influence over composers such as Chopin, Mendelssohn (brother and sister) and the Schumanns – Robert and Clara. Montgeroult was also a regular duo partner with Viotti, the foremost violinist-composer of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. They toured far and wide over Europe. She also partnered with Kreutzer and Baillot. Of her nine Piano Sonatas, the 6th from 1800 features a violin accompaniment in the same way as Dussek’s Sonatas for keyboard with violin. This is a work of restless energy and daring harmonies. Montgeroult had a narrow escape from the guillotine in Paris as she was married to an imprisoned Austrian nobleman. Her skill at improvising on a revolutionary song won her freedom. Sophie Rosa and Ian Buckle have curated a fascinating recital that partners Montgeroult’s Sonata (receiving its world premiere recording) with her duo partner Viotti’s 10th Sonata, and the precocious F minor Sonata by the 14 year old Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. Their recital concludes with Weber’s short and sparkling 2nd Sonata written with gifted amateur musicians in mind. © Rubicon Classics
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Chamber Music - Released February 26, 2021 | RUBICON

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Robert Kahn was born in Mannheim in 1865 and died in Biddenden, Kent in 1951. How did a composer who impressed Brahms, and who the older composer offered to give lessons to end up in the UK in a small village? Kahn became an influential professor of music at the Berlin Hochschule, and before that had his works performed by the Joachim Quartet, and the Berlin Philharmonic under Hans von Bülow. Kahn was a friend of Joachim, von Bülow, Adolf Busch and Richard Mühlfeld. His compositional style was along the lines of Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms, he was an admirer of Reger, whose contrapuntalism no doubt had an influence upon Kahn. He avoided large scale romantic forms, and became famed for his songs, choral works, chamber music and the huge Tagebuch in Tönen, (Music from the Tree of Life) a collection of solo piano works, suites for piano and lieder that run to over 1100 pieces. Things started to go wrong for Kahn with the rise of the Nazis. Branded ‘degenerate’ by the National Socialists, he was thrown out of his teaching positions, and in 1937 left for the UK, settling in Kent and composing right up to his death. This album is a fascinating introduction to a composer that political extremism and hatred tried and failed to erase. © Rubicon
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Classical - Released January 29, 2021 | RUBICON

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After studying at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Hans Eisler Music Academy in Berlin, Mahani Teave was destined for a glittering career on the international concert stage having won the Claudio Arrau International Piano Competition in 1999, and later being selected as a Steinway & Sons artist. However, she returned to her native Easter Island and in 2012 established The Easter Island Music School, receiving the Advancement of Women Award from Scotiabank for her leadership and work on the island promoting music. In 2018, David Fulton the collector of Cremonese instruments was on a cruise liner that stopped at Easter Island. A recital was laid on by the children of the music school for the passengers, and the event ended with Mahani Teave playing on an old upright piano. ‘I could not have been more astonished if Horowitz or Rubinstein had stepped onstage….we were being treated to a serious performance by a major utterly extraordinary artist…it was a totally unexpected, uplifting, and deeply moving: a musical feast’. Mahani had not recorded before, and this remarkable debut album is the result of David’ s chance meeting with her on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). © Rubicon
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Classical - Released January 29, 2021 | RUBICON

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Christmas Music - Released December 4, 2020 | RUBICON

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Classical - Released November 6, 2020 | RUBICON

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New Zealand composer Gareth Farr wrote his Cello Concerto after discovering some family history. His three great granduncles left New Zealand to fight in France in World War I. All three were killed within weeks of arrival. Elgar’s famous Concerto was also composed as a reaction to the horrors of the Western Front and the mass slaughter of so many young lives. Elgar could hear the heavy guns in France at night from his home in Sussex, and they were a constant reminder of lost friends, and of the world he knew slipping away. It was to be his last major orchestral work, the 3rd Symphony remaining unfinished. Farr’s Concerto is instantly accessible and is a dramatic and emotional statement. Both concertos are played by the French cellist Sebastien Hurtaud. © Rubicon Classics
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Classical - Released October 23, 2020 | RUBICON

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Norwegian violist Eivind Holstmark Ringstadt was awarded the prestigious Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship in 2016, and became a BBC New Generation Artist from 2016-18. Eivind plays with many of today’s leading artists including Leif Ove Andsnes, Janine Jansen, Beatrice Rana, Steven Isserlis and Anthony Marwood. For his first recital recording , he has created a stunning programme of richly varied repertoire standards, transcriptions and a new work he commissioned, all showcasing the versatility of his instrument and his virtuosity. His viola is the Guadagnini ‘ex Vieuxtemps’1768 (Parma). © Resonus
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Classical - Released September 25, 2020 | RUBICON

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The first in a cycle of all seven of Sibelius’s symphonies sees the first dating from 1899 coupled with the third from 1907. No.1 although bound by classical conventions, and the influence of Tchaikovsky displays a remarkable and striking independence of thought. No.3 shows the composer making the transition from the large-scale symphonic structures of the first two symphonies to the more compact, tightly argued symphonies to follow. Like the 5th, the C major work is in three movements and the clean, highly individual instrumentation marks it as the first of the symphonies in his mature style. The sunny brisk nature of the Third belies its importance among the seven symphonies. © Rubicon Classics
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Classical - Released September 25, 2020 | RUBICON

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The Trio Isimsiz has quickly established itself as one of the most exciting young chamber ensembles on the present scene with glowing reviews for their performances around the world. Their debut album of Brahms, Beethoven & Takemitsu also received rave reviews. For their second album the trio continue their survey of the Brahms trios with the First in its revised form. Late Faure, his solitary Trio and Schubert’s atmospheric Notturno complete this attractive programme. © Rubicon Classics
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Classical - Released September 25, 2020 | RUBICON

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Classical - Released September 25, 2020 | RUBICON

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Chamber Music - Released September 25, 2020 | RUBICON

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A beguiling and beautiful programme of music inspired by the night. Ulf Schneider and Jan Philip Schulze also make the world premier recordings of three works, so there is much to discover on this album. Their nocturnal journey is in the company of composers as diverse as Elgar and Crumb, Henze and Sinding – a real voyage of discovery and night time treats! © Rubicon
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Classical - Released July 24, 2020 | RUBICON

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Debussy was seriously ill at the outbreak of World War I, and struggled to compose. A wartime performance of the Saint- Saëns Septet prompted the composer to consider writing chamber music again – for the first time since his string quartet of 1893. The plan was for a sequence of six sonatas for diverse instruments, harking back to the 18th century practice in France. The composer wrote ‘I wrote like a fury or like one who is doomed to die the next morning’. He viewed these works as a memorial to the young French soldiers killed in the trenches. The Cello Sonata was premiered in Paris in 1916 by a young infantry-man on a cello made from an ammunition box and an old door. His health declining further, the Violin Sonata, turned out to be his last work. Debussy dismissed it as ‘an example of what may be produced by a sick man in time of war’. The final three sonatas were never composed. This album concludes with three rarely heard piano pieces completed by Robert Orledge. Toomai des éléphants inspired by Kipling was originally intended as No. 11 in the Second Book of Preludes. Petite Valse, began as an 18 bar outline sketched in 1915, and receiving its world premiere recording, A Night in the House of Usher is a fantasy for piano (or organ) compiled from Debussy’s sketches for the one act opera (1915-17) after Edgar Allan Poe which was left unfinished. © Rubicon Classics
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Classical - Released June 26, 2020 | RUBICON

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Classical - Released May 22, 2020 | RUBICON

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Chamber Music - Released May 1, 2020 | RUBICON

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Chamber Music - Released April 24, 2020 | RUBICON

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Dutch cellist Lidy Blijdorp has long been in love with the music of Ravel, the magical sound world, the colours and imagery he conjures. Ravel wrote very little for the cello, so Blijdorp made her own arrangements for cello and piano of Lever du jour from Daphnis et Chloé and two movements from Rapsodie espagnole. Award winning pianist Julien Brocal is her partner in these skilful arrangements. The delightful Sonata for Cello and Volin and Kodaly’s great solo Cello Sonata round off a programme that spans music from France, French music with Spanish dance as its inspiration, and then ending the journey in Hungary with the folk infused masterwork that is Kodaly’s Op. 8. © Rubicon Classics
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Classical - Released March 27, 2020 | RUBICON

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Classical - Released March 27, 2020 | RUBICON

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"Seren" means star in Welsh, and few are the stars that burn more intensely than trebles, or boy sopranos, as Americans have it, for they have only a very short time, sometimes measured in months before it's all over. Treble Cai Thomas seemingly emphasizes this by inviting Aksel Rykkvin as a guest on Karl Jenkins' Ave verum. Just a few years ago, it was Rykkvin who was the star treble, but now he's a baritone. Thomas sets out here to play to his strengths. He has a Welsh song to reflect his heritage, the ubiquitous "Pie Jesu" of Fauré, a couple of slow Handel tunes, some modern crossover material, and a few pieces of pop minimalism. Perhaps Thomas' strongest pieces are the ones that stand out from the program: Charles Villiers Stanford's The Blue Bird and a really haunting version of the folk song The Ash Grove, but all of the music inhabits a moderate vocal range, is in moderate tempos, varying only in flavor. Thomas's voice rests easily in all the pieces, and, unstressed, it's gorgeous, with startling clarity and a tinge of melancholy that's especially affecting. Perhaps to add more variety, Thomas uses several backing groups; this works well, with his voice foregrounded slightly differently each time. Savor the voice while you may. © TiVo