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Symfonieën - Verschenen op 9 november 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Exceptional sound
What a curious and charming piece of work the First Symphony by Witold Lutosławski is! Written in 1947, it is still borrowing from Stravinski, Bartók, Prokofiev and clearly Roussel, and yet it display the composer's own personal ideas, and his flawless skill in orchestration. But he had not yet made the dodecaphonic style his own, nor the principle of randomness which would be found later in 1961's Jeux vénitiens (Venetian Games). In his case, randomness refers to musicians or groups of musicians having the freedom to play their different parts when they feel like it, or when the conductor gives them a cue. But for sure, this piece's formal framework is still constrained: every performance will shed a different light on it, but it is still the same work. The album finishes with the Fourth Symphony, the composer's last, written between 1988 and 1991, performed in 1993 with Lutosławski himself conducting before his death a few months later. In this work he makes a clear return to his harmonic and melodic ideas, which at times approach Mahler or Bartók, even though the discourse remains decidedly modern. The contrast between the First Symphony, Jeux vénitiens and the Fourth Symphony could not be more spectacular, and it gives a brilliant picture of the evolution of a musical genius who embraced a wide range of influences, constantly adapting them to his own style. © SM/Qobuz
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 9 februari 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Exceptional sound
‘Travel’ and ‘journey’ are often appropriate metaphors for the music of the Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür (b. 1959). The composer himself describes his viola concerto Illuminatio as a “pilgrimage towards eternal light”, and with his Symphony No. 8 he stresses the importance of a “constant sense of ‘being on the road’”. This says something essential about the dynamics, growth and development of his music. To take a broader view, Tüür’s entire career may be described as a journey: in the course of his professional life beginning in the 1980s, he has thoroughly revised and reformed his idiom and compositional precepts. His ambitious journey began in rock music while at the same time he was studying flute, percussion and composition at the Conservatory. Since 1992 he has been a freelance composer. In his early career, Tüür developed a ‘polystylistic’ approach that combined minimalist and tonal elements on the one hand, modernist features on the other, into an idiom where he juxtaposed elements from different and seemingly incompatible styles, seeking both contrasts and syntheses. In the early 2000s, he went through a transition that resulted in his new composition technique. Here, “the entire composition is encapsulated in a source code – a gene which, as it mutates and grows, connects the dots in the fabric of the whole work”. All the works on the present album are from this period. The core of Tüür’s output consists of extensive orchestral works (including nine symphonies and several concertos), chamber music and vocal works. Whereas the viola concerto can be compared to a journey, Whistles and Whispers from Uluru (2007) for recorder and chamber orchestra was inspired by a landscape and a sonority. The piece was written to a commission from the Australian Chamber Orchestra for recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey, who also plays on this album – several different recorders, from sopranino to bass. Some sonorities are enhanced by electronic means. When a composer has written nine symphonies, the genre is obviosuly very important for him. In the case of Tüür, the term ‘symphonic’ must be understood in a broad sense – not as a strict formal scheme, but rather as a uniquely shaped and independently formed structure in each work. Tüür’s symphonies form the hard core of his output, spanning the length of his career, the first dating from 1984 and the latest from 2017. The symphonies vary greatly in terms of form, ensemble and idiom. Symphony No. 8 was commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and was completed in 2010. Considering the resources of the commissioning party, Tüür scored the work for a sinfonietta-type ensemble instead of a large symphony orchestra, and as a result the music has at times a chamber music feel. © SM/Qobuz
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 2 februari 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Exceptional sound
No, no: we would never suggest that the music of the Swedish composer Dag Wirén (1905-1986) was in the slightest bit avant-garde. On the contrary, he always strove to write music which, while certainly novel, made for pleasant listening, without either dogma, or pedagogy, or a particular method. His oeuvre, more remarkable for its quality than its quantity, contains five symphonies, of which the Third from 1944 is presented here, and above all the renowned Divertimento for strings from 1957, in which one can discern the legacy of Grieg or Dvořák just as much as Honegger, whom Wirén venerated, or other musicians from the Group of Six; or indeed Shostakovitch in his more wily moments. The writing shares more than a few family resemblances with Jean Françaix, in its impeccable harmonic, thematic and architectural conceptions, all while retaining its light and transparent spirit. During his lifetime, his rejection of the avant-garde was a black mark against his name; but thirty years on from his death, this kind of consideration is no longer relevant. We can finally rediscover Wirén for what he is: an excellent composer. To cut a long story short, it was he who wrote the score to Absent Friend which was Sweden's entry for the 1965 Eurovision Song Contest – which was won by France Gall, under the flag of Luxembourg, and not of France, as it happens – Absent Friend was neither strictly pop, nor variety, but a piece of pure classical romance, a tragic waltz sung by a truly great operatic baritone, Ingvar Wixell, accompanied by an exclusively classical orchestra, without drums or anything of the sort! © SM/Qobuz
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 6 oktober 2017 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Exceptional sound - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Vaughan Williams’ seventh symphony (1951), Sinfonia Antartica, reuses numerous materials from the stunning piece the composer wrote in 1948 for the film Scott of the Antarctic. Therefore none will be surprised by the extraordinarily visual orchestration and theme, which any listener – even ignoring the title or cinematographic influence – will immediately associate with vast windy flatlands, scintillating icy lights, Antarctica in all its splendour – and dangers, as Scott’s expedition ended tragically, that’s the least one can say. As a complement to the programme, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (where they are used to the great cold!) and Andrew Davis provide us with Vaughan Williams’s Concerto For Two Pianos: initially created in 1933 for a single piano, the work was adapted to two pianos in 1946 in light of the tremendous difficult piano part, and the composer also took the opportunity to change a few sections. Here it is performed by two Canadians, Louis Lortie and Hélène Mercier. And finally you’ll discover the Four Last Songs sung by Roderick Williams, a kind of Vaughanwilliamsian equivalent to Strauss’ own Four Last Songs, even though Vaughan Williams’ four songs were first orchestrated after his death, by Anthony Payne in 2013 – scrupulously following the composer’s orchestral habits. A beautiful musical testament, created during the last few months of his life. © SM/Qobuz
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 5 mei 2017 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica - Exceptional sound
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 3 juni 2016 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Exceptional sound - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 9 oktober 2012 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 2 oktober 2012 | SDG

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Exceptional sound
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 7 februari 2012 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica - Exceptional sound
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 7 juni 2011 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 7 juni 2011 | BR-Klassik

Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica - Exceptional sound
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 1 maart 2011 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Choc de Classica - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 4 januari 2011 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Exceptional sound
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 1 oktober 2010 | Naxos

Onderscheidingen Exceptional sound
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 28 september 2010 | Naxos

Booklet Onderscheidingen Exceptional sound
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 27 juli 2010 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Exceptional sound
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Symfonieën - Verschenen op 29 juni 2010 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Choc de Classica - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 27 april 2010 | Ondine

Booklet Onderscheidingen Exceptional sound
Before the Icons stretches from one end of Rautavaara’s career to the other. The great composer would have celebrated his ninetieth birthday in the Spring of 2018. During his studies in New York, he wrote a small series called Six Icons for Piano in 1955/56. While he decided to orchestrate them soon after, the work was not completed until half a century later in 2005. During the process he added three Prayers that intertwine with the other compositions. He closes this work with a short Amen which reconnects with the beginning of the 21st century; this contrasts with the deliberately “naive” style of the Icons, which, at times, are rather evocative of Olivier Messiaen. It is one of Rautavaaraa’s greatest works. Later on in 2007, A Tapestry of Life revealed four very contrasting movements:Stars Swarming, as we might expect, brings a night of shooting stars to life; Halcyon Days, a slight more mysterious piece, describes the evolution of the kingfisher whose genus is known as the “Halcyon”, Sighs and Tears perfectly illustrates Bergman’s intimate dramas, with his sorrowful intertwining melodies between the oboe and the cor anglais, and finally The Last Polonaise reiterates the fact that Rautavaara often included stylish polonaises in his music.
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 30 maart 2010 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 16 februari 2010 | CSO Resound

Booklet Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica - Exceptional sound