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Classical - Released June 4, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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It would be fascinating to know what Mendelssohn would have to say about the release into the public domain of the twelve String Symphonies he began to compose from 1821, when just on the cusp of his teens. Although one could hazard a pretty accurate guess that he'd be unamused. Collated in a carefully dated exercise book, these were thoroughly private exercises in the symphonic craft, never intended for publication, and road-tested equally behind closed doors on the chamber orchestra that met at his parents' Berlin salon. And that's precisely what they sound like, too – full of the light-footed, Classical-inspired elegance we associate with Mendelssohn, but with the first six in particular sounding less like Mendelssohn, and more like what Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach might have come up with on one of his less wild-child days. Ditto for the Violin Concerto in D minor he composed around the same period for his violin teacher, Eduard Rietz. All of which is to say that they constitute a risk for any ensemble wishing to take them on, because while on the one hand they're charming and sometimes fascinating works (especially towards the end of the set), they're also abundantly ripe with the potential to sound as dull as ditchwater. Happily though, they've come out very well indeed under the fingers of the Münchner Rundfunkorchester and its leader Henry Raudales. Studio recorded in an ample (but not overly so) acoustic, this offering is a repackaging of the orchestra's 2019 release featuring the first six symphonies paired with the Violin Concerto, to which have now been added the final six symphonies plus the Sinfoniesatz in C minor Mendelssohn then replaced a few months later with the full-orchestra Symphony No. 1. That 2019 release had given us fresh, crisp, daintily elegant and light readings of the symphonies, but its star attraction had undoubtedly been the concerto, Raudales singing its solo lines with crisp, neat, lithe elegance, supported by equally neat, bright, light and fun-filled orchestral playing. Those same qualities have been similarly lavished on the second half of the set, while capitalising on the flashes of additional interest Mendelssohn's gradually developing voice is now beginning to throw up as he graduates from three to four movements, and introduces his first Scherzo. Take how gracefully they nail the mysterious, time-standing-still, misty romance of No. 11's opening Adagio as Mendelssohn begins to flex the programmatic voice that would later give us works such as ”The Hebrides” Overture; or the deliciously stringy luminosity with which they romp through its Commodo Schweizerlied Scherzo, Raudales delivering its solo with top-tapping perkiness; or the way in which, in the ensuing Adagio's opening, they bring out its brief, uncanny resemblance to the later Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage overture. Also to be appreciated is the overall warmth to their tone. If you're interested in tracing the development of Mendelssohn's symphonic voice, you won't go wrong with these. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz
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Classical - Released November 6, 2020 | BR-Klassik

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Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks is becoming more and more popular with the new generation of musicians. His music is often gripping, soaring, meditative and luminous. His Violin Concerto “Distant Light” has now entered many violinists’ repertoires - Renaud Capuçon, for example, recorded it for Erato and his magnificent Viola Concerto was recorded for BIS by Maxim Rysanov, who also completed his recording with the masterpiece Symphony No. 1 “Voices”.It is undoubtedly the most “barren” work in this new release. Premiered in Finland in September 1991, it totally corresponds to the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra’s sound (one of the most famous chamber orchestras in Sibelius’ country), conducted at that time by Juha Kangas. The work uses lots of tremolos and sustained notes which bring Sibelius to mind. Though time has passed and the work that Vasks portrays here is also reminiscent of some of Rautavaara’s figurative elements with its poetic imitations of sounds of nature and bird songs in the second movement, Voices of Life. It also depicts with surprising detail the hardships of living under Soviet rule. The Munich Radio Orchestra, conducted by the talented Ivan Repušić (go listen to Gotovac’s opera Ero, recorded by CPO) reveal a very intense and unforgettably accurate performance. It’s not to be missed.Viatoire, played here in an arrangement for eleven strings, is just as brilliant. Distant Light is brought to life with rare finesse by the violinist Stanko Madić and the Croatian conductor. An ideal gateway into the music of the greatest Latvian composer of our time. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 10, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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After "Te Deum", "Arvo Pärt - Live" and "Miserere", "Stabat Mater" is already the fourth album to emerge from the close artistic collaboration between the composer and the Bavarian Radio Chorus, and to be recently released by BR-Klassik. - In addition to this impressive piece, this newly-released album offers some of the works that are key to the composer's stylistic development, and rarely appear in the concert repertoire or as recordings. Despite or perhaps precisely because of the radical reduction of its means of expression, Pärt's music demands the greatest care in its performance from those playing, and is masterfully realized in this recording by the Bavarian Radio Chorus and the Münchner Rundfunkorchester under the conductor Ivan Repušic. Like almost no other contemporary composer, the Estonian Arvo Pärt (born 1935) has succeeded in bringing sacred music back to the attention of a larger audience, even outside the church service. Because of its meditative character and its return to the simplest basic musical forms, his music gives us an insight into key spiritual moments. To this end, even before his emigration from the Soviet Union, Pärt invented what he referred to as the "tintinnabuli style" (Latin for “little bells”) of composing. In 1977 he delivered one of the first significant examples of this style with the first version of Fratres, which still has no fixed and prescribed instrumentation. In its ascetic austerity and almost liturgical solemnity, the work is reminiscent of a communal prayer or a spiritual act. © BR-Klassik
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Classical - Released April 2, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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All the works of the Latvian composer Peteris Vasks on this release are written for string orchestra: the three connected compositions Musica serena (2015), Musica dolorosa (1983) and Musica appassionata (2002), and also Vasks' Concerto No 2 for Violoncello and Strings, also known as "Klatbutne" (“Presence”, 2011-2012). Vasks' three instrumental pieces here are light-hearted, tragic (dealing with the death of his sister as well as the political situation in Latvia at the time), and passionate, providing an overview of the diversity of his work across a timespan of almost three decades. His deeply spiritual Cello Concerto, which was premiered by Sol Gabetta and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta and conducted by Candida Thompson in Ghent, refers in its title to the pure being of his music - which is present, without distance, in every movement of the bow. The beauty that Peteris Vasks evokes in his works would not be possible without the experience of violence and cruelty in this world. He grew up in a country deprived of liberty, and because of his faith and his artistic convictions he was subjected to reprisals from Russian cultural doctrine. His father, a Baptist pastor, was considered an "enemy of the state", and his homeland was under Soviet control. As a result Vasks developed a vision of freedom and subtle protest in his music. Vasks' expressive, direct and often deliberately simple music quickly became the mouthpiece of the long-suppressed Latvian people, giving the nation a proud voice that can be heard worldwide. Today, alongside Arvo Pärt and Erkki Sven-Tüür, Peteris Vasks is one of the most famous composers from the Baltic states of the former Soviet Union. On April 16, 2021, the music world will celebrate his 75th birthday. © BR-Klassik
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Opera - Released May 1, 2020 | BR-Klassik

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Verdi strongly adhered to Italian patriotism and Attila is one of his works that goes to show it. A drama with a particularly inventive melodic invention, it aptly confronts the barbarian Attila, not devoid of greatness and humanity, the Roman general Ezio with his ambiguous character (“You will have the universe; but let Italy remain mine”) and the allegorical figure Odabella, an emblem of the Italian female fighters. Attila contains some major pages heralding the great works of maturity, especially in Attila’s scene and the grand finale of the first act. In this work and like so many others, Verdi carries his political ideas into an epic and national drama. Recorded during a concert at the Prince Regent Theatre in Munich on October 13, 2019, this production features the dark, deep voice of Italian bass baritone Ildebrando d’Archangelo, facing the powerful Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska, whose sharp style and impressive vocal abilities transfigure the Verdian melodies. Sicilian tenor Stefano La Colla en Foresto and Romanian baritone George Petean complete a motley but perfectly balanced cast. A special mention goes to the Bavarian Radio Choir, who bring a luxurious note to the Verdian drama conducted here by the Croatian conductor Ivan Repušić, marking his induction concert to his new position as Music Director of the Munich Radio Orchestra. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Opera - Released February 5, 2021 | Orfeo

On the dark side of fame awaits the slide into obscurity. That’s certainly true for a number of operas that, while popular and highly lucrative during their composers‘ lifetime, soon followed their creators into the shadowy realm of oblivion. Operas, for example, that only ever get mentioned in connection with some much more famous sibling. Giuseppe Gazzaniga’s Don Giovanni – premiered half a year before Mozart’s masterpiece – is such an example, as is Ruggero Leoncavallo’s La Bohème and George Bizet’s Djamileh, widely considered the predecessor of Carmen. Other operas just do not stand out among other works by a composer – Jules Massenet’s operas for example are hardly a footnote of music history, his opera Therese, a thoroughly forgotten work, however, is. Two examples for works that are scarcely performed or even known outside of what is now the Czech Republic are also included in this collection of "Opera Rarities" on Orfeo: Dvorak’s last opera Armida and Zdenek Fibich’s Šárka. © Orfeo
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Opera - Released July 16, 2021 | CPO

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Our Leo Fall cycle continues with Die Rose von Stambul. This operetta in three acts offers music that is full of feeling. This highly emotional work celebrated its premiere with great success at the Theater an der Wien in 1916. Die Rose von Stambul’s 422 straight performances made it the most successful operetta in the history of the Theater an der Wien, next to Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow. Within the shortest time performances followed throughout Central Europe. However, like Emmerich Kálmán’s The Csárdás Princess, it did not become an international success – primarily because of World War I, since the theaters of the Allied countries had stopped staging German-language works. Achmed Bey, the son of a Turkish minister, is married to Kondja, “The Rose of Stamboul”. However, she has exchanged letters with a passionate novelist and fallen in love with him. What she does not suspect: none other than her husband is behind this pseudonym – which provides plenty of opportunities for the expression of emotions – rendered in the Viennese waltz mode (“Ein Walzer muss es sein”) or tunes of Oriental flair. © CPO
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Classical - Released August 6, 2021 | Centaur Records, Inc.

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This is an album featuring path-breaking works for orchestra and for violin and orchestra. Lutoslawski, Varèse, and Ligeti certainly need no introduction. Conductor Christian Baldini is also a first-rate composer. Two superb violinists, Miranda Cuckson and Maximilian Haft are featured performers. "Christian Baldini brings symphonic revival" commented the Buenos Aires Herald on Baldini's recent concerts at the Teatro Argentino featuring Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and Varèse's Amériques. Based in California, Baldini conducts regularly several international orchestras including the Munich Radio Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra (of Argentina and the US), Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto (Portugal), San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and Ensemble Dal Niente. Baldini recently made his debut conducting Verdi's Aida in London for English National Opera, and has conducted new productions at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, where he received the National Critics Association Award for best operatic performance. © Centaur
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Opera - Released August 7, 2020 | CPO

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Classical - Released December 6, 2019 | BR-Klassik

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Classical - Released April 3, 2012 | CPO

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Opera - Released September 17, 2021 | CPO

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"When the evening falls, when the sun sets, when the song of the violin is heard from the puszta …" or "I too was once a fine csárdás cavalier". The operetta and the Munich Radio Orchestra – now that is a passionate relationship that has grown over many years. Now we are releasing one of the most performed works in German-speaking Europe: Emmerich Kálmán’s successful operetta (with which he rounded off the dozen) Gräfin Mariza, which according to the German Music Information Center in 2016 was No. 10 on the operetta hit list. For the conductor’s job the Munich Radio Orchestra once again sought out a proven operetta specialist: Ernst Theis. The work tells the story of a countess who amidst much confusion finds her true love in an impoverished count. The music with hits like "Komm mit nach Varaźdin", "Komm Zigan, spiel mir was vor!", and "Wo wohnt die Liebe?" made the operetta famous and a favorite with the public. © CPO
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Classical - Released September 20, 2010 | Putlabel