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Symphonic Music - Released March 23, 2018 | Onyx Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Symphonic Music - Released November 14, 2006 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonies - Released March 3, 2017 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
Mendelssohn’s warmly lyrical and evocative Scottish symphony is paired with his confident and precocious first symphony for the first in a series of recordings in multi-channel surround sound for PENTATONE by the conductor Andrew Manze and the NDR Radiophilharmonie. It’s no wonder that Robert Schumann dubbed Mendelssohn the “Mozart of the nineteenth century”; with his felicitous gift for melody and meticulous craftsmanship, his music positively brims with youthful spontaneity and exuberance, blending dreamy poetic flights with moments of affecting tenderness and serenity. Inspired by his visits to Scotland and the Hebrides and the romantic novels of Sir Walter Scott, his outstanding Symphony No. 3 in A minor (“Scottish”) is a colourful reminiscence of its rugged landscapes steeped in history, and an affectionate homage to the proud Highlanders he met there. It was an instant success on its first performance and rivals the popularity of the overture The Hebrides, also inspired by the splendour of Scotland. No less impressive is his masterly Symphony No. 1 in C minor, composed when he was just 15 years old. From its noisy and impetuous opening to its triumphant conclusion, this confident and adventurous work shows the influence of Mozart, Haydn and Weber but the effect is unmistakeably Mendelssohnian with fugal passages, unforgettable melodies and busy, inventive scoring. (Text from the Pentatone website)
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Concertos - Released January 10, 2006 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions Choc de l'année du Monde de la Musique
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Symphonic Music - Released June 3, 2014 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
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Classical - Released August 17, 2005 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released December 21, 2012 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released January 1, 1999 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released June 17, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber's Rosary Sonatas were written in Salzburg in the 1670s or 1680s, and they're really unlike anything else in the violin literature. Scordatura, or unconventional tuning of an instrument's strings, was common enough during the Baroque era, but Biber's cycle of 15 pieces for violin and continuo explores the technique exhaustively: each of the 15 sonatas uses a different tuning. The result is music of fearsome difficulty for the player, and, as with Bach's best music, technical complexity generates spiritual intensity. Each sonata represents one of the Mysteries of the Catholic Rosary, which are divided into five Joyful Mysteries (the Annunciation, for example), five Sorrowful Mysteries (concluding with Christ's crucifixion), and five Glorious Mysteries (centered on the Resurrection and on Mary's Assumption). Some of the sonatas have three movements, often with two slow, quasi-improvisatory movements surrounding a central "Aria" or piece in dance rhythm. Others are series of dances, and a few are long single movements approaching the elaborate architecture of the Chaconne from Bach's Partita No. 2 for solo violin. Some of the tunings are downright outlandish; as the music reaches its spiritual climax in the "Resurrection" sonata, Biber specifies that the violin be played with its two central strings crossed, perhaps to symbolize the meeting of heaven and earth. A helpful short commentary by Andrew Manze included at the end of disc two explains the scordatura technique for those who would rather listen than read. Manze, a British Baroque violinist who has led the English Concert and the Academy of Ancient Music, brings these pieces alive. Performing on a 1700 violin with sheep gut strings, he retunes the instrument for each sonata rather than playing on a set of pre-tuned instruments. This allows the listener to hear the radical changes in tone the violin undergoes as the levels of pressure on its strings are altered. Manze puts it this way in his notes: "As it is pulled into different tunings, the violin undergoes experiences, some pleasant (as in the Visitation and Coronation), some traumatic (the Agony and Crowning with Thorns, for example)." The sequence of tunings matches the events of Christ's life, with the Sorrowful Mysteries rendered in harsh, tense tones. This hasn't always been clear in earlier performances of the work, and observers have tried with dubious success to find more overt pictorialism. Biber shifts mood rather than painting pictures, and the scordatura technique plays a primary role. There are a few problems with this recording. The break between the two discs is unfortunate; the "Crucifixion and Death of Jesus" sonata is orphaned at the beginning of disc two, and the listener, changing CDs, will miss the highly dramatic transition from the carrying of the cross to the crucifixion. And the continuo accompaniment by Richard Egarr can be questioned. He shifts between organ and harpsichord, bringing out the more improvisatory flights of the violin nicely but creating some contrasts that Baroque audiences might or might not have found idiomatic. Neither of these complaints, however, detracts from Manze's impressive achievement here.
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Chamber Music - Released November 4, 2005 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released December 21, 2012 | harmonia mundi

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Symphonic Music - Released March 6, 2012 | CPO

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Classical - Released November 30, 2018 | Onyx Classics

Booklet
Looking at it closely, Vaughan Williams' first symphony, A Sea Symphony, is his first major work; the composer, who was never in a hurry, was already thirty-six years old when he finished it, even though the writing process had taken him a good half a dozen years. Never in a hurry indeed... But this first great work was a masterpiece that propelled Vaughan Williams to the forefront of the musical world in that year of 1910, a position that he would never leave again. Quite the contrary in fact: masterpiece after masterpiece followed until the end of his life. His Symphony No.1 is the longest of his symphonies; there are four movements in which the choir appears like a soloist from start to finish alongside two real vocal soloists. The style is very modern - not too much in the wake of a Debussy, but truly at the basis of a complete renewal of English music in which Elgar also participated and which served as a foundation, for example, for Britten a few decades later. The album, which features the excellent conductor Andrew Manze at the head of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, closes with one of the composer's most famous works, The Lark Ascending for solo violin (James Ehnes here) and orchestra. It is a true wonder of poetry and invention. The composer limits the orchestra to strings and a few woodwinds, plus a triangle that plays a total of sixteen notes - what an invention! © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released June 7, 2011 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released May 27, 2016 | harmonia mundi

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Concertos - Released January 1, 1993 | Chandos

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Chamber Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Booklet
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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Symphonic Music - Released June 29, 2010 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released April 5, 2013 | harmonia mundi