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Classical - Released August 31, 2018 | CAvi-music

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Classical - Released August 17, 2018 | CAvi-music

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The phrase “Swan Song” would somewhat mean, admittedly, that the composers knew that their time had come, and that they wanted to bid the world adieu and give some retrospective on their life and work. Absolutely not! None of the four composer included here intended to go back ad patres any time soon, starting with Schubert whose Schwanengesang is actually a blend made posthumously by a publisher, who packed under this title some fourteen isolated Lieder, which weren’t meant to form a cycle. Baritone Christian Immler has chosen the six Lieder whose poems are from Heinrich Heine. Brahms himself, in 1896, was only lamenting the passing of Clara Schumann, but did he know that he would only outlive her for a year when he wrote his Four Serious Songs. Above all, his own swan song would be the eleven chorale preludes for organ which evoke imminent death in a poignant way—even if the four songs are greatly emotional. Samuel Barber’s Three Songs, written in 1972 for Fischer-Dieskay, are admittedly among his last works (and his ultimate opus for choir and piano), but the composer still had almost ten years to live. That being said, the crepuscular mood will escape no one’s attention, as well as the extreme focus of the discourse. Finally, on the polar opposite of this feeling, Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles, written in 1988—two years before his death, then—are not, absolutely not even, funeral or contemplative! This is some work of explosive vitality, deliciously conceived for baritone, mezzo and four-handed piano. For the end of this album, Immler is joined by the mezzo-soprano Anna Stéphany. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released August 10, 2018 | CAvi-music

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No, No, Gershwin didn’t write three preludes for saxophone and piano; he has admittedly written several preludes for piano (in the desire of writing twenty-four in the end, like Chopin or Rachmaninoff, but the project was never finished), among which three have been gathered in a collection. And of course, soon many arrangement for various instruments have flourished, like this one for saxophone and piano (whose author isn’t specified); you will note, with the piano partition at hand, that saxophonist Asya Fateyeva takes a lot of musical liberties, which only does justice to the music. However, Poulenc has well and truly written a Sonata for horn, trumpet and trombone in 1923, one example of the most facetious Poulenc, the most “bad boyish”; as well as in 1926, a Trio oboe, bassoon and piano, somewhat borrowing to Stravinsky. Marc Eychenne, a French composer born in 1933 in a then French Algeria, doesn’t hesitate to incorporate elements of folkloric essence—maybe imaginary?—in his Cantilene and dance for violin, saxophone and piano from 1961, deliberately written in a neo-classical way: it’s a rare composer that is worth discovering. Lutoslawski doesn’t need any introduction. His Partita for violin and piano from 1984 closely fits the neo-Baroque format of the rest, but none of the language; this is an incredibly original partition. All those works have been recorded live during the Chamber music festival directed by Lars Vogt that took place in June 2017 in the very singular hydroelectric plant of Heimach in Germany, now a summit of culture even if the turbines are still working. It must be said that the building from 1905 has been built in the purest Jugendstil—the German Art Nouveau—, including the machinery whose beauty is surreal. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released August 10, 2018 | CAvi-music

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Classical - Released July 13, 2018 | CAvi-music

Booklet
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Classical - Released July 13, 2018 | CAvi-music

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While he emigrated to Palestine from his native Germany in 1934, Josef Tal – born Grünthal (1910-2008) – didn't follow in the footsteps of many Jewish composers in British Mandate Palestine, later Israel, who tried to incorporate popular near-Eastern folk tradition into their language. Tal, an avant-gardist in his day, a student of Hindemith, took on board atonalism, serialism, and early electronic music, all the while holding onto his melodic and tonal conceptions which he owed to Hindemith and Shostakovitch alike. His 1940 Suite for Solo Viola even recalls the accents of Max Reger... The Sonata for Viola and Piano of 1960 marked a clear transition towards a more modernist idiom, while the Duet for Viola and Violin of 1965 was an incursion into the European avant-garde of the day. This is an an avant-garde that clearly receded from view in Perspective, for solo viola, a work of his later maturity written in 1996, at the age of 86. Viola player Hartmut Rohde, a founding member of the Mozart Piano Quartet, and a favoured partner of stars like David Geringas, Janine Jansen and Jörg Widmann, offers up these rare pearls with a clear admiration for the composer, whom he was lucky enough to meet with, the better to understand his music. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released July 13, 2018 | CAvi-music

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Classical - Released May 18, 2018 | CAvi-music

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Classical - Released April 27, 2018 | CAvi-music

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Almost an exact contemporary of Saint-Saëns, Hans Sommer partly faced the same dilemma as the great Camille: born in 1837, in the heart of the Romantic period, he passed away in 1922 and saw many evolutions, even revolutions, pass him by without taking part. He was part of the circles of Richard Strauss (who even conducted one of his operas in Weimar in 1892) and some of his younger colleagues, but never approached the language – even the least avant-garde – of a Schoenberg for instance, including in his later works. A late romantic, fascinated with modern forms but still attached to tone, harmony and strong architecture, he got into music rather late in life, following a first career as a mathematician, physician and naturalist. He authored ten operas and most importantly an imposing repertoire of Lieder in line with the works of Wagner, Schumann, Liszt and the first Strauss, written for the most part before the 1900s. Baritone Sebastian Noack performs a nice range of Sommer’s creations in this field that he so masterfully explored. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released March 16, 2018 | CAvi-music

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classical - Released March 16, 2018 | CAvi-music

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Harmonies and virtuosity: that is what the two composers Sergei Rachmaninoff and Carlos Guastavino have in common. “Even though the geographical distance between them was immense, their approach to the piano was strikingly similar”, remarks Martin Klett. In both composers the Romantic element is paired with apparent attractive simplicity and ambitious piano artistry. Klett begins his album with a brief piece by the Argentinian composer Guastavino (1912-2000), one of the country’s most outstanding composers. In the course of his travels to Europe, the U.S.S.R., and China, he often presented his own piano works and songs in public – as well as his orchestral works, profoundly imbued with folklore. The listener will discover among others the Sonatina in three movements, where the composer associates folklore elements with the Romantic sonatina form. Klett continues with a selection of Guastavino’s Cantos Populares, Argentinian “Songs Without Words” so to speak. This cycle consists of ten brief aphorisms – often a short tango, a zamba, or a chacarera. The programme’s section dedicated to Guastavino closes with Las Niñas (The Girls, written 1953), where the link towards Rachmaninov seems rather obvious. A perfect transition to introduce Rachmaninoff’s Second Sonata, which was composed in Rome in 1913 and helped consolidate his reputation as Russia’s last great Romantic. Once Rachmaninoff had performed the Second Sonata many times in public, he decided to revise it thoroughly in 1931, and Klett plays this definite version. Klett, a former student of Elisabeth Leonskaja, Leon Fleisher and Pascal Devoyon, won the International Johannes Brahms Competition and the German National Music Competition, and has become a welcome guest at the prestigious music festivals of Lucerne, Schleswig-Holstein, Heidelberg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schwetzingen to name just a few. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released February 23, 2018 | CAvi-music

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Přemysl Vojta doesn’t play “a” horn here, but rather several very different horns. He starts out with a natural horn from 1833 for Beethoven’s Sonata − for anyone familiar with this work being played on a modern chromatic instrument, the surprise will be massive! Much due to the fact that most of the notes, unavailable in the natural scale of the primitive instrument, are generated by changing the position of the right hand in the bell, creating a deaf, nasal sound in addition to the natural notes playing at full sonority. The result is quite unique, but foreseen by Beethoven when writing his Sonata; it’s as if two different instruments were playing, exchanging notes within a single phrase. For Schumann, Vojta decided on a chromatic Viennese horn from the end of the 19th century, then a modern instrument from the famous German manufacturer Alexander. A modern horn he keeps for the ever-intriguing Alterations of the Sonata for Piano, Op. 27/2 by Ludwig van Beethoven into Sonata for Horn and Piano − yes, that’s the complete title! – by contemporary German composer Giselher Klebe (1925-2009). If you take into consideration that he approached the Moonlight Sonata with the aim to produce not a simple re-instrumentation, which wouldn’t be of particular interest, but a rewriting in which each moment is recognisably based on Beethoven while still being Klebe, then you can only marvel at the highly virtuosic accomplishment this represents. On the pianos, Tobias Koch transitions from an 1821 Graf for Beethoven’s Sonata to an 1839 Erard for all Schumann’s pieces and ends up on a Steinway for the Klebe/Beethoven part. In other words, the listener will be transported through an impressive range of sounds! © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released February 23, 2018 | CAvi-music

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released February 23, 2018 | CAvi-music

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Classical - Released February 23, 2018 | CAvi-music

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Even frequent concertgoers will find it difficult to imagine what to expect under the heading “English viola music”. Works by Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten have found an established place in the Continental concert repertoire; violists also know William Walton’s concerto. Other composers of the British Isles, however, have remained unknown to the rest of Europe’s public in spite of their prolific output: names such as York Bowen (1884-1961), Benjamin Dale (1885-1943) or Frank Bridge (1879-1941) are among those ignored musicians, Bridge does appear in one of his students’ early works, i.e. Britten’s Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge, but that’s about all regarding his fame. These three, featured on this album, belong to a generation of musicians who centered their activities around London toward the turn of the century and ushered in a new period blending Late Romanticism with Classical Modernism. All three of them had a particular penchant for the viola’s dark and melancholy timbre: the viola could serve as the perfect musical correlate to the fin-de-siècle mood that had taken over the minds and hearts of so many artists, authors and intellectuals. Bowen’s Sonata, Dale’s Phantasy and the six pieces by Bridge all stem from the period between 1901 and 1910 – a time when the first composers on the Continent were starting to eschew major/minor tonality, a tendency that would have to wait some extra time in ultra-conservative Britain ; the present pieces all belong to the late Romantic Germanic and French style. Until then, the viola had been completely overshadowed by other solo instruments. If it had now become the object of more frequent attention, this was partly due to the exceptional stature of Lionel Tertis (1876-1975). Since Tertis was the first violist who attained international fame, composers now found it worthwhile to collaborate with him and dedicate works to him. Gernot Adrion has held the post of Assistant Principal Viola in Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra since 1996. Since 2006 he has been playing together in the Gideon Klein Trio, an ensemble devoted to string trio repertoire from the Early Baroque to the 20th century. Since 2012 he has formed a piano/viola duo with Yuki Inagawa. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 26, 2018 | CAvi-music

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Classical - Released January 26, 2018 | CAvi-music

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Classical - Released December 15, 2017 | CAvi-music

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Classical - Released November 10, 2017 | CAvi-music

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classical - Released November 10, 2017 | CAvi-music

Hi-Res Booklet