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Classical - Released December 3, 2021 | CPO

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Classical - Released December 3, 2021 | CPO

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Classical - Released November 19, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
Schubert Symphonies - Now really complete. On the occasion of its twenty-fifth anniversary, the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra is releasing the present recording of Franz Schubert’s complete symphonies and complete symphonic fragments. It is the most recent gem in this orchestra’s multifaceted repertoire ranging from the suite of the French, German, and Austrian Baroque through the sinfonia of the Mannheim School to Viennese Classicism and Early Romanticism. Although Joseph von Spaun termed Schubert a »song composer« not long after his death, Schubert’s compositional oeuvre may be said to be framed by a symphonic fragment and a sketch for a symphony. The first of these fragments was the score for an overture (D. 2A) committed to paper around 1810-11 and abandoned in the middle of the exposition, and the last was a draft of three movements for a Symphony in D major (D. 936 A), largely worked out in full, from the last weeks, if not from the last days, of his life. During the period of some eighteen years between these two manuscripts, Schubert occupied himself creatively with almost all the established forms, ensembles, and genres. The symphonic fragments heard here often consist of scores containing only a few measures with the later addition of the instrumentation of a piece, for example, measures 209 to 223 from the first movement of the String Quartet D. 74. Since the composer assigned the date »3 September 1813« to this movement following its final notes, he must have written the fragment immediately prior to beginning his work on the Symphony No. 1 in D major, D. 82. © CPO
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Opera - Released November 5, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
Franz Ignaz Beck is one of the most fascinating composers of the eighteenth century, a musical visionary as well as a »genuine European« with roots in Mannheim. His opera L’isle déserte (1779), long regarded as lost, has resurfaced in a score manuscript in France and now is celebrating its recording premiere with La Stagione Frankfurt. Magnificent music and a magnificent text! Beck’s L’isle déserte is particularly interesting in the context of music history: first, because it is by a composer who continued to await discovery; second, because a composer active in France availed himself of an Italian libretto – which continued to be an exception before 1780, especially when Metastasio was the librettist. Beck’s L’isle déserte is thus a model example of a material and text-historical adaptation and even more so of a transfer to the music theater. In other words, in Beck’s version of »The Deserted Island« Italian libretto artistry and French music theater meet, while special appeal is generated by this composer from Germany, an émigré, so to speak, who was not operating with French as his genuinely native language. © CPO
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Classical - Released October 22, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
Each of the three violin concertos by Telemann on the seventh volume (but not the last!) of our complete series merits separate consideration in view of its singular musical character and special transmission history. In two cases stylistic descriptions and evaluations are bound up with the question of the authenticity of these compositions. This applies to the Overture Suites TWV 55:A8 and TWV 55:A4. Our expert booklet author Dr. Wolfgang Hirschmann regards the attribution of the first suite to Telemann as entirely justified, even though it perhaps involves a rather early example of this composer’s concerts en ouverture. The interpretation of this work by The Wallfisch Band is a multifaceted and just as virtuosic rendering that makes a compelling case for this fine one-of-a-kind piece situated between the concerto and suite genres – a work that absolutely has to be included in a complete recording! Although the second overture suite really should be assigned to the ranks of the anonymous, Adolf Hoffmann categorically labeled it as a piece by Telemann in his dissertation on the orchestral suites (1969) and classified it as a »masterpiece« by this composer. The solo violin is highly effectively employed along with a finely developed feeling for tone-color effects, and the movements are ambitiously elaborated in length and form. No matter how plausible the case for Telemann’s authorship may be – these works enable us to participate in a fascinating journey back in time to European music culture around 1720. © CPO
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Chamber Music - Released October 22, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
In February 2020, on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of Johann Nepomuk David’s birth, the Upper Austrian David Trio recorded his complete string trios. David’s chamber music is distinguished by a great variety of ensemble forms. Although he also composed for rare and unusual combinations of two or more instruments, in the field of chamber composition he most frequently wrote for the string trio (at least among his published works). The equality of three instruments from the same tonal family (i. e., the lack of hierarchies of transmitted role assignments) may have motivated him to compose for this ensemble form without feeling burdened by conventions. With a subtle tonal sense he produces finely dimensioned, almost orchestral effects as well as forcefully nuanced details, and at the same time he is very well informed about remote tonal effects and rare playing techniques and succeeds in using them to meet his goals. A special feature: each trio is dedicated to one of the prominent Italian violinmakers. © CPO
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Chamber Music - Released October 22, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
When Ignaz Pleyel concluded his work on the last of his twelve Prussian Quartets, he had already garnered a great deal of experience as a composer of string quartets. His unmistakable musical voice had brought him countless admirers – including, not least, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who enthusiastically wrote of the Quartets, Op. 1 in a letter to his father. The dedicatory preface suggests that Pleyel had composed all of its pieces in Italy. He described them as “musically profound,” thereby indicating that Haydn’s Quartets, Op. 20 may have been their immediate model. The fugue movements in the Quartets Benton 328 and Benton 330 are fascinating. Although Pleyel claimed that he had written them in the Italian style, Mozart was not fooled here: in their refined elegance he recognized the unique signature of Pleyel’s teacher Joseph Haydn. Nevertheless, the pupil had succeeded in writing a brilliant series of quartets in keeping with his own ideas and combining the clarity of the Italian style with the wealth of technical imagination characterizing the Viennese style. © CPO
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Classical - Released October 22, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
Vol. 3 in our successful series with "Music for Strings by British Composers" features works by four important women composers, some of whom initially were underappreciated and whose music only later was performed again and received proper recognition. However, the period from 1893 to 1934 was still an extremely favorable time for British women composers who wanted to present their works on their country’s concert stages in as much as they could count on support principally from Sir Henry Wood at the Prom's and Dan Godfrey in Bournemouth. Ethel Smyth (familiar to our listening audience from CPO albums with works by her) and Susan Spain-Dunk in particular profited from this support. In addition, this release presents recording premieres of string compositions by Constance Warren and Ruth Gipps, in part in editions by the conductor Douglas Bostock himself. On this third volume the Southwest German Chamber Orchestra of Pforzheim once again “explores the works with a lot of understanding for the particular personal style and with a fine sense of sound. Douglas Bostock knows how to bring out manifold colors from the orchestra and also, when needed, how to sharpen the tone and to place the sonority of the whole in the foreground” (klassik.com in April 2021, about the second volume). © CPO
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Chamber Music - Released October 15, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
Today Lena Neudauer is in great demand as a musician who delights an international public with the clarity, power, charm, and emotional depth of her violin playing. For this reason, following her successful interpretation of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, cpo is also very delighted to have obtained her services for the interpretation of three violin concertos by Antonio Rosetti: she has a special place in her heart for this charming composer, and her stupendous virtuosity enables her to rise to the challenge of the high technical demands of his concertos. Movements of exuberant freshness flow and overflow with performance joy, and these three concertos once again display Rosetti’s tendency to endow the first movements of his solo concertos with extensive orchestral introductions and richly diverse musical material. This is listening pleasure of a special kind! © CPO
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Classical - Released October 15, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
The musical splendor of San Marco. On their first recording featuring madrigals and canzonettas by Andrea Gabrieli, the Weser Renaissance ensemble led by Manfred Cordes was already in its element. On SWR2 Radio Michael Stegemann commented: »A most highly entertaining and successful album. Perfect balance in the mixture of singers and winds, audio transparency of the polyphonic structures, great textual intelligibility.« And on the ensemble’s second Gabrieli volume, now with madrigals, psalms, and organ works by this master delighting so much in experimentation, his intention and wish to offer intelligent entertainment to his fellow human beings are clearly shown : by 1566 at the latest, Andrea Gabrieli was appointed to the coveted post of organist at St. Mark’s Cathedral, and already during his lifetime he was esteemed in particular because of his enormous versatility. © CPO
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Chamber Music - Released October 15, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
Magnificent pieces by Henri Bertini. "No matter how one might try, one cannot be unkind to Mr. Bertini: he can bring one beside oneself with his friendliness and all his finely fragrant Parisian expressions; his music has the feel of pure satin and silk". In his "Neue Zeitschrift für Musik" Robert Schumann gave numerous fellow musicians who rubbed him the wrong way a solid piece of his own mind, but he never found anything to hold against Henri Bertini, a French composer who was twelve years his senior. Although he was a little indirect in his praise, he was right: in the music of this once highly esteemed pianist, piano teacher, and composer there is nothing irritating, nothing that might offend good taste – and yet we never have the impression that here we have a composer who eliminated every trace of "modernity" merely to win public favor. Friendliness apparently was a characteristic trait of this musician who was born in London in 1798 and died in Meylan, near Grenoble, in 1876. He never attempted to go at everything headfirst to prove that it was possible to shatter the sound barrier. His countless études and learning pieces were so very popular internationally because a natural music flows in them, offering welcome expressive opportunities to the pupil. And his finely crafted chamber compositions – from the duo sonata to the nonet – form a catalogue’s trove of treasures combining a very fine ear with great narrative talent. Two of these magnificent pieces from the late 1830s – the Piano Trio Op. 43 and the Nonet Op. 107 – inaugurate this vibrant work series that would be a top wish for a complete recording edition and definitely in every way represents a valuable contribution to the repertoire. © CPO
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Classical - Released October 15, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
Vol. 6 of this complete recording presents what might be termed the opposite ends of the broad spectrum covered by Kuhnau’s music, both in formal matters and in chronological respects. On the one hand, in Ihr Himmel jubiliert von oben and Lobet, ihr Himmel, den Herrn we have two magnificent Ascension cantatas for large ensembles from Kuhnau’s late period as St. Thomas music director. On the other hand, Bone Jesu, care Jesu and Laudate pueri Dominum, works of Italian stamp scored for chamber ensemble from Kuhnau’s time as a St. Thomas organist with a wide range of activities, offer exemplary illustrations of the sacred concerto of the late seventeenth century. Ich freue mich im Herrn for four concertists, choir, and strings occupies a middle position between these works and offers an interesting mixture consisting of the concerto-aria-cantata popular in the late seventeenth century and the rondo form and is borne musically by the affection of joy. Once again the Opella Musica ensemble of soloists founded by Gregor Meyer in 2011 and the historically oriented Camerata Lipsiensis orchestra interpret the cantatas on the basis of the recently published critical musicological edition. © CPO
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Chamber Music - Released October 15, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
Impressive Violin Sonatas from Poland. Over many decades the enduring impression internationally was that between Fryderyk Chopin and Karol Szymanowski there had been no significant composers in Poland. However, when this country was not a state, it brought forth other highly talented musicians who stood the test of European comparison with flying colors. Two of them were closely acquainted personally through a teacher-pupil relationship and warm ties of friendship: Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Zygmunt Stojowski, and for some years now the compositions of the two have enjoyed new esteem. Paderewski’s Sonata Op. 13 may rightly claim a place side by side with famous works by Edvard Grieg, Johannes Brahms, and César Franck. Paderewski immediately demonstrates his command of the latest developments in the European art of music. The beginning of the first movement combines a piano accompaniment of stormy animation with a violin theme of sweeping breadth that on the one hand could have been taken from a symphony by Bruckner and on the other hand could represent a minor variant of the concluding apotheosis in Grieg’s Piano Concerto. The violinist Władysław Górski offered Stojowski insights into his instrument’s capabilities when the composer was a young man, and Stojowski’s First Violin Sonata, a most highly effectively composed work, documents this expert tutelage. © CPO
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Classical - Released October 15, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
Monteverdi & Friends. It was only recently that the world of classical music began to rid itself of its obsession with great names and great places. There of course can be no doubt that Claudio Monteverdi was a great composer and that he wrote many a magnificent work for St. Mark’s Cathedral. Yet, after many long years, we are now gradually coming to the realization that the Venetian musical universe was not limited to San Marco. Without wanting to diminish Monteverdi’s genius, we have to admit, as is clearly audible on this recording, that this master was a member of a gifted, innovative circle of composers whose creative production was also of benefit to him. On the present new release we hear sacred works, including rare Psalm settings, not only by Monteverdi himself but also by Giovanni Rovetta, Antonio Rigatti, and Dario Costello. The musical language employed by Monteverdi in his later sacred works displays a theatrical character, rich affections, and a predilection for strong contrasts that can hardly be distinguished from the style of his late madrigals and operas. His substitute Giovanni Rovetta and his pupil Giovanni Antonio Rigatti used the very same language. They more clearly combine the instruments with the singers, at times have them imitate the song lines, and in other places fill out the textures of the tutti segments with them. With their four vocal parts, two high instruments, and the plenum sound of the organ, the homophonic passages create the illusion of a much larger ensemble. Thirteen years after Monteverdi had settled in Venice, Giovanni Rovetta’s Dixit Dominus and Magnificat were published (1626). These are the mature works of a young composer who here speaks the same musical language known to us from Monteverdi’s Selva morale. Might it be possible that Monteverdi was influenced by his younger colleagues, just as they were influenced by him? &opy; CPO
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Chamber Music - Released October 15, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
This Vol. 2 once again demonstrates the unique stylistic quality of Felix Draeseke’s works for strings. When the composer turned to the quartet genre, he ventured onto compositional terrain largely regarded as the domain of composers of traditional orientation. Wagner’s influence is also found in Draeseke’s quartets, though not in the form of an imitation of Wagnerian composing but as a creative rendering of the Classical composers as they had been conveyed to Draeseke by Wagner. The idea of the »melodic thread« running through the music and unifying it is everywhere in evidence in these works. The composer’s third quartet, his Op. 66, was regularly performed in Central Germany during his lifetime – for instance, in Leipzig in 1911, when the Gewandhaus Quartet included it on the program for the celebration of the hundredth anniversary of Franz Liszt’s birth. Draeseke’s Op. 66 quartet differs from all of his other works in sonata form in that it is designed in five movements, a structure reminding us both of Beethoven’s Quartet in A minor, Op. 13 and Haydn’s early quartet divertimenti. Both spheres, the sublime tone of the »Heiliger Dankgesang« and the carefree mood of the cassations and serenades, seem to occur in continuous mutual interpenetration in this work. The »most feared contrapuntist« reveals his strictest mien, while at the same time showing that he is a subtle humorist who in particular delights in play with metrical emphases. © CPO
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Classical - Released October 15, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
A Christmas narrative from Old Breslau. The Weser-Renaissance ensemble had two goals in mind in its concert series »Breslau – A City in the Heart of Europe«: the first was to offer musical enjoyment and the second was to remember an old cultural environment that had been forgotten for many decades. The music manuscripts and printed editions discovered in the Berlin State Library attest to the great diversity and high quality of music culture in what was once the capital of Silesia. »Die Geburt unsers Herrn and Heylands Jesu Christi« (The Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ), a Christmas narrative by Tobias Zeutschner, who was active at Breslau’s principal churches St. Bernhardin and St. Mary Magdalene, forms the focus of the present selection from these sources in a program entitled »Weihnachten im Breslau des 17. Jahrhunderts – Festmusik in der Kirche St. Maria Magdalena« (Christmas in Seventeenth-Century Breslau – Festive Music in the Church of St. Mary Magdalene). This early example of a Biblical history composition is richly scored for eighteen voices. © CPO
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Classical - Released October 15, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
There are indeed many recordings of Monteverdi’s Vespers of the Blessed Virgin, but the special thing about this particular recording is that it was produced following the performances of a scenic interpretation with the Spanish stage director Calixto Bieito. What now follows is a musical exploration forming a sequel to scenic occupation with the Vespers. Since 2017 Il Gusto Barocco has been the guest ensemble for the four-part Monteverdi cycle initiated by opera director Albrecht Puhlmann at the Mannheim National Theater. From the musician’s perspective, the scenic exploration of music rooted in the liturgy does in fact clearly differ from a performance during a religious service or a non-scenic concert performance. During the time-intensive process prior to the staging of an opera, scenes, images, and figures gradually take shape. In each stage figure the quest is for an emotional truth from which her or his artistic nature, aesthetic character, and credibility result – and ultimately word and tone, in order to produce empathy and engage the public. Another important aspect of this recording is the great number of diminutions in all the instrumental and vocal parts, all of which were improvised at the particular moment. During the shared scenic preparation for the opera stage, the individual movements of the Marian Vespers obtained a definite emotional space in the dramaturgical sequence. Accordingly, sections and their basic characters were defined and invented at the particular moment for each performance and for this recording. © CPO
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Chamber Music - Released October 15, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
Anton Dimler’s colorful clarinet concertos. The famous court orchestra of Prince Elector Carl Theodor of the Palatinate was distinguished by the fact that its musicians were not only certified virtuosos on their instruments but also good composers. Some of these most highly capable musicians basked in the limelight of the international music world, while others stayed in the background without this meaning that they were less-talented musicians. One of them was the horn player and later double bassist Anton Dimler, a member of the Mannheim Court Orchestra who today is known as a composer only to a few specialists even though his works exhibit great quality. This is also true of his clarinet concertos, three of which have been recorded for the first time on the present release. The focus in them is always on the highly virtuosic solo parts, while the orchestral accompaniment exercises a subordinate function. The soloist has the opportunity to display his brilliance with passagework, arpeggios, and shifts of register and makes all the colors of the clarinet shine over its whole tonal gamut. © CPO
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Classical - Released October 1, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
Fifteen years after the first album featuring works by Francesco Veracini and two years after the release of the second such album, CPO is now releasing the third production by L’Arte dell’Arco in this series combining a complete edition of this composer’s work. The first release met with an unanimously enthusiastic response: “Here everything fits perfectly; here instrumentalists perform with passion; here a very great ensemble is revealed. The team effort is fascinating; here musicians, friends, and kindred spirits are at work” (Toccata). The goal of this project is to record Veracini’s complete Overtures and Violin Concertos and to combine them with a selection of his most interesting Sonatas from the collection without opus number (1716) and his Opus 1 (1721).
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Classical - Released October 1, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
These works once again demonstrating that Röntgen was the most highly imaginative composer in Holland during the second half of the nineteenth century. Julius Röntgen composed his Symphony No. 12 in C major (“In Babylone”) in 1930, along with eight further symphonies. Seven of these works are laid out in a single movement and last from ten to 15 minutes. The actual main theme of Symphony No. 12 is only heard at the end in the plein jeu of the organ. At the beginning of 1930 Julius Röntgen was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. The degree was proposed by Professor Donald Francis Tovey, with whom he had already developed a friendship by 1910. Tovey considered Röntgen the last link in a chain proceeding from Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms, a man capable of telling and teaching us of these 19th-century titans. Röntgen was so surprised and delighted at the prospect of this tribute that he immediately set out to compose his Seventh Symphony in F minor, the “Edinburgh” Symphony. Following the model of Joseph Haydn and his “Oxford” Symphony, he intended to present it to the university’s senate at the awards ceremony. Röntgen celebrated the Christmas season and New Year’s Day with the newly married couple in Winterthur, where his newest – and last – symphony originated in 1930. Symphony No. 14 in D major (“Winterthur”) makes do with a small amount of material. The horns enter on natural harmonics in D major, seemingly emerging directly from the Alpine scenery. © CPO