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Grechaninov: All-Night Vigil, Op. 59

Latvian Radio Choir

Koormuziek - Verschenen op 5 november 2021 | Ondine

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With this new album the Latvian Radio Choir conducted by Sigvards Klava is turning its attention to the music of Alexander Grechaninov (1864–1956), one of the masters of Russian liturgic music. Grechaninov’s All-Night Vigil is a fitting continuation to the choir’s albums of sacred music by Sergey Rachmaninoff and Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Together with the two latter names, Grechaninov’s All-Night Vigil belongs to the central repertoire of Russian liturgic music. Also known as author of several symphonies and over 200 opus-numbered works, Grechaninov’s choral music has an important position among his oeuvre. His All-Night Vigil, written in the 1910s during the golden era of Russian liturgic music before the October revolution, belongs to its highlights. Unlike the Vigils by Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, Grechaninov’s work was written primarily for concert use. Grechaninov’s All-Night Vigil is a bright, optimistic work full of light. Grechaninov used old traditional Slavic chants as the basis of this work and selected the uplifting, solemnly glorious chants to emphasize the character of joy, exultation and jubilance. © Ondine
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Thomas Larcher: Symphony No. 2 "Kenotaph" & Die Nacht der Verlorenen

The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Klassiek - Verschenen op 5 november 2021 | Ondine

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Austrian composer Thomas Larcher (born 1963) is one of the great symphonists of our era. This album by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Hannu Lintu includes the first recording of his Second Symphony, "Kenotaph", and the song cycle Die Nacht der Verlorenen performed by the baritone Andrè Schuen. Larcher’s Symphony was written in 2015–2016 to a commission from the National Bank of Austria for its bicentenary. The premiere was given by the Vienna Philharmonic under Semyon Bychkov at the Musikverein in Vienna in June 2016. Larcher’s work, originally intended as a concerto for orchestra, engages with tradition as a fertile background, while still embodying the sound and consciousness of our time. The subtitle to Larcher’s work was motivated by the painful awareness of the thousands of refugees who have drowned in the Mediterranean. The work can also be understood as a more general meditation on human tragedy and an exploration of profound existential issues. Larcher ties the material of the work together with a strong sense of dramaturgy, intense emotional expression and a feeling for musical narrative. The song cycle Die Nacht der Verlorenen for baritone and large ensemble sets fragments by Ingeborg Bachmann (1926–1973) that were posthumously published. Bachmann’s dark texts inspired Larcher to write intense and compelling music that is entirely in tune with the mood of the poems. Overall, the work is dominated by slow, meditative and often dreamlike and unreal moods, effectively underpinned by delicate and carefully designed scoring that conjures up a multitude of colours and shades. © Ondine
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Baltic Sounds

Estonian National Symphony Orchestra

Klassiek - Verschenen op 5 november 2021 | Ondine

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Beethoven: Violin Sonatas, Op. 30 Nos. 1-3

Christian Tetzlaff

Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 1 oktober 2021 | Ondine

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The award-winning duo ensemble formed by Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt are returning to the masterworks of European chamber music with this new album that includes Ludwig van Beethoven’s (1770-1827) three violin sonatas from Op. 30. The expressive and intimate chamber music recordings by the star duo have gathered numerous awards and their previous album also received an ECHO-Klassik award in 2017. Beethoven wrote his three Violin Sonatas, Op. 30 in 1801 and 1802. They are relatively early works but already pointing towards the direction of Beethoven’s revolutionary 3rd Symphony, "Eroica", which was completed in 1803. Although the influence of Haydn is still visible, in these Sonatas Beethoven created movements in all the sonatas that are completely untypical and that had never existed before in this way. No wonder that these delightful works belong to the artists’ favourite works by the great composer. © Ondine
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Americascapes

Delphine Dupuy

Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 oktober 2021 | Ondine

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All four American composers on this new album by the Basque National Orchestra and conductor Robert Trevino wrote music that was known, played and esteemed during their lifetimes, but none of them ever had a huge “hit” and so the pieces here are likely familiar only to musical scholars. Yet while it is uncommon enough to find Charles Martin Loeffler, Henry Cowell, Carl Ruggles and Howard Hanson sharing the same album, the conductor Robert Trevino has taken his exploration still further, into the recesses of their repertory – complete with a Hanson piece, Before the Dawn, that has had to wait a century for this, its premiere recording. Charles Martin Loeffler’s (1861-1935) La Mort de Tintagiles from 1897 is based on a play by Maeterlinck. This impressive 25-minute orchestral work features a solo part for viola d’amore akin to the role of the violin in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherazade. Carl Ruggles (1876-1971) remains among the very greatest of American composers, despite having finished only a little more than an hour’s worth of music over the course of his 95 years. His Evocations exists both as versions for solo piano and orchestra. The orchestral version showcases in an excellent way Ruggles’ skill as an orchestral composer. Howard Hanson (1896-1981) was one of major figures in American 20th century music. Hanson was a conservative Romantic and sometimes likened to an "American Sibelius". Prior to winning the "Prix de Rome" in 1921 Hanson had already written 20 opuses, including an orchestral work, Before the Dawn, Op. 17. It remains a mystery why Hanson hid this orchestral work in his archives. Hanson may have considered it juvenilia. Yet it is engaging from the start, filled with rich melodies, and sumptuously orchestrated. The album ends with Henry Cowell’s (1897-1965) Variations for Orchestra, written in Shah’s Iran, by the great American experimentalists who had a profound influence on the early music of John Cage and Lou Harrison. © Ondine
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Pēteris Vasks: Oboe Concerto, Vēstījums & Lauda

Albrecht Mayer

Klassiek - Verschenen op 3 september 2021 | Ondine

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Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks (born 1946) is one of the most prominent names among living composers today. This album by the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andris Poga includes the first recording of Vasks’ atmospheric and pastoral Oboe Concerto written for the centenary celebrations of Latvia’s independence in 2018 and performed by one of today’s leading oboists, Albrecht Mayer. The new concerto is coupled with two early orchestral works from the 1980s, Vēstījums and Lauda – both musical manifestations from the final years of the Soviet Union when occupied Latvia started its peaceful fight to regain the country’s independence. Vasks’ writes: “The Oboe Concerto is possibly one of my brighter works”. The Concerto has two pastorale movements echoing the Latvian landscape with hints to Latvian folk music. However, the Concerto portrays something much deeper that Latvia’s beautiful nature. Vasks comments: “The Concerto could be viewed as akin to a human life with its beginning, period of maturity, and departure”. The Concerto received its premiere on October 5, 2018, at the Large Guild Hall in Rīga, one month before the culmination of Latvia’s centenary celebrations. Albrecht Mayer and the LNSO performed the work under the baton of Andris Poga, as on this recording. Vēstījums ("The Message", 1982), for Two Pianos, Strings and Percussion belongs to Vasks’ early works. In this piece Vasks wanted to express “how exquisitely beautiful the world is and what we, in our hubris, are doing with it”. The work culminates in a moment when “the cosmos rejoices”: “We, the insane, will be lost but the miracle of the world will remain”, as Vasks explains. Lauda (1985) was the composer’s form of “spiritual protest” during Latvia’s final years as part of the Soviet Union, originally written for the 150th anniversary of Latvian folklorist Krišjānis Barons, a moment which resulted in a peaceful candle protest. The work received its premiere two years later, in 1987. © Ondine
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Éric Tanguy: Orchestral Works

Pierre Génisson

Klassiek - Verschenen op 3 september 2021 | Ondine

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This album presents three works by Éric Tanguy (born 1968), one of the leading composers in contemporary French music. Tanguy’s Clarinet Concerto was written for French clarinetist Pierre Génisson to accompany Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. However, this melodic and lyrical work in three movements does seek to establish an analogy with Mozart’s work. Tanguy’s Second Violin Concerto, revised in 2003, is built on a very classical form, is set in three movements and includes the archetypes of a traditional concerto, including a big cadenza, as well as the fast-slow-fast construction with the purpose of finding a balance with modern times. The Concerto is performed by Júlia Pusker, prize-winner from the 2019 Queen Elizabeth violin competition in Brussels. Matka ("journey" in Finnish) is a symphonic piece written by Tanguy for Sibelius’ 150th anniversary and commissioned by the Jyväskylä Sinfonia. The work is a spiritual tribute to Sibelius, a composer that has inspired Tanguy for many decades. © Ondine
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Merikanto: Juha, Op. 25

Jorma Hynninen

Opera - Verschenen op 3 september 2021 | Ondine

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Jurgis Karnavičius: String Quartets Nos. 3 & 4

Vilnius String Quartet

Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 6 augustus 2021 | Ondine

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The first volume of the premiere recordings of Jurgis Karnavičius’ (1884–1941) string quartets performed by the Vilnius String Quartet resulted in a growing number of excellent album reviews. It included the composer's romantic and folkmusic-inspired first two quartets. This second volume includes the composer’s last two quartets: No. 3 and No. 4 which are more expressive and modern in nature. Karnavičius wrote his four impressive string quartets during his study and teaching years in St. Petersburg during the 1910s and 1920s, filling the chronological and stylistic gap between the String Quartets of Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich. Karnavičius made significant contributions to the cultural life in Lithuania after returning to his home country in the late 1920s. Karnavičius had been a pupil Maximilian Steinberg at the St. Peterburg Conservatory later becoming a professor in the same institution. Although, the composer’s work has been admired in Lithuania, his magnificent chamber music opuses have been performed extremely rarely after his death. Yet, these pieces reveal compositional mastery and aesthetic subtlety. After its premiere in St. Petersburg, it took nearly a half century before the String Quartet No. 3 was heard again: in 1969, long after the composer’s death. Similarly, the composer’s String Quartet No. 4 had to wait for its next performance until the 1980s and still remains unpublished. © Ondine
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Ramon Humet: Light

Latvian Radio Choir

Koormuziek - Verschenen op 4 juni 2021 | Ondine

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With this new release the Latvian Radio Choir together with its director Sigvards Kļava are returning to contemporary music after a series of recordings of 19th century sacred choral works. Ramon Humet’s (born 1968) new choral work, Llum, is a deep, spiritual journey to the gift of life, peace and love. Humet’s Llum was premiered by the Latvian Radio Choir under Sigvards Kļava in Barcelona in March 2020. This 7-movement work is based on spiritual texts and poems by Vicenç Santamaria, a monk from the monastery of Monserrat in Catalunya and close friend of the composer. This timeless work is radiating serene joy and ends with an "Alleluia". In this first recording, the Latvian Radio Choir under Sigvards Klava are offering an impressive account of this new 21st century choral work. © Ondine
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Magnus Lindberg: Aura, Marea & Related Rocks (Live)

The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Klassiek - Verschenen op 7 mei 2021 | Ondine

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Composer Magnus Lindberg (born 1958) is one of the leading names in today’s contemporary music. This album by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra together with its chief conductor Hannu Lintu includes three works by the composer, including Aura, one of the most prominent monumental orchestral works of our era. Aura – in memoriam Witold Lutosławski represents a grand synthesis of Magnus Lindberg’s output in the 1990s. The work was written in 1993-1994 to a commission from Suntory Limited in Japan and was premiered by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra under Kazufumi Yamashita at Suntory Hall in Tokyo in June 1994. Clocking in at forty minutes, Aura is Lindberg’s most extensive orchestral work. Although not a symphony, this 4-movement work is closely linked to the symphonic concept represented by Lutosławski. Lindberg heard of Lutosławski’s death while writing the work and decided to dedicate it to his memory. Although primarily known for his large orchestral works, Lindberg’s chamber works are by no means minor works. Related Rocks for two pianos, two percussionists and electronics was written in 1997 to a commission from IRCAM in Paris for the Belgian group Ictus. The choice of ensemble inevitably prompts an association with Bartók’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion. However, Related Rocks is very different in conception from Bartók’s Sonata and also includes electronics. The title of Lindberg’s Marea (1989–90) easily associates its music with the sea. However, the composer gave the title when the work had largely already acquired its final shape. While completing the work in Normandy, on the English Channel, the composer realised that the tide was an apt metaphor for his new work. Marea emerges as a sumptuous breathing motion implying strength under the surface, the mobility in the low register contrasting with a static texture in the upper register. This layering persists later in the work as well. The texture thins at times and is given an Impressionist shimmer by the piano, but in places the music coalesces into a spectral blaze of colour. © Ondine
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Ķeniņš: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 6 & Canzona sonata

Latvian National Symphony Orchestra

Klassiek - Verschenen op 7 mei 2021 | Ondine

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The first album of orchestral works by one of Latvia’s most prominent composers, Tālivaldis Ķeniņš (1919–2008), released in October 2020 has received a warm response from music critics around the world. This second volume by the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra under conductor Guntis Kuzma includes two symphonies from the 1970s alongside another concertante gem, Canzona-Sonata for viola and string orchestra. Although born in Latvia, Ķeniņš lived most of his life as an exile. He was educated in Paris, where he studied under Tony Aubin and Olivier Messiaen, and won several awards. Ķeniņš emigrated to Canada in 1951 and became a respected pedagogue and a very influential figure in Canada’s music life. Alongside his pedagogic work he wrote a sizeable catalogue of works, including several symphonies and concertos. At first Ķeniņš focused on writing works of chamber music and completed his First Symphony relatively late, in 1959. During the 1970s and 80s, Ķeniņš wrote several symphonies more becoming a major symphonist. The two symphonies included in this volume are compact orchestral scores from the 1970s. Symphony No. 4 is rich with its fine French orchestral textures, while Symphony No. 6 is an impressive symphonic work based on a fugue theme. The expressive Canzona-Sonata for viola and string orchestra written in 1986 is a relatively late work and a wonderful example of the composer’s skills in writing concertante music. © Ondine
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Ravel: Orchestral Works

Basque National Orchestra

Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 april 2021 | Ondine

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Conductor Robert Trevino’s new album on Ondine – after a successful debut with a complete Beethoven symphony cycle – features six orchestral pieces by Maurice Ravel (1875–1937), one of the most famous Basque composers, played by the Basque National Orchestra. Born in a small town in France very close to the Spanish border, Ravel spent most of his life in Paris. However, he was extremely proud of his Basque background having absorbed himself to the culture already as a child, and many elements of Basque music can be found in his compositions. In this release, we can finally hear Ravel’s orchestral music being interpreted by Basque musicians in the form of the Basque National Orchestra. These performances on some of the most fantastic orchestral scores of the 20th Century also shed light to the Basque influences in Ravel’s music. © Ondine
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Balsys: Violin Concerto No. 1, Reflections of the Sea & Dramatic Frescoes

Dzeraldas Bidva

Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 april 2021 | Ondine

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This new album introduces to international audience the music of Eduardas Balsys (1919-1984), a key figure in Lithuania’s music from the 1950s until his death in 1984. This album release by the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Modestas Pitrėnas includes three works, including his early breakthrough work, Violin Concerto No. 1, alongside two other orchestral scores. In these works, Balsys reveals himself as a master of rich, colourful orchestral scores. Balsys underwent a considerable evolution of style from his early compositions written in classical form, to his late expressionistic and dodecaphonic works. His oeuvre reflects turns and twists of the development of Lithuanian music, from ideologically motivated ‘folkloric’ romanticism (until 1958) toward new stylistic trends and compositional techniques. Violin Concerto No. 1, written after completing his studies at the Leningrad Conservatory, was the zenith of his first creative period. Balsys seems to have taken the first step towards a new style. On the other hand, it is still a traditional work not far from the world of the violin concertos of Tchaikovsky and Khachaturian. Dramatic Frescoes, for violin, piano and symphony orchestra (1965), marked the beginning of the composer’s final creative period. This one-movement symphonic work merges the features of several genres: instrumental concerto, poem and symphony. Solo instruments are treated here as the main elements of the orchestra. In this work the composer sums up dramatic conflicts of our era, including the threat of war. Reflections of the Sea (1981), scored for string orchestra, is one of the composer’s final orchestral works. The work is saturated with expressive moods and sharp contrasts enabled by using a technique of dividing instrumental segments into smaller subsections. © Ondine
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Stanchinsky: Piano Works

Peter Jablonski

Klassiek - Verschenen op 5 maart 2021 | Ondine

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Peter Jablonski’s second album on Ondine features a large selection of piano works by Alexey Stanchinsky (1888–1914), one of the most talented Russian composers of the early 20th Century. Stanchinsky was not only a talent but a genuine innovator who despite of his early death had a profound influence on the generation of composers to follow. Peter Jablonski is the perfect interpreter to these magnificent gems. Although often described as ‘experimental’, in some sense Stanchinsky’s music continues Scriabin’s musical ideas. It was only through the first publication of Stanchinsky’s complete works in 1990 that the musical world finally became aware of his high standing in Russian piano music. Relatively little is known of his life, even his death raises many questions, and no biography has ever been written about him. Most of his works were published only after his death and many of his works were either lost or destroyed. Following Stalin’s purges, Stanchinsky’s works were banned. © Ondine
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Karnavičius: String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2

Vilnius String Quartet

Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 5 maart 2021 | Ondine

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This new release by the Vilnius String Quartet presents two exciting gems in 20th century chamber music: the first two String Quartets by Lithuanian composer Jurgis Karnavičius (1884–1941) as world premiere recordings. Karnavičius made significant contributions to the cultural life in Lithuania after returning to his home country in the late 1920s. Karnavičius had been a pupil Maximilian Steinberg at the St. Peterburg Conservatory later becoming a professor in the same institution. During his years in St. Petersburg the composer wrote four impressive String Quartets, filling the chronological and stylistic gap between the String Quartets of Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich. Karnavičius’ String Quartet No. 1 was published by Belaieff after the composer graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Its folkloristic elements bring to mind the Quartets of Dvořák. Karnavičius’ Second Quartet, was written in captivity a few years later: during World War I he fell into German captivity and until 1918 lived in a prison camp at Josefstadt, near Vienna. This work already shows first signs of a shift towards Expressionism. Karnavičius’ vocabulary was quite unique in the Lithuanian context and did not beget following, so for a long time Karnavičius remained “a stranger at home and at home among strangers”. Although, the composer’s work has been admired in Lithuania, these magnificent 20th century chamber music opuses have been performed extremely rarely after his death. Yet, these pieces reveal compositional mastery and aesthetic subtlety. © Ondine
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Janáček: Piano Works

Lars Vogt

Klassiek - Verschenen op 5 februari 2021 | Ondine

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Pianist Lars Vogt’s new solo album release is dedicated to the piano works of Leoš Janácek (1854-1928), one of the most original voices among the 20th century composers. This album includes three of the composer’s most well-known and most extensive solo piano works. These works by Janácek are marked by deep melancholy and passion. They manifest the composer's rich inner world through a musical language that remains to be timeless. On an Overgrown Path is a piano cycle which took many shapes during a period of a decade when the composer was slowly sketching the work. The first book containing ten pieces was published in 1911. Already the same year Janáček started drafting a second book which was never completed during the composer’s lifetime: a collection of 5 pieces for the second book was published in the 1940s. These short and fragmentary pieces with evocative titles are filled with deep and mysterious atmosphere. Janáček’s popular In the Mists is a short cycle of piano pieces written in 1912, immediately after the completion of the first book of On an Overgrown Path. These melancholic pieces are hinting towards the harmonies of Debussy without ever losing their essentially Janáčekian characteristics. Piano Sonata, "1. X. 1905 - From the Street" is what remains of an originally three-movement piano sonata premiered in 1906. The work was inspired by the killing of a young worker during a demonstration in Brno on 1 October 1905. The composer was not satisfied with the score and destroyed it later regretting this impulsive act. Fortunately, first two movements of this deeply intensive work were re-discovered and published in 1924. © Ondine
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Saudade

Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra

Klassiek - Verschenen op 5 februari 2021 | Ondine

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Ondine’s releases on Baltic composers continue with a new exciting release featuring recent orchestral compositions by New York-based Lithuanian composer Žibuoklė Martinaitytė (born 1973) composed within a span of six years. Martinaitytė was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2020. Among her output are impressive orchestral compositions with evocative titles and beautiful orchestral textures with precision to detail. The most recent of the works, Saudade (2019) symbolizes the stratum of multiple yearnings: sadness for missing and happiness for experiencing the past. Millefleur (2018) is a work that the composer has described as “acoustic hedonism, a search for acoustic pleasures”. Martinaitytė’s Chiaroscuro Trilogy (2017) is a three-movement work for piano and strings, reflecting the very essence of our existence; the various grades of darkness and light. Horizons (2013) was written in New York and Lithuania and was inspired by two movies, Cloud Atlas and The Hours as well as Italo Calvino’s novel If on a winter’s night a traveler. In this work the listener travels through one story to another. © Ondine
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Per Nørgård & Poul Ruders: Works for Solo Cello

Wilhelmina Smith

Klassiek - Verschenen op 8 januari 2021 | Ondine

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Cellist Wilhelmina Smith’s second album release on Ondine continues exploring contemporary Nordic repertoire for solo cello. In her new album Smith has focus on Danish contemporary composers, Per Nørgård (born 1932) and Poul Ruders (born 1949). Both Nørgård and Ruders are known for their large-scale orchestral works. Nørgård, in particular, is known for his eight symphonies and has been hailed by many as one of the greatest living symphonists. It is therefore intriguing to look closer to his two very early lyrical solo cello sonatas, early masterpieces written just before completing his 1st Symphony. In 1980, the composer revised his second sonata by adding an extensive second movement, almost an entirely new sonata, to the existing work. Nørgård’s 3rd sonata, "What - Is the Word!" from 1999 is a short “Sonata breve” that takes its title from a quote by Irish playwriter Samuel Beckett. Another major Danish composer of our times, Poul Ruders has also written 5 symphonies alongside several concertos and three operas. Ruders wrote his 10-movement Bravourstudien in 1976, just at the brink of a major stylistic change. This work is a set of variations on a Medieval folk tune L’homme armé. In this work, however, the original theme is heard at the very end of the work. © Ondine
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Anders Hillborg: Clarinet Concerto, Liquid Marble & Violin Concerto No. 1

Martin Fröst

Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 januari 2021 | Ondine

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