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Lowell Liebermann: Frankenstein, Op. 130 (Live)

San Francisco Ballet Orchestra

Klassiek - Verschenen op 19 november 2021 | Reference Recordings

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The first audio recording of Lowell Liebermann’s complete score to Liam Scarlett’s ballet adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic Gothic novel. Frankenstein was recorded during live ballet performances at War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco. The producers state: “The live audience, the special effects, beautiful sets and incredible dancers allowed us to document an “event” rather than simply recording a musical score… The composer, Lowell Liebermann was with us at all of the performances, the orchestral musicians were collaborative throughout, and, of course, conductor Martin West worked tirelessly with us at the performances as well as in the editing and mastering of the final resulting release". A masterpiece! © Reference Recordings
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Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98 - MacMillan: Larghetto for Orchestra (Live)

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Klassiek - Verschenen op 22 oktober 2021 | Reference Recordings

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Since 2007, Manfred Honeck has been based in Pittsburgh and has developed an intimate relationship with the musicians of the American orchestra there, such that each of his releases on the Reference Recordings label is a distinctive, original piece of art. A true manifesto, his version of Bruckner's Ninth (2019) was fantastic in the rude power of its colours and its furious nature; his rendition of Beethoven's Ninth, released at the beginning of 2021, was made spellbinding by its sense for the theatrical and its biting modernity. Now Manfred Honeck and his Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra present this strange and exciting coupling of two diametrically opposed worlds: Brahms' Fourth (recorded 20-22 April 2018), alongside Scotsman James MacMillan's Larghetto for Orchestra (27-29 October 2017).Under the Austrian conductor's baton, Brahms' Fourth radiates an extreme polyphonic abundance; it is reminiscent of Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt's work with the NDR Orchestra (EMI), which also shone a light on discreet exchanges, on dialogues in intermediary lines (second violins, violas, flutes, clarinets, etc). The orchestra achieves an unusual fullness here: the return of the theme (7'48) in the second movement (Andante moderato), and the path the discourse takes to its apotheosis, illustrate this. The soaring character of the following, truly giocoso Allegro confirms that Manfred Honeck's ardent performance is free of the slightest demonstrative tendency, and that it is the truth, and so far as possible the entirety of the musical text, is what matters. Supremely tranquil and majestic, the final passacaglia is the most beautiful homage to J. S. Bach, as dreamed of by Brahms, with a polyphony that celebrates the light. A very impressive outing.Commissioned by the orchestra in 2017 to celebrate Honeck's tenth anniversary as music director, MacMillan's beautiful Larghetto for Orchestra is a wide-ranging meditation. Very American in spirit, it recalls such passages as Irving Fine's Lament or some of Aaron Copland's slower works. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is bewitching and splendid here. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Stylus Phantasticus

Tekla Cunningham

Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 20 augustus 2021 | Reference Recordings

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Barber, Sibelius & Scriabin: One Movement Symphonies

Kansas City Symphony

Klassiek - Verschenen op 28 mei 2021 | Reference Recordings

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Reference Recordings proudly presents a unique album of one movement symphonies composed by Barber, Sibelius and Scriabin, in an outstanding interpretation from Michael Stern and the Kansas City Symphony. The album was produced by David Frost and recorded by RR’s engineering team. Music Director Michael Stern is in his second decade with the Kansas City Symphony, hailed for its remarkable artistic ascent, original programming, organizational development and stability, as well as the extraordinary growth of its varied audiences since his tenure began. The Kansas City Symphony has a vision to transform hearts, minds and its community through the power of symphonic music. © Reference Recordings
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Last Tango Before Sunrise

Moscow Gnessin Percussion Ensemble

Klassiek - Verschenen op 7 mei 2021 | Reference Recordings

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Conductor and composer José Serebrier is one of the most-recorded classical artists in history. Reference Recordings is proud to present nine works of José Serebrier, including four world premières and the first digital recording of his dramatic Symphony for Percussion, performed by the Gnessin Percussion Ensemble of Moscow. The album features a variety of musical ensembles ranging from solo piano and a percussion ensemble, to full orchestra, tangos, flute concerti and a harp concerto, written throughout the span of Maestro Serebrier's long career. © Reference Recordings
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Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 "Choral" (Live)

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Klassiek - Verschenen op 12 februari 2021 | Reference Recordings

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Jonathan Leshnoff: Symphony No. 3 & Piano Concerto (Live)

Joyce Yang

Klassiek - Verschenen op 20 november 2020 | Reference Recordings

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Reference Recordings proudly presents two new works from leading American composer Jonathan Leshnoff. Distinguished by The New York Times as “a leader of contemporary American lyricism”, Leshnoff is renowned for his music's striking harmonies, structural complexity, and powerful themes. These world premiere recordings showcase the Kansas City Symphony performing his Third Symphony, inspired by World War I letters home, with texts sung by baritone Stephen Powell. It is coupled with Leshnoff ’s new and exciting Piano Concerto, dedicated to and performed by pianist Joyce Yang. This is the eighth album in Reference Recordings’ series with Kansas City Symphony. © Reference Recordings
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Blues in My Heart (2020 Remastered Version)

Fiona Boyes

Blues - Verschenen op 25 september 2020 | Reference Recordings

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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 - Johnathan Leshnoff: Double Concerto for Clarinet & Bassoon (Live)

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Klassiek - Verschenen op 22 mei 2020 | Reference Recordings

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Carlisle Floyd: Prince of Players

Keith Phares

Opera - Verschenen op 24 april 2020 | Reference Recordings

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Carlisle Floyd (born 1926) is one of the foremost composers and librettists of opera in the world today. Considered the “Father of American Opera”, Floyd’s operas are regularly performed in the United States and Europe. He first achieved national prominence with the premiere of Susannah by the New York City Opera in 1956. His second opera, Wuthering Heights, premiered at Santa Fe Opera in 1958, and continues to have life decades later: a critically-acclaimed recording, released in June 2016 on Reference Recordings, was listed in Opera News’ 10 Best Opera recordings of 2016. During his long career, Floyd has composed 13 operas. His most recent, Prince of Players, which premiered in March 2016 at the Houston Grand Opera, is based on the true story of the Restoration-era actor Edward Kynaston (1640–1706). Remarks about Kynaston in the personal diary of Samuel Pepys inspired a play by Jeffrey Hatcher, Compleat Female Stage Beauty (1999), which was later made into a movie, Stage Beauty (2004). The plot centers on the crisis faced by Kynaston when, by royal decree, he is prohibited from plying the craft that made him famous - playing female roles. With this Milwaukee production, the Florentine Opera gives Prince of Players its world-premiere live recording. © Reference Recordings
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Blessed Art Thou Among Women

Peter Lukianov

Koormuziek - Verschenen op 17 april 2020 | Reference Recordings

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Christmas with True Concord

Guy Whatley

Koormuziek - Verschenen op 1 november 2019 | Reference Recordings

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Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky, Op. 78 & Lieutenant Kijé Suite, Op. 60

Utah Symphony Orchestra

Klassiek - Verschenen op 25 oktober 2019 | Reference Recordings

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A man of his time, Prokofiev linked his name with Russian cinema. He worked with Eisenstein on the film Alexander Nevski in 1938. The two men inspired each other: some sequences were built around images, others, around music. This was a very singular set-up which made the original soundtrack more than just a dramatic enhancer, but a motor of the action in its own right. Prokofiev wrote a cantata for mezzo, mixed choir and orchestra in seven tableaux for the work. The orchestra, with its clever spacing of the deepest bass tones and the sharpest high notes, forges a space for the choir which is grandiose, and oftentimes unsettling. Prokofiev's musical language makes a modernist harmony of strained dissonances and themes with a folk feel. The musicians, choristers and instrumentalists all perform at a very high level of excellence. Led by Thierry Fisher, no stranger to repertoires that make use of imposing ensembles, they present a very fine version. Never falling into forced grandiloquence, they do justice to the work and all its historical and political resonances.The second, lighter part of this Prokofiev album centres on his first foray into cinema, in 1933. Alexander Feinzimmer's film, Lieutenant Kijé, tells of an imaginary lieutenant, who comes into being as a result of an administrative error. It was never performed, but Prokofiev turned his score into an orchestral suite. With an often- caustic humour, the suite moves between a series of evocative atmospheres. The careful foregrounding of the wind section creates a sonic parade of uniforms, fifes and horns, creating a stylised military world, in particular in the and third movements. The second movement presents a Romance in the form of variations on a theme. Double bass, bassoon, celesta and flute all join together in this nostalgic theme. A tour de force of writing, the finale brings together all the themes of the whole work into a single, poignant tableau, in which the Utah Symphony's ability to create a multiplicity of colours and soundscapes really allows them to shine. © Elsa Siffert/Qobuz
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Holst: The Planets, Op. 32, H. 125 & The Perfect Fool Suite, Op. 39, H. 150

Kansas City Symphony

Klassiek - Verschenen op 11 oktober 2019 | Reference Recordings

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Reference Recordings proudly presents Holst’s best known and beloved works in a new interpretation from Michael Stern and the Kansas City Symphony. This release was recorded in the beautiful and acoustically acclaimed Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. It was produced by David Frost. The Kansas City Symphony has a vision to transform hearts, minds and its community through the power of symphonic music. Founded in 1982, the Symphony has established itself as a major force in the cultural life of the community. Praised for performances of uncompromising standard, the orchestra is the largest in the region and holds a national reputation under the artistic leadership of Music Director Michael Stern. This is the seventh in Reference Recordings’ series with Kansas City Symphony. © Reference Recordings
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Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, WAB 109 (Ed. L. Nowak)

Manfred Honeck

Klassiek - Verschenen op 23 augustus 2019 | Reference Recordings

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Mason Bates: Children of Adam - Vaughan Williams: Dona nobis pacem (Live)

Richmond Symphony

Koormuziek - Verschenen op 16 augustus 2019 | Reference Recordings

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This unique program is a good way to discover Mason Bates’ latest work. The tireless composer took on a request from the Richmond Symphony for the formation’s 60th birthday. The result is Children of Adam, a cycle based upon texts celebrating the Creation, from American poets or sacred writing by Native Americans. The sheet music is structured into 7 parts, and clearly highlights chorals, while adding some filler. Bates, by all accounts, prefers the orchestra to the choir. In other words, an excellent recording of his Anthology Fantastic Zoology by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO Resound) is proof to that point.The shining light in this album is the Dona nobis pacem incipit by Vaughan Williams, composed in 1936. The work was rarely recorded and was ordered for the Huddersfield Choral Society’s 100th anniversary. Parallels could be drawn between the former work and the rough, anxiety-inducing Symphony #4, completed two years earlier. The work’s text is based upon an extract from the Agnus Dei  of roman catholic mass, passages from the prophetic books in the Old Testament, a John Bright speech given to the House of Commons during the Crimea War, as well as three striking Walt Whitman poems –one of Vaughan Williams’ favorite authors. This new album is an excellent reevaluation of Vaughan Williams’ significance in 20th century music history, as well as his deeply unique sonic world. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Asphalt Cocktail: The Music of John Mackey

Dallas Winds

Klassiek - Verschenen op 21 juni 2019 | Reference Recordings

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Rachmaninoff: Trio élégiaques & Vocalise (Arr. J. Conus for Piano Trio)

Julius Conus

Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 7 juni 2019 | Reference Recordings

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The Orchestral Organ

George John Bennett

Klassiek - Verschenen op 17 mei 2019 | Reference Recordings

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Kurt Sander: The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

PaTRAM Institute Singers

Koormuziek - Verschenen op 26 april 2019 | Reference Recordings

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