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Symphonies - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released August 10, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Record of the Month - Exceptional sound - 5 étoiles de Classica
If Leonard Bernstein was one of the greatest conductors from the second half of the 20th Century, his interpretation job never outshone his composer one. But the durable and worldwide success of West Side Story has often irritated him, as it left in the shadowed the rest of his abundant and varied catalog. Antonio Pappano has had the good idea to gather the three symphonies from Bernstein in a single album recorded in several concerts in Rome with his Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, which reaches under his baton an international dimension. Bernstein had a special relation with this institution that he has frequently conducted. Jeremiah, Bernstein’s first symphony, dates from 1944. Bernstein was 26 and wrote it the same year as his first ballet for Broadway, Fancy Free.He blends genres in a way that is now typical of him, disturbing many timorous music lovers who don’t understand that this dichotomy is the result of his genius. This first symphony sung in Hebrew denounces the horror of the Holocaust in Europe. 1949 is the year of The Age of Anxiety, his strange second symphony inspired by a long and difficult poem by W. H. Auden. Rarely played because of his difficult solo piano section that few interprets possess in their repertoire, this symphony is a succession of “themes and variations”. If the beginning flirts with the European Art music, notably from Prokofiev, it ends in a syncopated sentimentalism in the style of the great Hollywood movies. The excellent pianist Beatrice Rana (who has recorded for Warner Classics a very exciting Second Concerto by Prokofiev with the same conductor, as well as, more recently, the most talked-about Goldberg Variations by J. S. Bach) is here a brilliant and convinced performer of the work. Written in 1963 and dedicated to President Kennedy, Kaddish, his third symphony, is probably the most personal work of this trilogy. Heterogeneous as is all Bernstein music, it goes together with a text written by him that caused a scandal because of his iconoclastic arrogance, as Bernstein is giving advice to God to better rule mankind… Unsatisfied with his text, the composer did several revisions of his work to give it the form that is mostly used today. © François Hudry/Qobuz

Symphonies - Released April 6, 2018 | BIS

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Exceptional sound
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Symphonic Music - Released February 9, 2018 | Ondine

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional sound
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‘Travel’ and ‘journey’ are often appropriate metaphors for the music of the Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür (b. 1959). The composer himself describes his viola concerto Illuminatio as a “pilgrimage towards eternal light”, and with his Symphony No. 8 he stresses the importance of a “constant sense of ‘being on the road’”. This says something essential about the dynamics, growth and development of his music. To take a broader view, Tüür’s entire career may be described as a journey: in the course of his professional life beginning in the 1980s, he has thoroughly revised and reformed his idiom and compositional precepts. His ambitious journey began in rock music while at the same time he was studying flute, percussion and composition at the Conservatory. Since 1992 he has been a freelance composer. In his early career, Tüür developed a ‘polystylistic’ approach that combined minimalist and tonal elements on the one hand, modernist features on the other, into an idiom where he juxtaposed elements from different and seemingly incompatible styles, seeking both contrasts and syntheses. In the early 2000s, he went through a transition that resulted in his new composition technique. Here, “the entire composition is encapsulated in a source code – a gene which, as it mutates and grows, connects the dots in the fabric of the whole work”. All the works on the present album are from this period. The core of Tüür’s output consists of extensive orchestral works (including nine symphonies and several concertos), chamber music and vocal works. Whereas the viola concerto can be compared to a journey, Whistles and Whispers from Uluru (2007) for recorder and chamber orchestra was inspired by a landscape and a sonority. The piece was written to a commission from the Australian Chamber Orchestra for recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey, who also plays on this album – several different recorders, from sopranino to bass. Some sonorities are enhanced by electronic means. When a composer has written nine symphonies, the genre is obviosuly very important for him. In the case of Tüür, the term ‘symphonic’ must be understood in a broad sense – not as a strict formal scheme, but rather as a uniquely shaped and independently formed structure in each work. Tüür’s symphonies form the hard core of his output, spanning the length of his career, the first dating from 1984 and the latest from 2017. The symphonies vary greatly in terms of form, ensemble and idiom. Symphony No. 8 was commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and was completed in 2010. Considering the resources of the commissioning party, Tüür scored the work for a sinfonietta-type ensemble instead of a large symphony orchestra, and as a result the music has at times a chamber music feel. © SM/Qobuz

Symphonic Music - Released February 2, 2018 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional sound
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No, no: we would never suggest that the music of the Swedish composer Dag Wirén (1905-1986) was in the slightest bit avant-garde. On the contrary, he always strove to write music which, while certainly novel, made for pleasant listening, without either dogma, or pedagogy, or a particular method. His oeuvre, more remarkable for its quality than its quantity, contains five symphonies, of which the Third from 1944 is presented here, and above all the renowned Divertimento for strings from 1957, in which one can discern the legacy of Grieg or Dvořák just as much as Honegger, whom Wirén venerated, or other musicians from the Group of Six; or indeed Shostakovitch in his more wily moments. The writing shares more than a few family resemblances with Jean Françaix, in its impeccable harmonic, thematic and architectural conceptions, all while retaining its light and transparent spirit. During his lifetime, his rejection of the avant-garde was a black mark against his name; but thirty years on from his death, this kind of consideration is no longer relevant. We can finally rediscover Wirén for what he is: an excellent composer. To cut a long story short, it was he who wrote the score to Absent Friend which was Sweden's entry for the 1965 Eurovision Song Contest – which was won by France Gall, under the flag of Luxembourg, and not of France, as it happens – Absent Friend was neither strictly pop, nor variety, but a piece of pure classical romance, a tragic waltz sung by a truly great operatic baritone, Ingvar Wixell, accompanied by an exclusively classical orchestra, without drums or anything of the sort! © SM/Qobuz

Symphonic Music - Released January 5, 2018 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional sound
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This much awaited recording offers keenly idiomatic performances of the most famous works by Grieg, played by the composer’s own orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic, and its Chief Conductor, Edward Gardner. The drama and passion of such favourite pieces as the incidental music to Peer Gynt and the Piano Concerto are superbly captured in surround-sound with exemplary Chandos sound quality. Unlike most existing recordings, offering only the orchestral suites, this disc presents numerous extra excerpts from Peer Gynt, which follow the sequence of Henrik Ibsen‘s dramatic poem, including sections for the unique Norwegian "Hardanger Fiddle". Having collaborated with the orchestra on several occasions, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is the soloist in the Piano Concerto, a piece that stands out as a shining example of a single great thought captured and expressed in music. The power of this conception is evident throughout the concerto in the pianist’s faithful, yet highly romantic interpretation. © Chandos

Symphonic Music - Released October 6, 2017 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Exceptional sound - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Vaughan Williams’ seventh symphony (1951), Sinfonia Antartica, reuses numerous materials from the stunning piece the composer wrote in 1948 for the film Scott of the Antarctic. Therefore none will be surprised by the extraordinarily visual orchestration and theme, which any listener – even ignoring the title or cinematographic influence – will immediately associate with vast windy flatlands, scintillating icy lights, Antarctica in all its splendour – and dangers, as Scott’s expedition ended tragically, that’s the least one can say. As a complement to the programme, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (where they are used to the great cold!) and Andrew Davis provide us with Vaughan Williams’s Concerto For Two Pianos: initially created in 1933 for a single piano, the work was adapted to two pianos in 1946 in light of the tremendous difficult piano part, and the composer also took the opportunity to change a few sections. Here it is performed by two Canadians, Louis Lortie and Hélène Mercier. And finally you’ll discover the Four Last Songs sung by Roderick Williams, a kind of Vaughanwilliamsian equivalent to Strauss’ own Four Last Songs, even though Vaughan Williams’ four songs were first orchestrated after his death, by Anthony Payne in 2013 – scrupulously following the composer’s orchestral habits. A beautiful musical testament, created during the last few months of his life. © SM/Qobuz

Symphonic Music - Released May 5, 2017 | PentaTone

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica - Exceptional sound
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Symphonic Music - Released June 3, 2016 | BIS

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional sound - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Symphonic Music - Released February 5, 2013 | Naxos

Booklet Distinctions Diapason découverte - 4 étoiles de Classica - Exceptional sound - La Clef du mois RESMUSICA
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Symphonic Music - Released October 9, 2012 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio

Symphonic Music - Released October 2, 2012 | SDG

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Exceptional sound
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Symphonic Music - Released May 8, 2012 | Naxos

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio - La Clef du mois RESMUSICA
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Symphonic Music - Released March 20, 2012 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles de Classica - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released March 5, 2012 | Sony Classical

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Symphonic Music - Released February 7, 2012 | BIS

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica - Exceptional sound
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Symphonic Music - Released November 1, 2011 | Glossa

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Symphonic Music - Released June 7, 2011 | BR-Klassik

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Symphonic Music - Released June 7, 2011 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released March 1, 2011 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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