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Classique - Released February 8, 2019 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Unlike usual opera sequences, the ones excerpted from Zimmerman’s Die Soldaten (‘The Soldiers’) which he named Vokal-Sinfonie (Vocal Symphony) were created before the opera as proof that the music was playable. Indeed, its final score posed quite the challenge for the singers, the orchestra, the theatres and for the audience: with sixteen singing roles, around ten spoken roles, an orchestra of about one hundred musicians, crazy percussion instruments, film projectors, tape recordings and extra-musical sound effects – it’s enough to make any opera house fear for their budget! Not to mention the fact that the audience was also subject to the strict dodecaphonic system and some of the opera scenes actually overlapped. Zimmermann initially wanted the piece to be performed on twelve different stages that surrounded the audience who would be sitting on swivelling chairs and would rotate themselves accordingly. However, the idea was rejected by the theatre where the first performance was to take place and the composer finally abandoned the idea and remodelled his work to render it – almost – performable. Here, you can listen to Vokal-Sinfonie from 1963 which has some noticeable similarities with Berg’s Wozzeck, particularly in the raw and deeply moving lyricism of the vocal material. The Sinfonie is followed by the 1968 Photoptosis for full orchestra, one of the composer’s last two works before he died two years later after having suffered from severe depression. The score is both dark and light at the same time and is a work of sheer orchestral genius. The album opens with the 1950 Violin Concerto, which despite its supposedly classic form (Sonata-Fantasia-Rondo) explores the world of modernism in an intense and beautifully dark lyricism. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonies - Released November 9, 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional Sound Recording
What a curious and charming piece of work the First Symphony by Witold Lutosławski is! Written in 1947, it is still borrowing from Stravinski, Bartók, Prokofiev and clearly Roussel, and yet it display the composer's own personal ideas, and his flawless skill in orchestration. But he had not yet made the dodecaphonic style his own, nor the principle of randomness which would be found later in 1961's Jeux vénitiens (Venetian Games). In his case, randomness refers to musicians or groups of musicians having the freedom to play their different parts when they feel like it, or when the conductor gives them a cue. But for sure, this piece's formal framework is still constrained: every performance will shed a different light on it, but it is still the same work. The album finishes with the Fourth Symphony, the composer's last, written between 1988 and 1991, performed in 1993 with Lutosławski himself conducting before his death a few months later. In this work he makes a clear return to his harmonic and melodic ideas, which at times approach Mahler or Bartók, even though the discourse remains decidedly modern. The contrast between the First Symphony, Jeux vénitiens and the Fourth Symphony could not be more spectacular, and it gives a brilliant picture of the evolution of a musical genius who embraced a wide range of influences, constantly adapting them to his own style. © SM/Qobuz
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Mélodies (Europe du Nord) - Released May 10, 2019 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
This programme offers an immersion into Kaija Saariaho’s magical and poetic world, with three works that were recently recorded for the very first time. The Paris-based Finnish composer is among the most prominent names on the music scene today. Born in 1952, Saariaho has successfully crafted her own musical universe, with unique colours and whispers, drawing inspiration from the great spectacle of nature as well as her own mental landscapes, imagined from her dreams, philosophy and international literature.Although they were all composed within the same era (between 2013 and 2015), these three captivating pieces offer three different perspectives on her orchestral music. Ciel d’hiver is a rearrangement for orchestra only, True Fire is a song cycle, and Trans a harp concerto. Ciel d’hiver is a transposition for small orchestra of the central movement of Orion, a triptych composed in 2002 for a giant orchestra. Inspired by Greek mythology, it joins a series of works inspired by the infinity and mystery of sky and space.True Fire was commissioned by four orchestras (Los Angeles, Hamburg, Paris [Orchestre National de France], and London [BBC]) for baritone Gerald Finley. It is a cycle of six songs written from poems of various authors. Saariaho’s goal was to explore the singer’s unique vocal range by allowing him to deploy the full scope of his expressiveness. And with Trans, the composer first and foremost explores the “depths of the instrument’s soul” − the harp − without sacrificing virtuosity. Written in three movements, this concert uses a relatively small orchestra, with a translucent writing in which the harp converses with an instrument, or an entire section. This way, the harp becomes the driving force of the music, and its main protagonist. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classique - Released July 1, 2013 | Alba

Booklet
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Classique - Released July 1, 2013 | Alba

Booklet