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Chamber Music - Released February 26, 2013 | CPO

Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Chamber Music - Released August 7, 2015 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released July 3, 2020 | CPO

Booklet
Strongly influenced by Edvard Grieg, the work of Norweigan composer David Monrad Johansen (1888-1974) displays a curious mix of modernity (with its momentary atonality) and classicism, encompassing Beethoven as well as the French composers of the 20th century from Debussy to Poulenc, before turning towards neoclassicism rather unashamedly. Johansen was very politically incorrect and played a central role in musical nationalism around 1925, which then turned into complete support for fascism during the German occupation when he became an influential member of the Nazi-appointed Cultural Council. Unsurprisingly, his political beliefs and choices led to his persecution in his own country at the end of the war when he was convicted of treason and sentenced to four years of hard labour. His conservative approach to music was the cause of much opposition from young composers who came after him. However, his work is worth revisiting today, now that the dust has settled, as it embodies a pivotal moment for the Norwegian musical scene. The four works in chronological order on this album enable the listener to follow the evolution of a composer who assimilated many different European influences into his work. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released August 7, 2020 | CPO

Booklet
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Chamber Music - Released January 8, 2021 | CapriccioNR

Although the originality of his musical language paved the way for Russian modernism, Catoire's work still followed the artistic ideals of Russia and not the new culture of the Soviet Republic. His work is highly expressive and of enormous polyphonic density, greatest expressiveness, fine colors, rhythmic and harmonious scope. Catoire's music was almost never performed and his name remained almost unknown also to expert circles. He left behind 36 works including some symphonic pieces, a piano concerto, chamber music, songs and piano cycles. This music was written in the “fin de siecle”, with its shine and nobility, but also with its fragility. © Capriccio
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Chamber Music - Released February 5, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
The rediscovery of the French composer Theodore Dubois continues with his piano chamber music, which for us here and now is very much new musical terrain: a Piano Quartet in the classic ensemble as well as a Piano Quintet as a fascinating exception to the rule with its string trio and oboe (instead of a second violin). The flawless design and tonal beauty of these works make us sit up and take notice, and by the way they were penned during the first decade of a new century by a composer who was almost seventy years old and now was focusing on the writing of chamber music. The Quintette pour violon, hautbois, alto et violoncelle was published in 1905, prior to the Piano Quartet, and its exquisite ensemble generates a special magnetism. Here the master aims at a noble, sensuous sumptuousness in the melody instruments in which the special color of the oboe now has its share. At the same time, the rich sound captivates the listener as chamber music building on a piano foundation and exclusively employing the character of this keyboard instrument as a sort of dramatic signal in the dialogue of the song lines during all the movements. © CPO
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Classical - Released November 1, 2019 | CPO

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Classical - Released September 6, 2019 | CPO

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Classical - Released October 6, 2017 | CPO

Booklet
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Classical - Released August 5, 2014 | CPO

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Classical - Released June 8, 2018 | CPO

Booklet
More or less a contemporary of Rimsky-Korsakov or Vincent d'Indy (the two were friends), German composer Anton Urpruch (1850-1907) spent his whole life in the shadow of Brahms and then Bruckner, and absolutely refused to have anything to do with the new currents of the early 20th century, for which he was too old by then, and in any case in too poor health, as he died at the age of 58 from a heart attack... A sad end for a musician who, in 1871, was one of Liszt's favourite pupils, and whose output runs to only just 31 numbered works. Two operas, a little piano music, a little chamber music, a few works for choir, as well as a symphony and a piano concerto: this is his calling card; and these last two works are the subject of this rare and intriguing album. The Concerto, published in 1878, really starts out like Brahms, but quickly takes off and takes a more personal turn, strongly inspired by a polyphony inherited from Bach and great composers from long ago. As for the 1881 Symphony its 50 minutes seem to represent a missing link between... Hard to say. In it we can see the clarity of a Mendelssohn, the harmonic games of Schumann, and a little touch of French je-ne-sais-quoi which one might imagine originating in the Third Symphony by Saint-Saëns – only that work dates from 1885, and Urpruch's Symphony is dated 1881! This intriguing and rare gentleman is one to discover without delay, then. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released May 6, 2016 | CPO

Booklet
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Chamber Music - Released January 1, 2007 | CPO

Nineteenth century German composer Friedrich Kiel isn't at the top of anyone's list of the musical giants, though he hasn't lacked for attention on recordings and even has a twenty first century publisher, Dohr in Cologne, to make the republication of Kiel's work a frontline priority. During his lifetime, Kiel was reckoned by some to be second only to Johannes Brahms in the composition of chamber music; however, since his demise in an unspecified "traffic accident" in 1885, Kiel's work and reputation haven't fared so well. Kiel doesn't even merit a biography in the encyclopedia Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians; Baker's Biographical Dictionary does mention him, but mainly for his importance as a teacher rather than for his compositions. Kiel composed three piano quintets, numbered Opp. 43-44 and 50 and published in 1867 and 1868, though were likely composed together and perhaps somewhat earlier. The best known of the three in Kiel's time was the First in A minor; this is also the longest of piano quartets and the most thematically varied. Superficially, they sound close to Beethoven, though they are in the main predictable, emotionally detached, and lacking in the profound psychological elements we experience in Beethoven. That's not to say these quartets lack strong themes, sensible development, attractiveness, and a kind of gracious charm; they do have such qualities, but they don't go much deeper than that. This is not due to a half-baked performance, as the pieces are rendered very well, and some may recognize the name of redoubtable violinist Ulrike-Anima Mathé among the participants, though the recording tends to favor pianist Oliver Triendl over the others. For those who have a deep abiding interest in nineteenth century chamber literature and the so-called "school of Brahms," this may well provide an interesting byway, but bear in mind that compared to Brahms, Kiel is something of a reactionary. It does no harm to revive the music of Kiel, and there are many composers unfairly judged in posterity whose work was found ripe for rediscovery at some point later. In the case of Kiel, though, the conventional wisdom seems to hold up, and if his main achievement was indeed in chamber music, one wonders why he wouldn't be able to "bring it" in a cycle of three piano quartets that appeared near the peak of his ability. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released December 1, 2006 | CPO

Felled by a heart attack at age 45, Ludwig Thuille never fulfilled his promise as one of the leading musicians of his circle in Munich, and his short life gave him little time to achieve greatness. The disappointments of his operas Lobetanz and Gugeline made his career seem faltering, and the rise to fame of his close friend Richard Strauss certainly overshadowed his work. Yet Thuille's reputation has survived in his chamber music, which has enjoyed a modest renaissance in several recordings. In particular, his piano quintets have been favored with two worthy recordings, one from 2002 by Tomer Lev and the Falk Quartet for ASV, and this 2006 release by pianist Oliver Triendl and the Vogler Quartet for CPO. Thuille's music may be compared in its style to the chamber works of Schumann and Brahms, and the conservative tendencies of his student work, the Piano Quintet in G minor (1880), and the Piano Quintet in E flat major, Op. 20 (1901), may be traced as well to his studies with Joseph Rheinberger. Yet this is engaging music that has abundant charm: the later work especially evokes its time period in its lush harmonies and sweeping melodies, and it exudes a nostalgic, perfumed quality that belongs to music of the fin de siècle. Triendl and the Vogler Quartet treat the music with ardent emotions and strongly articulated playing that make it feel robust and sincerely felt, even if it isn't especially innovative or interesting for any unusual features. CPO's reproduction is enjoyable for its clarity and warmth, and the terrific sound is sure to make these works more attractive to skeptics. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released August 28, 2015 | TYXart

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Classical - Released December 1, 2005 | CPO

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Classical - Released March 17, 2017 | CPO

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Symphonic Music - Released January 1, 2001 | Thorofon Records

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Chamber Music - Released July 1, 2007 | CPO

Felix Weingartner is recognized as one of the major conductors of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, yet he is barely known as a composer, despite his rather prolific output. The two pieces presented on this 2007 CPO release are but two of Weingartner's chamber works, though they appear on disc for the first time here while his string quartets, violin sonatas, and keyboard works languish in obscurity, unrecorded. If those forgotten compositions are anything like the Sextet in E minor, Op. 33 (1906), and the Octet in G major, Op. 73 (1925), then Weingartner's oeuvre is likely to receive only a modest reappraisal by interested parties, not a full-blown public revival, because his music is a pale imitation of greater Romantic models and lacks originality, technical brilliance, and expressive depth. Performed with vitality and sympathy by the Ensemble Acht with pianist Oliver Triendl, the Sextet and the Octet sound like reasonably well-crafted post-Romantic pieces that have lush harmonies and opulent textures, melodies that are sufficiently lyrical to be charming (if not exactly memorable), and rhythms that make the music feel active and propulsive. Yet there is nothing in these works that can't be found in Dvorák or Brahms, and done far better, for Weingartner's talents for development and formal design are weak, and his tendency to treat a chamber ensemble like a full orchestra, with everybody playing most of the time, makes his music seem dense and inartful. CPO's reproduction is clear and warm, so the performances come across well, even when the music is at its most opaque. © TiVo
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Classical - Released December 30, 2003 | Antes Edition