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Classical - To be released March 26, 2021 | Accentus Music

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Classical - Released March 5, 2021 | Accentus Music

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"The St. Matthew Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the greatest works in the history of music. Whenever I study this epochal composition, I always ask myself the question: How can a work of music, which is performed each year in thousands of performances, has been scientifically and artistically interpreted for decades, and worshiped for centuries, remain a new, contemporary, and at the same time universal and supreme idea? It can be achieved if that which is defined as established and comprehensive, and appears or is accepted as unshakeable, is set in motion without capping the connections to the work itself and its musical- historical, intellectual and theological foundations", says Hans-Christoph Rademann about one of the monumental sacred works of music history. In November 2020, Rademann and the Gächinger Cantorey ensemble and chorus, together with an extraordinary group of soloists, set out to lend a new and fresh perspective to Bach's timeless masterpiece of raging choirs, intimate chorales, and emotionally charged arias, which, with its drama and pictorial quality, allows the listener to experience the well-known Passion story again and again as something completely new and unheard-of. © Accentus Music
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Chamber Music - Released February 12, 2021 | Accentus Music

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It doesn't require too much imagination to hear an orchestra in your head as you listen to Beethoven's warm-hearted Septet of 1799, and indeed his First Symphony followed just the following year. Then beyond its symphonic qualities, there's its moments of delicious chamber intimacy, plus the ear-tickling novelty of its groundbreaking scoring for clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello and double bass. All in all, to say that it gives chamber players plenty to get their teeth into is an understatement, and perhaps especially those chamber players whose “day job” is in an orchestra – that's to say, giving musicians whose daily music making is all about the interplay between strings, brass and woodwind, a rare opportunity to take those skills into the one-to-a-part chamber domain. This live recording, made in August 2020 in the Concert Hall of KKL Lucerne (the Lucerne Festival being one of the few that managed to mount a live offering in Covid Year) certainly bears that theory out. Nimble, joyously interactive (just listen to the close duetting going on in the fourth movement variations), it delivers both on grandeur and profundity, and intimacy and humour. Before we get to the Beethoven though, we're treated to the “Nannerl-Septett” divertimento a young Mozart wrote twenty three years earlier in Salzburg, probably in celebration of his sister's name day. While his Salzburg years are full of divertimenti written for the court's garden festivities, this is an especially ebulliently frothy one – something the Lucerne soloists bring across with naturalness and elegance over a beautifully shaped reading whose own sweet chamber delicacy is contrasted by zinging echoes of the operatic world Mozart was by this point also increasingly making his mark in. Heard live, this concert must have represented a wonderful moment of highest-level escapism from the world's troubles. Now the rest of us can now enjoy it too, with the added benefit of being able to press “Repeat”. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz
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Classical - Released February 12, 2021 | Accentus Music

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Transcribing musical works for other instruments or instrumentations has a long tradition in music history. Sometimes, the composers themselves wrote different versions of their works and often the musicians adapt works for their own instruments. Even great composers have enjoyed arranging the works of their predecessors and have thus transported them into their time and era of music history and lent their own interpretations to them. Among those are Sergei Rachmaninoff, Franz Liszt, and Ignaz Friedman - all three great pianists and composers. Renowned Russian pianist Zlata Chochieva presents their transcriptions of the works of great composers such as Bach, Mendelssohn and Mahler on her new recording. © Accentus Music
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Classical - Released January 22, 2021 | Accentus Music

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Some orchestras more than others reveal with natural acuity the sonic and poetic imagination of a composer. For Mahler, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra seems the ideal instrument. Something very deep in the textures of this orchestra invariably sets it apart: the acoustic space always seems wider than the senses might suggest; the sound takes the time to live, in the moment and in its extension. The orchestra immediately moves Mahler's world away from a post-romanticism that diminishes him, and likewise it declines to plunge him into excessive modernity. This is not Klemperer, Bernstein or Boulez. This is a very singular world, whose rhetoric is really nourished by the freedom granted to each timbre, and by the combination of what makes them unique. In concert, the experience remains as memorable as it is breathtaking. Parisians for example had the chance, in February 2019, to hear the Third Symphony at the Philharmonie by the same artists, then on tour, at an evening performance recorded by France Musique. Musical director of the Bamberger Symphoniker since 2016, the excellent Jakub Hrůša, always concerned with balance, lets the orchestra flourish and open like a flower, with multiple layers, while making sure to keep the line flowing. In this regard, Ruhevoll is a moment of pure beauty, unheard of sensitivity, with phrasing, polyphonic balances – the opening theme! If you really like Mahler, you cannot miss this absolutely essential, immersive journey into the heart of nature. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 15, 2021 | Accentus Music

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While Mieczyslaw Weinberg's instrument was the piano, he wrote extensively and wonderfully for the violin, which makes sense both on artistic and personal levels – the violin was both the perfect vehicle for the elegiac, Jewish folk-inspired melodies that flowed from his pen, and also the instrument played by his father, who along with Weinberg's mother and sister perished in a Nazi concentration camps in Polish soil during the Second World War (Weinberg was spared that fate, having fled to the Soviet Union upon the outbreak of war). What's more, it's arguably Weinberg's love for the violin we now have to thank for his music's recent rediscovery, given that this has been spearheaded by violinist and Kremerata Baltica director Kidon Kremer. So on to Kremer's latest Weinberg-shaped offering, and while the symphonic-proportioned, four-movement Violin Concerto of 1959 is actually a rare Weinberg work which isn't too badly underrepresented in the recording studio – its dedicatee Leonid Kogan recorded it in 1961 with Kirill Kondrashin and the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, and there's a handful of more recent efforts too – the fact that this one is from Kremer should make us sit up and take note. The concerto recording is a live one, made in February 2020 with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under the baton of Daniele Gatti as part of a series of Leipzig Gewandhaus concerts in honour of Weinberg's birth centenary. Those who know the Kogan reading may initially be surprised at the much steadier speed taken by Kremer and Gatti for the opening Allegro molto, because it's a different world to Kogan and Kondrashin's supercharged gallop. However these readings aren't short on drama – angry orchestra fortissimos are suitably shattering, and Gatti also achieves tense, floating magic in the moments when suddenly Weinberg makes time stand momentarily still. Kremer himself meanwhile is as sweet-toned and lyrical as ever, his violin holding its singing quality through the spikiest of moments, and coming across most arrestingly of all in the keening laments, meaning the slow third movement is every bit as strong as you'd hope. Paired with the Concerto is another 1959 violin work of Weinberg's, the Sonata for Two Violins, for which Kremer has been joined by Kremerata Baltica concertmaster Madara Pētersone, and their combined folk flair, range of colours and technical finesse make this perhaps an even more compelling listen than the Concerto – although please read that as praise for the Sonata rather than as criticism of what Kremer and Gatti have given us! © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz---With 22 symphonies, 17 string quartets, 9 concertos, and 7 operas, the composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg left behind an extensive oeuvre. Musically, one can hear the composer's close friendship with Dmitri Shostakovich, although Weinberg's music is more lyrical and romantic in nature. Nevertheless, the composer was long forgotten and his music has only been rediscovered in the last ten years. Gidon Kremer has dedicated himself to the rediscovery and cultivation of Weinberg's music. In February 2020, he performed Weinberg's Violin Concerto, Op. 67 with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under the musical direction of Daniele Gatti as part of a series of concerts in honor of the composer's 100th birthday at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. Weinberg completed the concerto in 1959, the culmination of one of his most creative and successful phases of the 1950s. The work captivates with its large symphonic structure and its four movements, which are rather atypical for a concerto. Also in 1959, Weinberg composed the Sonata for Two Violins, Op. 69, which Kremer recorded with the Latvian violinist Madara Petersone, concert master of the Kremerata Baltica. © Accentus Music
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Chamber Music - Released September 25, 2020 | Accentus Music

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Given that a concerto is usually a sure attention-grabber, it's been notable how thin on the ground new recordings of Beethoven's Triple Concerto for violin, cello and piano have been during this big birthday year of his; at least in comparison to the flurry of new Violin Concertos that have appeared. Confirmation, perhaps, that for many it's a rather problematic work, despite its big-boned drama, sense of fun, and indeed the theoretical attraction of uniting not one but three A-lister soloists. But now here are Gidon Kremer, Giedre Dirvanauskaite and Georgijs Osokins with Carl Reinecke 1867 piano trio arrangement of it, recorded in the warmly supportive acoustic of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music Concert Hall in Katowice. And whether or not dispensing with the orchestra works for you (some will say that, while the original may be short on meaningful interplay between orchestra and soloists, the first movement's triumphant forte passages can sound a bit anaemic when heard from piano trio alone), these musicians make the strongest possible case for it: keen chamber awareness of each other, whether fused together in harmony or playing catch with melodic ideas; sparklingly alive overall to the music's theatrics, with a wonderfully taut, time-standing-still Largo, and an attractively delicate and airy final Rondo alla Polacca, into which they throw increasing amounts of Polish folksy swagger as it progresses. That final Rondo alla Polacca is then the link to Chopin's G minor Piano Trio - an early work full of foreshadows of his mature style, and also one in which the pianist gets to properly shine having largely been responsible for the orchestral support in the Beethoven. Osokins thoroughly shines too, and especially enjoyably for the finale where he grabs from the off with his crisp silvery tone, dancing lilt, and seductively rubato'd push and pull, before providing the swirling virtuosic effervescence underpinning their joyous accelerando to the finish line. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 18, 2020 | Accentus Music

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Daniel Ciobanu first attracted international acclaim in 2017 at the Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv where he won both Silver Medal and Audience Prize. Afterwards, he appeared at Carnegie Hall, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Konzerthaus Berlin, St John’s Smith Square in London, Enescu Festival in Bucharest, most recently the Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, and toured in Japan, China, Taiwan, South Africa and Brazil. This debut recording with piano works by Prokofiev, Enescu, Debussy, and Liszt showcases the wide range of his immense versatility and artistry! This release was recorded in the stunning acoustics of the Gewandhaus zu Leipzig in May 2020. © Accentus
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Classical - Released September 11, 2020 | Accentus Music

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Classical - Released September 4, 2020 | Accentus Music

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He was "tremendously" impressed, Arvo Pärt recalls of the moment he stood in front of Anish Kapoor's Marsyas for the first time at London's Tate Modern. "Suddenly I found myself in a position from where I saw my life in a different light. At that moment, I had the strong feeling that I wasn't ready to die yet," said then-67-year-old Arvo Pärt. This was the creative impulse for Lamentate. Arvo Pärt, who celebrates his 85th birthday on September 11, 2020, seems to have often been inspired to compose by external circumstances. This is demonstrated in the selection of works for or with piano, which Onute Gražinyte chose for her first recording. Für Alina is particularly important to the Lithuanian pianist. In 1976, Pärt dedicated it to a young woman who had decided to leave the Soviet Union for England. "I know Alina's mother personally and can sympathize with her indescribable pain", says Onute Gražinyte. The pianist was baffled by Pärt's simple musical notation. "First you ask yourself: What is this?" Her playing reveals: She understands". Arvo Pärt has reached the core. It's no coincidence that he dedicated many piano pieces to children and that he intended the Vater Unser to be sung by a boy soprano. It's the ideal, the purity that children are born with and the composer has found it again". © Accentus
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Classical - Released April 3, 2020 | Accentus Music

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Classical - Released November 15, 2019 | Accentus Music

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It would be a fool’s errand to look for foreshadowings of Bruckner’s future greatness in this Requiem, which he wrote at the age of 24. Copying from one’s models is a formative experience for young artists, who needs must pass through that stage in order to learn their own art and find their own vocabulary. Taking in various influences, including the clear mark of Mozart, this budding composer finds his way to a mysticism which would go on to be the motor of all his future works, especially his nine fabulous symphonies, all of which are monuments to divinity. Here is a Bruckner who is already finding his own path, brought to life by the soloists, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, and the splendid Berlin RIAS Kammerchor, with an inspired Łukasz Borowicz conducting; the programme is rounded off by a few isolated liturgical pieces. Note also the stunning Aeuqale, two short pieces for three trombones written by the young composer for the funeral of his aunt Rosalie Mayrhofer in 1847, and which anticipate the harmonic strategies that would become so typical of Bruckner’s writing for brass sections in his later great works. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 18, 2019 | Accentus Music

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Classical - Released September 6, 2019 | Accentus Music

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In 2003, following a delicate operation for stomach cancer which won him a long remission, Claudio Abbado was able to realise his last dream, the creation of a "super-orchestra" made up of the greatest musicians of Old Europe. For ten years, that great Italian conductor would lead the Lucerne Festival Orchestra every summer, giving audiences some lovingly recorded and published performances that memorably included cycles of Bruckner and Mahler which have now entered into legend. We know how Abbado's illness allowed him to open the door of the great mystery of death, rendering his musical vision profoundly human, at once intimate and metaphysical. Published by the Lucerne Festival in a sober and stripped-down format, this edition offers the Alpha and Omega of Anton Bruckner's works. This is a way for Abbado to close his own story, because Bruckner's First Symphony was his very first collaboration with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in 1969. Taking inspiration from the founding idea of Ernest Ansermet, who wanted, in 1938, to create a temporary orchestra in Lucerne in order to provide summer work for musicians from the Orchestre de la Suisse romande, Abbado created a veritable musical utopia by bringing together musicians who were completely devoted to the pleasure of making music, with no hierarchy or frippery. The result was this miracle that we can see and hear today. This performance of Bruckner's Ninth Symphony was recorded on 23 August 2013: the last concert conducted by Abbado. Although much weakened, he seems to want to stretch out time to infinity, as if to stave off the fatal moment which would come just a few months after this farewell concert. This is a serene treatment, possessed of a great calm and inner peace that has nothing to do with religion, but rather with pure music. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released June 7, 2019 | Accentus Music

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In an important moment, the great interpreter of Anton Bruckner’s symphonies for Eternal Records (the ethereal symphonies nos. 4 and 7 in Dresden during the seventies, the subtle Symphony No. 6 in San Francisco with Decca, all those with Gewandhaus during his years with Querstand), Herbert Blomstedt returns to head the Bamberger Symphoniker with a 9th by Mahler. But there seems to be something up here. Blomstedt seems to have concentrated his efforts on all that is intrinsically ‘new’ in Mahler’s sonic universe. Blomstedt has stripped back the instrumentals, accusing some of being “ugly” or out of place. He has put emphasis on the harshness of the writing and the explosive character of the changes between string, brass and woodwind parts (Im Tempo eines gemàchlichen Ländlers); even the lyricism has gone under the knife (the central episode of Rono-Burleske). What’s going on? Where are we being taken? We are clearly at the conception of a completely new world here in which the tempos carry a feeling of moderation throughout the symphony and allow one to live, intensely, in the moment: the end of Rondo-Burleske acts as an initial cataclysm. The symphony could have come to an end here but it is followed by the enormous 20-minute-long Adagio postlude in which one asks if it could possibly get more sad or morbid. The colors dull, the tones themselves inexorably fade and the polyphonic layers die down. Emotions fly. With this 9th, recorded in June 2018 in the Joseph-Keilberth-Saal of the Bamberg Konzerthalle, Herbert Blomstedt returns to deliver true Mahler: the abstract. Love is mystical, cosmic and human. It is without hope. Bruckner’s 19th Century is blown away. Fascinating. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Classical - Released June 7, 2019 | Accentus Music

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Classical - Released June 7, 2019 | Accentus Music

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Classical - Released June 7, 2019 | Accentus Music

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Classical - Released May 3, 2019 | Accentus Music

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Classical - Released April 5, 2019 | Accentus Music

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