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Classical - To be released November 5, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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Classical - To be released October 22, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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Classical - Released October 15, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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Classical - Released October 8, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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The Munich performances of Verdi's Messa da Requiem in October 1981 with Jessye Norman, Agnes Baltsa, José Carreras and Yevgeny Nesterenko, the Bavarian Radio Chorus, and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks conducted by Riccardo Muti were concert events that have hardly been equaled since, let alone surpassed – so powerful were the chorus and orchestra, so strictly did the maestro keep his eye on the interpretation, and so superb were the renowned soloists - singers of international renown who gave their all to achieve the best possible result. And they all succeeded brilliantly. Finally – four decades later - BR-Klassik can now release this absolute pinnacle in the performance history of Verdi's Messa da Requiem. The audience was spellbound and totally captivated, and there was glowing praise from the critics: the powerful work, they said, had hardly ever been heard like this on this side of the Alps; Riccardo Muti had demonstrated how Verdi's Requiem should sound; this performance of Verdi's requiem mass was authentic, frightening, tender and terrifying, providing a timid yet hopeful glimpse of transcendence. Wolf-Dieter Peter, a reviewer for the "Mittelbayrische Zeitung" in Regensburg, was there at the time and reported how the extra trumpets positioned in the gallery of the Herkulessaal “blasted a glistening jet of metallic sound across the stalls, almost as if from the afterlife”. It was something, he said, that had "never been seen, heard or experienced like this before... simply unforgettable". © BR-Klassik
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Classical - Released October 1, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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Few performers are more familiar with the musical language of the French composer Olivier Messiaen than the American conductor Kent Nagano. Nagano has had Messiaen's orchestral works and oratorios in his program for several decades now, and he also participated in the world premiere of Saint François d'Assise, Messiaen's only opera. During the year 1982 Nagano spent his time with Messiaen in Paris, where not only an artistic relationship but also a close personal one developed between the two musicians. BR-Klassik has now released three masterpieces by the French composer with the magical sound, presented by Kent Nagano to the Munich concert audience in recent years as conductor of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks: the oratorio La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ for chorus, seven solo instruments and orchestra, the song cycle Poèmes pour Mi for soprano and orchestra, as well as Chronochromie for large orchestra. These three live recordings document outstanding artistic events from the Munich concert program of June 2017, July 2018 and February 2019. © BR-Klassik
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Classical - Released October 1, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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Classical - Released September 10, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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After "Te Deum", "Arvo Pärt - Live" and "Miserere", "Stabat Mater" is already the fourth album to emerge from the close artistic collaboration between the composer and the Bavarian Radio Chorus, and to be recently released by BR-Klassik. - In addition to this impressive piece, this newly-released album offers some of the works that are key to the composer's stylistic development, and rarely appear in the concert repertoire or as recordings. Despite or perhaps precisely because of the radical reduction of its means of expression, Pärt's music demands the greatest care in its performance from those playing, and is masterfully realized in this recording by the Bavarian Radio Chorus and the Münchner Rundfunkorchester under the conductor Ivan Repušic. Like almost no other contemporary composer, the Estonian Arvo Pärt (born 1935) has succeeded in bringing sacred music back to the attention of a larger audience, even outside the church service. Because of its meditative character and its return to the simplest basic musical forms, his music gives us an insight into key spiritual moments. To this end, even before his emigration from the Soviet Union, Pärt invented what he referred to as the "tintinnabuli style" (Latin for “little bells”) of composing. In 1977 he delivered one of the first significant examples of this style with the first version of Fratres, which still has no fixed and prescribed instrumentation. In its ascetic austerity and almost liturgical solemnity, the work is reminiscent of a communal prayer or a spiritual act. © BR-Klassik
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Classical - Released August 6, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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Given the fact that the work is incomplete, and given the weaknesses in Franz Xaver Süßmayr's work, there has been a widespread fashion in recent years among musicologists and performers to retouch, if not to entirely rewrite, certain parts of Mozart's Requiem. This new version conducted by Howard Arman is no exception.Rightly acknowledging that Süßmayr's work has become an integral part of the history of this masterpiece, Arman left Süßmayr's work untouched, instead tackling only those pages written by Mozart himself. In particular, the Lacrimosa, only the beginning of which is from the hand of Amadeus. In contrast to Süßmayr's modesty, Howard Arman ends this page with a fugue of his own, a rather conventionally written Amen in D minor, the theme of which is taken from a sketch which was in the possession of Constanze. Written "in all humility" (sic), this new page restores the Lacrimosa to the same proportions as the Requiem aeternam and the Kyrie at the beginning of the work, in a rather questionable attempt at coherence. Howard Arman's objective style of conducting is at odds with the romantic versions in the style of Karl Böhm that have raised Mozart's Requiem to stand alongside the greatest works of the genre. The material certainly gains in readability here, though not necessarily in emotion.While the sleeve text gives us an idea of the intentions behind Howard Arman's edition, it does not say a word about the Libera me, written by Sigismund Ritter von Neukomm around 1816, as a complement to Mozart's posthumous works. But the gesture was the same as the one that Arman has made more than two hundred years later, which shows that the mystery of Mozart's Requiem remains unresolved and continues to inspire the most diverse range of responses. © François Hudry / Qobuz
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Classical - Released July 2, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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Classical - Released June 18, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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The German-French composer Mark Andre (born 1964) is one of the most important representatives of New Music. His twelve Miniatures for string quartet were composed in 2014/17 as a commission from the Arditti Quartet, Bavarian Radio's "musica viva", the Festival Automne à Paris and the ProQuartet-CEMC, funded by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation. Andre created his organ work Himmelfahrt, funded by the Siemens Music Foundation, in 2018 on behalf of the Evangelical Church in Germany. The orchestral work woher... wohin was written between 2015 and 2017 as a composition commission by BR's "musica viva" in conjunction with the Happy New Ears prize for composition from the Hans and Gertrud Zender Foundation. The album edition of the Bavarian Radio concert series "musica viva", which began in 2000, has been continued since autumn 2020 together with BR-KLASSIK. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of "musica viva" (the concert series was founded by Karl Amadeus Hartmann in 1945), recordings with works by the contemporary composer Rebecca Saunders (born 1967) and the composer Enno Poppe (born 1969) appeared as first releases in October 2020. The edition is now being continued with works by Mark Andre (born 1964). All the recordings feature live recordings made at "musica viva" concerts with the Bavarian Radio Chorus, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and renowned soloists. © BR-Klassik
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Classical - Released June 4, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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It would be fascinating to know what Mendelssohn would have to say about the release into the public domain of the twelve String Symphonies he began to compose from 1821, when just on the cusp of his teens. Although one could hazard a pretty accurate guess that he'd be unamused. Collated in a carefully dated exercise book, these were thoroughly private exercises in the symphonic craft, never intended for publication, and road-tested equally behind closed doors on the chamber orchestra that met at his parents' Berlin salon. And that's precisely what they sound like, too – full of the light-footed, Classical-inspired elegance we associate with Mendelssohn, but with the first six in particular sounding less like Mendelssohn, and more like what Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach might have come up with on one of his less wild-child days. Ditto for the Violin Concerto in D minor he composed around the same period for his violin teacher, Eduard Rietz. All of which is to say that they constitute a risk for any ensemble wishing to take them on, because while on the one hand they're charming and sometimes fascinating works (especially towards the end of the set), they're also abundantly ripe with the potential to sound as dull as ditchwater. Happily though, they've come out very well indeed under the fingers of the Münchner Rundfunkorchester and its leader Henry Raudales. Studio recorded in an ample (but not overly so) acoustic, this offering is a repackaging of the orchestra's 2019 release featuring the first six symphonies paired with the Violin Concerto, to which have now been added the final six symphonies plus the Sinfoniesatz in C minor Mendelssohn then replaced a few months later with the full-orchestra Symphony No. 1. That 2019 release had given us fresh, crisp, daintily elegant and light readings of the symphonies, but its star attraction had undoubtedly been the concerto, Raudales singing its solo lines with crisp, neat, lithe elegance, supported by equally neat, bright, light and fun-filled orchestral playing. Those same qualities have been similarly lavished on the second half of the set, while capitalising on the flashes of additional interest Mendelssohn's gradually developing voice is now beginning to throw up as he graduates from three to four movements, and introduces his first Scherzo. Take how gracefully they nail the mysterious, time-standing-still, misty romance of No. 11's opening Adagio as Mendelssohn begins to flex the programmatic voice that would later give us works such as ”The Hebrides” Overture; or the deliciously stringy luminosity with which they romp through its Commodo Schweizerlied Scherzo, Raudales delivering its solo with top-tapping perkiness; or the way in which, in the ensuing Adagio's opening, they bring out its brief, uncanny resemblance to the later Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage overture. Also to be appreciated is the overall warmth to their tone. If you're interested in tracing the development of Mendelssohn's symphonic voice, you won't go wrong with these. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 6, 2019 | BR-Klassik

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The Munich concert year of 2005 began at the end of January with two highlights: the two performances of Bruckner's Third Symphony with Mariss Jansons conducting the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in the Philharmonie im Gasteig. Bruckner completed the score of the opening movement, the Adagio and the Scherzo of his nascent Third Symphony between February and July 1873, and sketched out its finale on August 31, 1873 in Marienbad, Bohemia. The composer then travelled to Bayreuth, and presented Richard Wagner with his Second Symphony and the already completed manuscripts for the Third. Bruckner asked Wagner to select the symphony he preferred, intending to dedicate it to him - but since both men drank quite a bit of beer during their thorough perusal of the manuscripts, Bruckner was later unable to remember which work Wagner had ultimately chosen, and this had to be clarified in writing. The Third Symphony was completed on December 31, 1873. This first version of Bruckner’s Third Symphony became famous because it contained quotations from Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde and his tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen. These quotations were, however, incorporated into blocks that were separated by general rests, so could be later removed without interfering with the substance of the symphony. In 1877, Bruckner fundamentally revised the work, shortened it and eliminated the Wagner quotations. Then, in 1888, he worked out a third and final version, which forms the basis of the present interpretation. © BR-Klassik
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Classical - Released April 2, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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All the works of the Latvian composer Peteris Vasks on this release are written for string orchestra: the three connected compositions Musica serena (2015), Musica dolorosa (1983) and Musica appassionata (2002), and also Vasks' Concerto No 2 for Violoncello and Strings, also known as "Klatbutne" (“Presence”, 2011-2012). Vasks' three instrumental pieces here are light-hearted, tragic (dealing with the death of his sister as well as the political situation in Latvia at the time), and passionate, providing an overview of the diversity of his work across a timespan of almost three decades. His deeply spiritual Cello Concerto, which was premiered by Sol Gabetta and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta and conducted by Candida Thompson in Ghent, refers in its title to the pure being of his music - which is present, without distance, in every movement of the bow. The beauty that Peteris Vasks evokes in his works would not be possible without the experience of violence and cruelty in this world. He grew up in a country deprived of liberty, and because of his faith and his artistic convictions he was subjected to reprisals from Russian cultural doctrine. His father, a Baptist pastor, was considered an "enemy of the state", and his homeland was under Soviet control. As a result Vasks developed a vision of freedom and subtle protest in his music. Vasks' expressive, direct and often deliberately simple music quickly became the mouthpiece of the long-suppressed Latvian people, giving the nation a proud voice that can be heard worldwide. Today, alongside Arvo Pärt and Erkki Sven-Tüür, Peteris Vasks is one of the most famous composers from the Baltic states of the former Soviet Union. On April 16, 2021, the music world will celebrate his 75th birthday. © BR-Klassik
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Classical - Released March 5, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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The Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, born in 1935, has succeeded in bringing sacred music back to a broader audience, and away from the confines of the church service, more than almost any other contemporary composer. The meditative character of his works, and his return to the simplest and most basic musical forms, convey moments of intense spirituality. Before his emigration from the Soviet Union, Pärt had already invented what he termed the "tintinnabuli" style of composition. He produced an early and important example of this expressive style in 1977 with his Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, scored for string orchestra and bell. It is also a key feature of the choral and instrumental works presented by BR-Klassik on this new album: five works for choir as well as two for instrumental ensemble, covering all of the composer’s creative epochs between 1986 and 2019. Alongside shorter a cappella choral works such as Tribute to Caesar (1997), Which Was the Son of... (2000), The Deer's Cry (2007) and Ja ma kuulsin hääle... (2017), the highlight of this album – almost 30 minutes in length and with its absolutely spectacular sound effects – is the Miserere for soli, mixed voices, ensemble and organ (1989/1992). Ever since its premiere in 1989 in Rouen, France, and the recording by the Hilliard Ensemble under Paul Hillier, this is the first time a professional choir has dared undertake a production of this masterful composition – a work conveying the growth, flourishing and transience of human existence in sound. Arvo Pärt had never heard some of these pieces sung by a full choir before - “always only by a small ensemble”. The impressive programme is rounded off by two instrumental works: Festina lente (1986/1990) for string orchestra and harp, and Sequentia (2014/2019) for violin, percussion and string orchestra. © BR-Klassik
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Classical - Released February 5, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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The 2015 Munich concert year began at the end of January with two highlights: two performances of Bruckner's Sixth Symphony with Mariss Jansons conducting the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. The live recording, previously reserved exclusively for subscribers to the orchestra, is now being released on album by BR-Klassik - an outstanding interpretation of one of the most important compositions in the Late Romantic symphonic repertoire. For a long time, Anton Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony (along with his Second) was regarded as something of a ‘poor relation’ in his immense symphonic oeuvre, even though the composer himself had moodily referred to it as his "boldest". In view of its performance figures and recordings over the decades, this has now changed significantly, and the work has earned itself a permanent place in the repertoire. The Sixth Symphony forms part of the creative process of the two preceding symphonies, the "Romantic" Fourth (1874/1880) and the Fifth (1875), and is now seen as an important preliminary stage in Bruckner’s last great upsurge that followed the composition of the Te Deum and culminated in the sublime grandeur of his final symphonies, the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth. Bruckner worked on his Sixth Symphony in A major, WAB 106 from September 24, 1879 to September 3, 1881. He was only able to hear the complete work at one orchestra rehearsal during his lifetime because only the two middle movements (Adagio and Scherzo) were publicly performed in the concert hall of the Vienna Musikverein on February 11, 1883. The first public performance of the symphony as a whole followed only on February 26, 1899 - two and a half years after the composer’s death. It was conducted by Gustav Mahler, who had, however, made changes to the score, presenting it in a radically shortened version. © BR-Klassik
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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released January 15, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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The British composer Edward Elgar wrote a great deal more than just his Pomp & Circumstance Marches: his highly diverse oeuvre encompasses symphonies, concertos, chamber works, piano music and numerous choral works (oratorios, cantatas and partsongs). On this release, partsongs by Elgar can be heard with and without accompaniment as part of a representative selection of live and studio recordings. The album begins with the song cycle From the Bavarian Highlands, Op. 27; its six cheerful numbers were written while Elgar and his wife were on holiday in Garmisch in 1895. Alice Elgar had sketched verses from Bavarian folk melodies, and Upper Bavarian songs and dances can be heard in her husband’s settings. These were happy memories of carefree holidays in a region rich in music and full of fine landscapes. The Bavarian Radio Chorus, conducted by Howard Arman, sings the songs in their original version with piano accompaniment (the orchestral version came later). As a composer of English-language choral songs, Elgar is still little-known on the European mainland; in the United Kingdom, however, the situation is very different. The country has long had a lively choral scene, focusing primarily on English music – from Purcell and Handel to Hubert Parry, Charles Villiers Stanford and Elgar, all the way to Benjamin Britten and today’s contemporary composers. The program on this release has been compiled and conducted by the Englishman Howard Arman, one of today’s most knowledgeable experts on British choral music and artistic director of the Bavarian Radio Chorus, and these recordings should do much to boost the popularity of this highly appealing music on the European mainland as well. © BR-Klassik
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Comedy/Other - Released January 8, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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Classical - Released November 6, 2020 | BR-Klassik

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Mariss Jansons has been relatively ill and frail since suffering from a heart attack in 1996 while conducting Puccini’s La Bohème at the Oslo Opera House. He has since suffered from several more heart attacks, forcing him to cut down on his heavy workload. Feeling back on track in the early 2000s, he accepted the position of musical director for Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, one of the best orchestras in Germany.It is this German orchestra that pays tribute to him here with a recording of the maestro’s last concert, recorded at Carnegie Hall in New York on November 8th 2019 on tour, three weeks before Mariss Jansons passed away. It is rare that a conductor is blessed with such all-roundedness. His amazing musical skills combine with an incredibly human touch. The musicians share their love for the conductor in the tribute album’s notes, calling him a “paternal friend”. Though words aren’t quite enough to express their gratitude for working together for sixteen years, nor their admiration for his work and tireless search for technical and musical quality. Richard Strauss and Johannes Brahms’s names are on the programme of this final concert, recorded in the unfortunately somewhat dry acoustics of the New York’s famous concert hall. The cottony recording tends to drown out timbres and dynamics, especially on the beautiful rendition of Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 which feels like a long, quiet river lazily flowing through the countryside. The concert begins with four excerpts from Intermezzo that Strauss had reorganized as an orchestral suite and ends, much to the American audience’s delight, with Brahms’s Fifth Hungarian Dance which is played with elegant gusto. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released November 6, 2020 | BR-Klassik

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Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks is becoming more and more popular with the new generation of musicians. His music is often gripping, soaring, meditative and luminous. His Violin Concerto “Distant Light” has now entered many violinists’ repertoires - Renaud Capuçon, for example, recorded it for Erato and his magnificent Viola Concerto was recorded for BIS by Maxim Rysanov, who also completed his recording with the masterpiece Symphony No. 1 “Voices”.It is undoubtedly the most “barren” work in this new release. Premiered in Finland in September 1991, it totally corresponds to the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra’s sound (one of the most famous chamber orchestras in Sibelius’ country), conducted at that time by Juha Kangas. The work uses lots of tremolos and sustained notes which bring Sibelius to mind. Though time has passed and the work that Vasks portrays here is also reminiscent of some of Rautavaara’s figurative elements with its poetic imitations of sounds of nature and bird songs in the second movement, Voices of Life. It also depicts with surprising detail the hardships of living under Soviet rule. The Munich Radio Orchestra, conducted by the talented Ivan Repušić (go listen to Gotovac’s opera Ero, recorded by CPO) reveal a very intense and unforgettably accurate performance. It’s not to be missed.Viatoire, played here in an arrangement for eleven strings, is just as brilliant. Distant Light is brought to life with rare finesse by the violinist Stanko Madić and the Croatian conductor. An ideal gateway into the music of the greatest Latvian composer of our time. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 16, 2020 | BR-Klassik

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Poppe’s composition Fett for orchestra dates from 2018/19 and was commissioned by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and its artistic director Gustavo Dudamel, and "musica viva". Enno Poppe is one of the most important younger representatives of New Music. His composition I cannot remember anything for chorus, organ and orchestra, based on words by Marcel Beyer, was written between 2005 and 2015 as a commission for Bayerischer Rundfunk’s "musica viva". The first performance in Germany was recorded on May 8, 2015 in the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residenz. The album edition of the “musica viva” series, founded in June 2000 to document the concert series that has existed since 1945, contains selected live recordings of “musica viva” concerts. An integral part of the edition is made up of concerts by the ensembles of the Bayerischer Rundfunk, guest recordings by international orchestras and ensembles, and also historical recordings. With two or three new releases per year, the main focus of the edition -which sees itself primarily as a series for composers –is mainly on portrait albums. © BR-Klassik