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Französischer Jahrgang, Vol. 1

Gutenberg Soloists

Classical - Released January 14, 2022 | CPO

Hi-Res Booklet
Complete cantatas of the "Französischer Jahrgang", Vol. 1. Another large-scale, incredibly exciting project is dedicated to the world’s very first complete recording of an entire annual cycle with seventy-two church cantatas by Georg Philipp Telemann for large ensembles (Frankfurt, 1714-1715). This project directed by Felix Koch is particularly committed to including young soloists chosen by the "Telemann Project" for performances together with proven specialists in the field of Baroque song. All the singers perform in the "Gutenberg Soloists" vocal ensemble consisting of twelve members – in accordance with the Baroque practice in which the solo parts are assumed by members of the choral ensemble. Things get underway with this first volume, which present cantatas from the late summer of 1715 and five additional cantatas for the Lenten season from the cycle known as the "French Annual cycle". A significant reference is found on the original Frankfurt organ part of Telemann’s cantata Gott schweige doch nicht also from this year: "Judica, from the French Annual Cycle". What this means is that the cantata concerned was intended for the Fifth Sunday in Lent; that is, it belonged precisely to the annual cycle of church cantatas that even contemporaries called "French" because of its style. This is music worth discovering – and not only by and for Telemann fans! © CPO
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The Essential Scarlatti

Michael Korstick

Classical - Released January 14, 2022 | CPO

Booklet
Michael Korstick presents Domenico Scarlatti’s art of inventio. With his more than sixty prizewinning recordings, Michael Korstick has gained renown as one of Germany’s leading pianists. And now, with his new recording of sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, he again sets accents and interpretive standards. The score texts, especially as far as ornamentation is concerned, often cannot be written out with precision or brought into systematic agreement in parallel passages. Much in these score texts creates the impression of a sketch and practically invites the player to make individual decisions. An improvisational element is proper to all the pieces; no sonata follows a predictable course apart from the fact that they as a rule consist of two parts, each of which is repeated. There are many characteristics in Scarlatti’s music that immediately catch the ear’s attention: wit, generosity, keen understanding, irony, sensibility, and not least a healthy portion of the self-confidence forming a supervirtuoso’s sine qua non. The combination of the most sophisticated techniques, some of them acrobatic, with extremely catchy thematic material is characteristic of Scarlatti’s sonatas, but what never fails to astonish us is also his capacity for lyrical introspection in its most various manifestations, from the greatest sorrow through the profoundest mourning to meditative absorption. Again, other pieces imitate the sounds of instruments so very different as flutes, oboes, trumpets, horns, guitars, mandolins, castanets, and drums. This recording presents in full the thirty-two sonatas of the "Auswahlband IV" of the G. Henle Verlag as well as four of Scarlatti’s most beloved sonatas, which have been published separately by the Henle. The selection of pieces for "Band IV" has at its goal the presentation of what may be described as the essence or the "best" of Scarlatti’s art of invention. © CPO
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Beethoven Arranged

Ludwig Chamber Players

Chamber Music - Released January 14, 2022 | CPO

Booklet
Beethoven arranged. Ludwig van Beethoven’s artistic greatness is measured not only by his symphonies, piano sonatas, and string quartets but also in the smaller dimensions of songs, duos, and ensemble music. Beethoven also set standards, created new things, and encouraged experiments in these secondary or occasional works – and did so with an impact felt right through to the present, as the arrangements by Andreas N. Tarkmann demonstrate – for example, in the dialogue form between voice or cello and piano and the sound world of winds and strings. Tarkmann has arranged the twelve Variations on a Theme from "Judas Maccabaeus" for octet and fully exploits expanded tone-color resources such as the juxtaposition of wind and string "choirs" already in the theme. When Tarkmann was asked whether an arrangement can be "better" than the original, he replied: "Both the variations and the song collection appealed very much to me as an arranger. Such an arrangement is of course a very precise occupation with the original source, and in both works I had the vision that their compositional qualities would be even more clearly audible in an instrumental version. By this I mean new audio perspectives, the clarification and elaboration of harmonic and formal structures as well as an enrichment of the tone colors". © CPO
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Romberg: Cello Works

Raphael Wallfisch

Classical - Released January 14, 2022 | CPO

Booklet
It is often forgotten that Bernhard Romberg not only was a virtuoso but also as a composer was once numbered among the most important representatives of his generation. Statements to this effect are easy enough to find: Romberg was "one of the leading violoncello players on earth, also as a composer and an expert in the art of music" (Hamburg, 1801); he was regarded as "one of the most outstanding composers and as the most consummate of all cellists now living" (Leipzig, 1807). Romberg’s Fourth Cello Concerto numbers among his most beloved compositions; younger cellists like Justus Johann Friedrich Dotzauer and Maximilian Bohrer even had it in their repertories. As far as forms and movement types are concerned, Romberg adheres to traditional precedents, but the design of the large forms does not at all stand in the way of many interesting and innovative individual traits. Romberg’s first documented performance of his Sixth Cello Concerto, known as the "Concerto militaire", was held in St. Petersburg in 1812. As everywhere was the case, the work and its performance were greeted with enthusiasm. The local reviewer for the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung wrote: "Here too he received more applause than all the musicians who have been here. Those who heard him seemed to be quite genuinely enchanted". © CPO
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Beach: Complete Works for Piano Duo

Genova and Dimitrov Piano Duo

Chamber Music - Released January 14, 2022 | CPO

Hi-Res Booklet
Amy Beach’s Complete Works for Piano Duo. Now the famous and successful Genova & Dimitrov Piano Duo turns to the American composer Amy Beach. Her compositional oeuvre marks a high point within the great phase of consolidation experienced by art music in the United States between the Civil War and World War I. Amy Beach was not the first American woman who composed or the first America woman who earned money with her compositions; but she created a stir in the music world by forging ahead into genres in which previously only men had distinguished themselves. However, it was above all the piano that was Amy Beach’s lifelong companion. She honored her instrument with solo compositions in a total of twenty-six opus numbers distributed equally over her entire compositional career from the 1880s to the 1930s. Even though her music for piano four hands or for two pianos is limited to a few compositions, they just as positively attest to their author’s talent as do her works for two hands. The original version of Amy Beach’s Variations on Balkan Themes, Op. 60 is her most extensive composition for piano two hands and the one that is the most challenging in playing technique. At the same time, these Variations represent one of her most significant endorsements of folk music. © CPO
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E. Franck: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

Georg Michael Grau

Classical - Released January 14, 2022 | CPO

Hi-Res Booklet
Concertos of greatest virtuosity by Eduard Franck. The composer and pianist Eduard Franck was from an art-loving Breslau banker’s family and revealed his musical gifts at an early age. Later Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy became his teacher and even performed together with him. His friendly acquaintance with Mendelssohn and kindred musical spirits like Robert Schumann and William Sterndale Bennett showed Eduard Franck the way. However, he increasingly emerged from the shadow of his models, and today he is honored less as a follower and more as a mediator between the generations who in his time anticipated many a new development by great masters such as Brahms and Bruckner. Franck’s Piano Concerto in D minor, Op. 13, his first broadly dimensioned orchestral work, generates its appeal above with its imposing and stormy main themes and brilliantly virtuosic broken chords in the piano part. The Second Concerto recorded here was previously available only in a manuscript of the score and a piano reduction from 1879. The virtuosic interplay between the orchestra and the piano, as heard on the present recording premiere, in particular makes us sit up and take notice. © CPO
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Reinecke: Complete Piano Trios

Hyperion Trio

Chamber Music - Released January 14, 2022 | CPO

Booklet
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Historia Nativitatis

Ensemble Polyharmonique

Classical - Released January 14, 2022 | CPO

Booklet
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America for Two

Piano Duo Genova & Dimitrov

Classical - Released January 14, 2022 | CPO

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Das Heidelberger Lautenbuch

Niklas Trustedt

Chamber Music - Released January 7, 2022 | CPO

Booklet
The alchemy of sounds Sebastian Ochsenkun’s Tabulaturbuch auf die Lauten consisting of Latin motets (premiere recordings!), German psalms and songs and also Italian and French pieces, was published in 1558 as a collection of contemporary vocal music arranged for the lute. As far as the placement of the music in the collection and quantitative factors are concerned, Josquin des Préz is the most prominently represented composer. In addition, pieces by other renowned composers such as Nicolas Gombert from the Spanish court of Emperor Charles V and Ioannes Mouton from the court of King Francis I of France can be heard on this recording. Ochsenkun was the lutenist of Prince Elector Ottheinrich of the Palatinate. Rising to what was a technically challenging task, Ochsenkun always produced the complete texture for his instrument by transcribing all the voices into lute tablature. His intabulations stand out from those of his contemporaries, who often limited themselves to three voices and sometimes to two. Nevertheless, Ochsenkun’s intabulations are excellently suited for »having a voice sing to them« – which will be demonstrated on this recording, also with several voices and in outstanding interpretations by the renowned singers Dorothee Mields and Jan Kobow. Viewed historically, Ochsenkun’s work is regarded as testimony to the high level of music and lute playing during the middle years of the sixteenth century, also in Southern Germany. It shows us a musician who with his aspiration to quality and system is able to offer far-reaching impulses even beyond his times and his instrument. © CPO
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Dietrich: Cello Sonata & Klavierstücke

Will Alexander

Chamber Music - Released January 7, 2022 | CPO

Today Albert Dietrich continues to be known above all as the composer of the introductory allegro movement of the »F-A-E Sonata« (a joint project with Brahms and Schumann). However, the CPO release of Dietrich’s Symphony and Violin Concerto has shown that his previously unknown music is more than just an ordinary discovery. Even during his later years as the Oldenburg court music director (1861-91) he was a highly esteemed composer whose works were frequently performed. The fact that Brahms valued him very highly not only as a friend – whom he quite often visited in Oldenburg in order to have the opportunity to play music with him – but also as a composer further attests to his quality. Dietrich’s impressive works for violoncello and piano form the focus of this recording, which also includes pieces for piano solo. His Sonata for Piano and Violoncello covers a broad spectrum – from the first movement alternating between lyricism and inner turmoil, through the powerful and energetic second movement, to the exuberant vibrancy of the last movement, which opens with a thematically intricate, gloomy cadenza. © CPO
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Tasca: A Santa Lucia

Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau

Opera - Released January 7, 2022 | CPO

Booklet
A captivating Verismo opera During the late nineteenth century countless composers modeled their operas on Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, hoping that this strategy would likewise bring them success. These composers included not only Leoncavallo with his Pagliacci but also the young composer Pierantonio Tasca. Although Tasca had grown up in Sicily, in A Santa Lucia he depicted Naples, Italy’s largest city and a metropolitan world plagued by poverty and the everyday struggle for survival. This opera celebrated its premiere not in Naples, not in Rome or Milan, but at the Kroll Opera in Berlin on 16 November 1892 and enjoyed great success. For some years this captivating, impassioned, and tender music and its highly atmospheric local color earned Tasca the rank of the most esteemed "young Italian" composer in Germany, right along with Mascagni and Leoncavallo. © CPO
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Christmas Cantatas, Vol. 2

Collegium vocale Siegen

Choral Music (Choirs) - Released January 7, 2022 | CPO

Christmas Cantatas from the "Engel-Jahrgang" (1748-1749) The three cantatas brought together here are from Telemann’s last printed annual cycle, which was published in Hermsdorf (near Hirschberg), Silesia, in 1749. Each cantata has a title page indicating the particular Sunday, registering the ensemble parts under it, and displaying a decorative figure modeled on a putto as an ornament on the lower half of the page. Since the putto was also understood as an angel, the cycle came to be known as the "Engel-Jahrgang" (Angel cycle). In addition, the title contains a pithy motto that seems to be referring to Telemann: "You glorify the sweet harmony of the art of music and sanctify it". As in his other annual cycles issued in printed form, the compositions were presented in Hamburg churches prior to their publication or along with it. These are joyful works of dancy verve to which Telemann supplied additional splendor in many movements through the use of trumpets. © CPO
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R. Strauss: Violin Concerto, Op. 18 & Aus Italien, Op. 16

Robert Kowalski

Classical - Released January 7, 2022 | CPO

Booklet
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Molter: Sinfonias & Cantatas

Reussisches Kammerorchester

Classical - Released January 7, 2022 | CPO

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Korngold: Orchestral Works

NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra

Classical - Released January 7, 2022 | CPO

Erich Wolfgang Korngold began composing his String Sextet during his vacation in Alt-Aussee in the summer of 1914 and while working on Violanta, his second opera. At the time he was seventeen years old, had already established himself internationally as a composer with an impressive work catalogue, and was regarded as the greatest child prodigy of his time. In the Sextet, heard here in an arrangement for string orchestra by the conductor Hartmut Rohde, Korngold employs the most opulent, most richly colorful style in order to produce a highly romantic work consisting of four complex movements. Thirty years later Korngold was living in exile in Hollywood. Following a heart attack he was in the hospital and began composing a work for string orchestra in his head while recuperating. The result was his Symphonic Serenade in B-flat major, Op. 39, one of the best works he composed during the final years of his life. © CPO
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Haydn: Complete Piano Trios, Vol. 5

Trio 1790

Classical - Released December 3, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
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Aribert Reimann: Unrevealed & Variations for Piano

Richard Salter

Classical - Released December 3, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
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Schubert: Complete Symphonies & Fragments

L'Orfeo Barockorchester

Classical - Released November 19, 2021 | CPO

Booklet
Schubert Symphonies - Now really complete. On the occasion of its twenty-fifth anniversary, the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra is releasing the present recording of Franz Schubert’s complete symphonies and complete symphonic fragments. It is the most recent gem in this orchestra’s multifaceted repertoire ranging from the suite of the French, German, and Austrian Baroque through the sinfonia of the Mannheim School to Viennese Classicism and Early Romanticism. Although Joseph von Spaun termed Schubert a »song composer« not long after his death, Schubert’s compositional oeuvre may be said to be framed by a symphonic fragment and a sketch for a symphony. The first of these fragments was the score for an overture (D. 2A) committed to paper around 1810-11 and abandoned in the middle of the exposition, and the last was a draft of three movements for a Symphony in D major (D. 936 A), largely worked out in full, from the last weeks, if not from the last days, of his life. During the period of some eighteen years between these two manuscripts, Schubert occupied himself creatively with almost all the established forms, ensembles, and genres. The symphonic fragments heard here often consist of scores containing only a few measures with the later addition of the instrumentation of a piece, for example, measures 209 to 223 from the first movement of the String Quartet D. 74. Since the composer assigned the date »3 September 1813« to this movement following its final notes, he must have written the fragment immediately prior to beginning his work on the Symphony No. 1 in D major, D. 82. © CPO