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Cello Concertino Op. 43bis: I. Adagio

Les Métamorphoses

Classical - Released January 14, 2022 | Evil Penguin Classic

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A quand'a quand'haveva: Villanesche

Dionysos Now

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 7, 2022 | Evil Penguin Classic

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O dolce vita mia: Villanesche

Dionysos Now

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released December 3, 2021 | Evil Penguin Classic

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Guarda, Ascolta

Dionysos Now

Classical - Released November 24, 2021 | Evil Penguin Classic

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Light in Darkness

Mieczysław Weinberg

Chamber Music - Released November 5, 2021 | Evil Penguin Classic

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Linus Roth first encountered the music of Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-1996) in 2010 when he was scheduled to play his Piano Trio at a chamber music festival. After the first rehearsal, Roth was shocked and moved by the intensity and energy of the music and touched by the beauty of this composition, which was new to him. Not only were the characteristics of the inner turmoil obvious - , the deep abysses and darkness in this music - but also those of the hope contained therein, which repeatedly shone through. At the time Roth knew almost nothing about Weinberg’s biography or any of his other works, so he left the festival in the hope that Weinberg may have composed something else for violin. It was then that a treasure chest opened up for Roth: a Violin Concerto with symphony orchestra and one with chamber orchestra, 3 solo Sonatas, 7 Sonatas with piano, many other pieces and a number of chamber music works. Much of it had never been recorded and Roth immediately saw the discovery of this music as a huge stroke of luck. As a musician, when do you ever get to discover an entire oeuvre that is first-rate and yet has been forgotten?! The idea was obvious to tackle the complete recording of all works for violin. As this project has meanwhile been completed, Roth wanted to return here to his first encounter with the music of Weinberg, the Piano Trio, Op. 24. Until shortly before his death in 1996, Weinberg’s works were regularly performed with great enthusiasm by Russian artists and now, they slowly but increasingly are reaching the international concert stage. His Piano Trio, like his other numerous works, shows his immense mastery of all compositional forms, genres and styles - always shaped by events in his own fateful life, such as escape, expulsion, the murdering of his family and the constant danger to his own being. © Evil Penguin Classic
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Missa Benedicta es: V. Agnus Dei

Dionysos Now

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released November 5, 2021 | Evil Penguin Classic

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Quintets for Pianoforte & Winds

Anthony Romaniuk

Chamber Music - Released October 1, 2021 | Evil Penguin Classic

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"I myself consider it to be the best thing I've written so far" : this is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's own description of his Quintet for Piano and Wind Instruments, K 452. The quintet made such an impression on his contemporaries that the young Ludwig van Beethoven also used it as a template for his own Op. 16. The unusual combination of instruments employed in these pieces, unique in Mozart's case, encouraged them to experiment with genres, blurring the boundaries between chamber music, symphonic writing, concerto, and operatic aria. WOLF's approach to this repertoire is guided by its use of historical instruments; they are joined for these works by fortepianist Anthony Romaniuk. WOLF is a Belgian wind collective, specialised in classical music, performerd on period instruments. The members of WOLF have all won their spurs with the most prominent ensembles at home and abroad. The specificity and playing style of old instruments are the guiding principle in their approach to 18th- and 19th-century chamber music. © Evil Penguin Classic
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8 Variations on Grétry’s "Une fièvre brûlante" in C Major, WoO72

Anthony Romaniuk

Chamber Music - Released September 17, 2021 | Evil Penguin Classic

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Bach: Solo Violin Sonatas

Linus Roth

Chamber Music - Released September 3, 2021 | Evil Penguin Classic

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The cycle of six solo Sonatas and Partitas by J.S. Bach is arguably one of the most powerful and most important compositions in musical history. These works have been with Linus Roth since he was nine years old, when he first learned the Gigue from the E major Partita, moving on by the age of twelve to the first Fugue in G minor to tackling at fifteen the Ciaconna, which represents a cosmos in its own right. By seventeen, Roth had finally learned the entire oeuvre for the first time and since then he is fortunate to have been able to grow as a musician through the constant and welcome challenge of interpreting these remarkable works. Bach did not write ‘Six Solos’ on the cover of the score, but instead wrote ‘Sei Solo’ in Italian, which can have two meanings: the word ‘Sei‘ can be translated both as the number six and also as ‘You are’. ‘You are alone’ - Bach is unlikely to have left something so important to chance or to be playing a simple word game. This announcement – if it is even to be seen as a reminder from the composer to the performer - must be taken seriously and Linus has always viewed it as an invitation to interpret the music as freely as the musical text allows, which for him became a guiding principle in his quest for his own interpretation. This recording was made during lockdown, in which all of our lives have had to be reduced to a minimum in almost every area. The chance to renew the intense preoccupation with this miraculous music in preparation for the recording was a huge privilege as it allowed Linus an escape into a spiritual freedom which helped him greatly on a personal level at this time. Not only did Roth's teachers and the interpretations of great violinists have a huge influence on how he plays Bach, but also his preoccupation with the original text and with what is known as ‘historically informed performance practice’, in particular the experience of playing with the type of convex Baroque bow that was used in Bach’s time. Due to its bend and the different weight distribution, it has a different nature to the concave curved bow used today, which leads to a slight decrescendo phrasing where several notes are slurred together towards the tip of the bow. In Linus' opinion, the modern bow suits the modern violin better and enables a wider range of sounds, which is why he tries to translate these Baroque-style experiences to the modern bow. While the slurs and other details in the musical text were not always adhered to in years gone by, further meticulous examinations of the text have resulted in music editions that faithfully reproduce all the details of Bach’s handwriting, yielding fascinating results. Bach completed the Six Solo Sonatas and Partitas in 1720 in Koethen when he was appointed conductor of the court there. It was the only office he held in which he was not exclusively committed to ‘musica sacra’. Nevertheless, the three solo Sonatas follow the form of the so- called ‘Sonata da Chiesa’ or Church Sonata. They each consist of four movements in the order slow-fast-slower-fast/er. The first movement is a free prelude in improvisational character, followed by a four-voiced Fugue. The third movement is song-like and the fourth resembles a brilliant Toccata. © Evil Penguin Classic
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Quintet for Piano and Winds in E-Flat Major, K 452: I. Largo - Allegro moderato

Wolf

Chamber Music - Released August 20, 2021 | Evil Penguin Classic

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Adriano 1

Dionysos Now

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released May 31, 2021 | Evil Penguin Classic

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Ave Maria

Dionysos Now

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released May 21, 2021 | Evil Penguin Classic

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Sanctus

Dionysos Now

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released May 14, 2021 | Evil Penguin Classic

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Violin Sonata No. 2 in A minor: III. Andante

Linus Roth

Chamber Music - Released March 31, 2021 | Evil Penguin Classic

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Virtuoso Dances

Linus Roth

Chamber Music - Released March 5, 2021 | Evil Penguin Classic

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Sitting at home during the global pandemic with all performances cancelled for the foreseeable future, acclaimed violinist, Linus Roth turned to his notebooks of random musical ideas and jottings for inspiration. One idea jumped off the page at him – to record a programme made up of some of his most beloved pieces for violin and piano, all of which had in common both a virtuoso character and that they were all dances. What better way to lift the spirits at this time than with dance music? He called his long term musical partner, pianist José Gallardo to plan out the recording and five weeks later, they had the remarkable opportunity to record the album in the visually stunning and acoustically unique Library of the former monastery in Ochsenhausen, Germany, home of the Music Academy of Baden-Württemberg. This venue had a particular significance for Roth, as he had first stood on the hall’s stage to perform at the tender age of eleven and had recently been appointed Artistic Director of the Music Festival ‘Schwäbischer Frühling’ which takes place every May in this same hall. As the festival in 2020 had also had to be cancelled, it was a wonderful synergy to be back on that very same stage and to have the amazing opportunity to bring this vivid recording idea to life. © Challenge Classics
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Beethoven and His French Piano

Tom Beghin

Chamber Music - Released November 6, 2020 | Evil Penguin Classic

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In 1803 Beethoven received a piano from Erard Frères in Paris. Why had he been so keen to own a French instrument and how did it inspire him, both as a pianist and a composer? The answer may lie in these performances on a new replica of Beethoven’s French piano, created as part of a unique research project. Placing the iconic “Waldstein” and “Appassionata” sonatas alongside equally grand pieces by two of his Parisian contemporaries, they reveal an unfamiliar French aspect to Beethoven’s genius. The Belgian-Canadian pianist Tom Beghin combines a career as a performer with that of a researcher and teacher. His expertise concerns historically informed performance on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century keyboards. His published work spans various media, from commercially released recordings to academic essays and books. Most recently, he has studied the significance of Beethoven’s 1803 Erard piano. Beethoven’s other “foreign” piano, a replica of his 1817 Broadwood, was featured on "Inside the Hearing Machine", a multimedia project that aims to understand the connection of the composer’s deafness with his late piano music. © Challenge Records
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Remains

Jolente De Maeyer

Chamber Music - Released May 1, 2020 | Evil Penguin Classic

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Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: Stabat Mater, P. 77

Capriola di Gioia

Chamber Music - Released April 10, 2020 | Evil Penguin Classic

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The Stabat Mater by the Italian late baroque composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710- 1736) invariably holds the number one position in many western classical music charts. In Pergolesi’s own era, his composition received enormous acclaim and was frequently a source of inspiration for the many tone poets who wanted to follow in his footsteps. Why has this pole position remained inviolable throughout the centuries and why is the Stabat Mater unanimously proclaimed as the ultimate composition of the classical repertoire by a hugely diverse and widely spread audience, year after year? The fact that so many people are moved by this textbook example of simple, captivating sacred music has intrigued us for years and led us to study this work more closely in an attempt to find out what the ingredients of this special composition are. Has Pergolesi found the perfect balance between reason and emotion? Is his work the nec plus ultra in terms of musical experience and immersion? Or is the glory and widespread familiarity of the work mainly due to its mainstream exposure via movies and television? As always, the perfomers of this album wanted this quest to be as authentic as possible so they could rediscover the original intentions of the composer. To achieve this, they tried to distance ourselves from established choices regarding phrasing and dynamic, and from possibly standardised tempi. They let ourselves be inspired by a virginal score, stripped of all possible input and interpretations in order to be surprised again by the fundamental intentions of the composer. During this process, they constructed a contemporary interpretation of the original text in the universal – and very topical – theme of the helpless mother that sees her child suffering. All these elements led to this re-interpretation of Pergolesi’s masterpiece. The content of this text is very emotional and compelling. Mary’s lament at the foot of the cross upon which her son has died, is imbued with intense emotions. The fact that Pergolesi wrote this work in seclusion in a monastery during the last year of his life, when he knew he was dying – he died of tuberculosis at a very young age – undoubtedly influenced his interpretation of this medieval poem. Through the masterful melodies that flowed from his quill, combined with compelling tonalities and the clever use of numerous rhetorical devices, his music expresses the emotional truth of the narrative succinctly and completely immerses the listener in the story. For this version, these are two wonderful vocalists who are symbiotic and complementary both in terms of personality and musical interpretation. To emphasise the intimate and personal character of the work it has deliberately chosen a string ensemble with solo instruments, supported by the most traditional line-up of basso continuo in sacred music (organ & theorbo), which was given all possible improvisational freedom. This resulted in a ‘new’, fresh inter- pretation of this well-known piece of music, while we searched for the primal emotions of this beautiful poem about Mary and the melody it inspired. © Evil Penguin Classic
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F. Poulenc: Stabat Mater, FP 148 - A. Desenclos: Messe de Requiem

Vlaams Radiokoor

Classical - Released September 27, 2019 | Evil Penguin Classic

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On the final instalment of its Requiem series, the Flemish Radio Choir tackles Poulenc’s iconic Stabat Mater (1950) and Alfred Desenclos’ Requiem (1963), stunning works which steer clear of the typical Requiem horrors to convey a message of hope. Teaming up with the Brussels Philharmonic, the Flemish Radio Choir and its acclaimed director Hervé Niquet extract the emotional and rhetorical essence of music which is eminently French, unusually tender, and delicately majestic. © EPR Classic
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Christ lag in Todes Banden

BachPlus

Classical - Released June 7, 2019 | Evil Penguin Classic

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