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Sacred Oratorios - Released November 13, 2020 | LSO Live

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Few recordings exist of Beethoven’s unique oratorio which drew influence from Händel’s work Haydn’s The Creation and the Seasons. A revelation came in 1966 Philadelphia when Eugene Ormandy made a beautiful recording of the oratorio. Ormandy’s lead was then followed by several more recordings. But, the composition remains a rarity within repertoires, even the monumental Beethoven edition published by Deutsche Grammophone for the 200th anniversary of the composers birth omitted this deserving oratorio. Christ on the Mount of Olives’ writing and theatricality varies in an experimental fashion that would give birth to Leonore the following year and then Fidelio ten years later. Beethoven seems to oscillate between several genres with a writing style that mixes academia, operatic vocal virtuosity and innovation (stemming from his own language). The bad reception of his 1803 work seems to shadow this oratorio like a malediction. This new recording by Sir Simon Rattle, captured during a concert performed at the Barbican Centre in London in February 2020, turns a salutary spotlight onto an all too often neglected work. Elsa Dreisig plays the seraph with great virtuosity and Pavol Breslik as a determined Christ. It was the first time that a composer had had Christ sang by a tenor and not by a bass singer, as was tradition. David Soar accurately plays the role of Peter, who is somewhat treated as secondary on the score. The choirs are omnipresent in their representation of the crowds (the “turba”) and their cries and murmurs. The one hundred and twenty-five singers in the London Symphony Choir are the true heroes of this vigorous interpretation which is brought to life with energy and dramatism by a particularly inspired and elated Sir Simon. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released October 23, 2020 | LSO Live

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François-Xavier Roth, Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, displays his deep affinity with the music of Debussy and Ravel on his latest LSO Live album. A fascination with his Spanish heritage would be a recurring theme in many of Ravel's creations. Mysterious melodies weave delicately throughout his early work Rapsodie espagnole, punctuated by bursts of Spanish-inspired fanfares and Habanera dance rhythms. The voluptuous flute opening of the Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune immediately conjures a world of luxurious fantasy, weaving through the music's changing scenes with effortless spontaneity. Every instrument adds something unique, and the whole work appears to float free of form and convention. In La mer, Debussy tells the story of the eternal odyssey of the ocean. He sails through storm and calm, wind and rain, in music that rises and falls with the rhythms of the sea. The score is so vivid that you can almost smell sea salt and see the crests of the waves. © LSO Live
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Opera - Released September 4, 2020 | LSO Live

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The author's absolute masterpiece, The Cunning Little Vixen speaks of nature and the circle of life. It’s a unique piece set in an idyllic forest land, a joyous fable of animals with a sad ending. There is little theatricality in this naturalist description of alarming freshness and innocence which sees the singers transformed into animals: foxes, frogs, mosquitos, dogs, crickets, grasshoppers, hens and cockerels. Janáček had long observed nature in order to compose this unique work where evocative power is overcharged with tenderness.Sir Simon Rattle had known this work since his youth when he played the celesta part during a student production at the Royal Academy of Music in which he also directed the backstage choir. An experience that changed his life so much that he desired to direct operas for himself. Recorded during two evening performances at the Barbican Centre in London in 2019, The Cunning Little Vixen was presented in a semi-theatrical version by Peter Sellars with an international distribution in which each made an effort to master the difficult Czech language with a subtle musicality that closely adheres to the rhythm and accentuation.Sir Simon Rattle directs this opera with a joyous adolescence, bringing out a million and one details from this glittering score. Generously, the editor includes a complimentary offering, one of the most extraordinary of Janáček’s masterpieces, the radiant Sinfonietta in which the sumptuous initial fanfares glorify the town of Brno in which the composer was born. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released May 8, 2020 | LSO Live

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Conductor François-Xavier Roth leads the London Symphony Orchestra on the third album in the Panufnik Legacies series, which showcases new music by some of the most exciting young composers working in the UK today. All of the composers featured on this recording are alumni of the LSO Discovery Panufnik Composers Scheme, which offers six composers each year the opportunity to write for a world-class symphony orchestra, guided by renowned composer Colin Matthews. The Panufnik Legacies III contains world premiere recordings of compositions by Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Ewan Campbell, Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian, Donghoon Shin, Alex Roth, Matthew Sergeant, Patrick Giguère, Sasha Siem, Bethan Morgan-Williams, Michael Taplin, Benjamin Ashby and Joanna Lee. This recording has been generously supported by The Boltini Trust. The LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme is generously supported by The Helen Hamlyn Trust. © LSO Live
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Classical - Released April 24, 2020 | LSO Live

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While the full opera is now rarely performed, Weber's Overture to Euryanthe has taken on a life of its own in the concert hall and serves as a window onto some of the most exciting moments in the whole work. Gardiner programmed and recorded this piece as part of his Schumann series with the London Symphony Orchestra, and the brooding intensity of Weber's score hints at the music to come from his fellow countryman. © LSO Live
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Classical - Released April 10, 2020 | LSO Live

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Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the London Symphony Orchestra bring their survey of Schumann's symphonic works to a close with the Overture, Scherzo & Finale. Dating from 1841, Schumann's Overture, Scherzo & Finale was originally conceived as a symphony, or 'symphonette' as he liked to call it, but having no slow movement he eventually republished it as this three-movement work. The work begins with a graceful and delicate Overture, which quickly transforms into a stormy Scherzo. The lyrical trio section that follows provides a welcome contrast before the fast, fugato style Finale brings the work to a rousing close. © LSO Live