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Classical - To be released July 17, 2020 | Oehms Classics

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Classical - Released May 15, 2020 | Oehms Classics

Although Joseph Haydn excelled in every genre, sonata, quartet, symphony, opera, he was much less celebrated in the concerto than his young friend Mozart and his turbulent pupil Beethoven. A trumpet concerto, a few concertos for the keyboard and for the violin or other instruments, a dozen or so remaining untraceable and probably lost forever. Among this relatively thin corpus, only the Trumpet Concerto and the two Cello Concertos appear regularly in the repertoire. Long known in an edition arranged in questionable taste in the nineteenth century by Gevaert, Concerto in D major was published in a correct edition only in 1935, though of debateable attribution. It was not until the manuscript was discovered in 1953 that we were certain that it was in Haydn's hand. With beautifully virtuosic writing, it exploits all the cello’s technical possibilities, multiplying the pitfalls with lots of double stops, semiquavers and demisemiquavers which make its execution particularly delicate. Only rediscovered in 1961, the Concerto in C major was quickly recognised thanks to its undeniably melodic quality and its spectacular side combining great virtuosity with a gripping melody that’s full of life. Dating from the same period, Symphony No. 13 uses several solo instruments including a cello in the splendid Adagio cantabile which is a true cello concerto. The warm, deep sound of the 1777 Guadagnini mounted in gut strings by the British cellist Natalie Clein is particularly beautiful, recorded here during a concert in Graz in 2017. ©François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released May 15, 2020 | Oehms Classics

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The wanderer motif is a central theme in German 19thcentury romanticism. In this selection of songs, compiled by Rafael Fingerlos, the wanderer goes through various stages: from the desire to move into the wide world, full of curiosity and enthusiasm, to achieve freedom by leaving home. Foreign countries and foreign languages appear to the hiker on his journey. At some point the feeling of nostalgia for home and the desire to return mingle. Which home is the hiker looking for? An unfinished journey ends in peace, between strangers and home. Rafael Fingerlos is accompanied by pianist Sascha El Mouissi. © Oehms Classics
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Classical - Released April 17, 2020 | Oehms Classics

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Classical - Released March 20, 2020 | Oehms Classics

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Opera - Released March 20, 2020 | Oehms Classics

This new recording of Carl Maria von Weber's Freischütz comes from the Aalto Theatre in Essen, with a production recorded in December 2018 (restored in April 2020), under the direction of Tomáš Netopil, General Director of Music at this German institution. Set by the librettist at the time of the Thirty Years' War, Der Freischütz, as we know, is a kind of manifesto, the first real German opera between Fidelio by Beethoven and The Ghost Ship by Wagner, who was himself inspired by Weber. Although Tatjana Gürbaca's staging of Weber's fantastic opera as a reflection on Nazi atrocities was very poorly received, the show was saved by the musical quality of the project with excellent protagonists, such as Jessica Muirhead who plays a free and proud Agatha. The tenor Maximilian Schmitt (the Florestan in Leonore by Beethoven under the direction of René Jacobs, just released by harmonia mundi) is a very credible Max. As for the evil Kaspar sung by Heiko Trinsinger, it differs from the more widespread "black bass" by his clearer timbre and vengeful spirit. At the stand, Tomáš Netopil highlights the contrasts between drama and folk accents with a surefooted sense of rhythm which is never found wanting. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Opera - Released February 14, 2020 | Oehms Classics

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Classical - Released January 17, 2020 | Oehms Classics

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It’s one of Gustav Mahler’s most pessimistic symphonies, which oddly seems to have anticipated all of his own personal dramas, the end of which sees three mighty blows of fate befall the hero (Mahler), “the third of which fells him like a tree”. Purely instrumental, it is also one of the most original parts of the composer’s opus. He failed to contain his emotion at the podium when conducting the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance on June 27th 1906: it’s that very same orchestra that is publishing this recording in 2020, headed by their new conductor, the Czech Tomas Netopil. Born in 1975, he studied the violin and conducting in his hometown of Prague, before going on to refine his craft in Stockholm with Jorma Panula, the coach of so many of today’s greatest conductors. After winning the Sir Georg Solti International Competition in 2002, he conducted at the Salzburg Festival, the Prague Spring International Music Festival and filled the role of Head of the Prague State Opera from 2008 to 2012. The following year, he became the musical director of the Essen Philharmonic with which he has recorded several albums, including a critically acclaimed Mahler’s 9th Symphony for the same label Oehms Classics. This new recording of the 6th Symphony was executed during two successful concerts given in May 2019. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Opera - Released January 17, 2020 | Oehms Classics

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Classical - Released November 15, 2019 | Oehms Classics

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Opera - Released November 15, 2019 | Oehms Classics

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Adapted from Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, Peter Eötvös' 1998 opera Tri sestry is a modernist interpretation of the 1901 drama, set to a libretto by Eötvös and Claus H. Henneberg. This opera has been performed to critical praise in Lyon, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, and Vienna, among other opera capitals, and it is now firmly established in major European houses, despite its absence from stages in the United States, where avant-garde music has had far less support. Beyond the usual difficulties of securing a place in the repertoire, Tri sestry presents challenges that show that Eötvös' work is as uncompromising as it ever was. The scenes of the original four-act play have been re-arranged into three "sequences" associated with the characters Irina, Andrei, and Mascha, so this basic alteration of the story may be off-putting to some Chekhov purists. Also somewhat controversial is Eötvös' use of an all-male cast, assigning the sisters' parts to three countertenors, a gender swap that is sure to raise eyebrows. Perhaps even more disorienting, though, is the music itself, which is quite angular, harsh, and dense, with scarcely a lyrical moment to relieve its tension and conversational vocals that seem to waver uncertainly between declamatory speech and Sprechgesang. To make reception even more problematic, this recording is marred by the audience's sounds and other background noises that suggest a pristine studio recording is overdue. However, Tri sestry's staying power could be argued from its two commercial recordings, made nearly twenty years apart: the 1999 premiere on Deutsche Grammophon by Kent Nagano, who commissioned Tri sestry, and this live 2018 performance by the Frankfurter Opern- und Museumsorchester, conducted by Dennis Russell Davies and Nikolai Petersen. Because the Nagano recording is out of print and hard to find, this Oehms Classics release of Tri sestry is the only game in town and recommended for adventurous listeners and diehard Eötvös fans. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 18, 2019 | Oehms Classics

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Classical - Released October 18, 2019 | Oehms Classics

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Classical - Released September 13, 2019 | Oehms Classics

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released September 13, 2019 | Oehms Classics

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Classical - Released July 12, 2019 | Oehms Classics

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Opera - Released July 12, 2019 | Oehms Classics

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Opera - Released June 14, 2019 | Oehms Classics

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Classical - Released June 14, 2019 | Oehms Classics

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Opera - Released June 14, 2019 | Oehms Classics

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Composed in 1832 on a libretto refused by Mendelssohn who found that it was too close to Weber’s Freischütz, Wolfgang Marschner’s Hans Heiling never broke out of Germany nor acquired the success Marschner had hoped for. This romantic opera holds the seeds of all the ingredients that would hence be developed by Wagner, but Marschner did not surpass, according to Piotr Kaminski, a relative expressive banality that the libretto failed to conceal. Beyond its own qualities and flaws, Hans Heiling remains to hold great historical importance in German opera. It is, along with Le Vampire by the same composer, a unifier between Weber’s initial romanticism and accomplished works. We can already find here the tragic destiny of the damned romantic heroes: the impossibility to reconcile their human nature with the death drive. This recording, performed on stage during shows by the Essen opera in February 2018, gives precious information of a relatively forgotten period and shows how much Marschner wanted to combine the old (village fairs, drinking songs, love duets) with the new (a prologue precedes every opening of the curtain before the reveal of a redecorated stage). Certain melodies, like that of the Queen (O bleib bei mir) are well presented and Wagner would later remember them through his use of themes of Hans Heiling in the second act of his Walkyrie. © François Hudry/Qobuz