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ARMIDA QUARTETT  ˇ FUGA MAGNA

The act of thinking and composing in counterpoint – in fugues – has reigned as the supreme musical discipline ever since Western music emerged around the year 1200 from the shadows of purely oral transmission to be codified in writing, initially in mensural notation……

Our seven-league-boot journey across the realm of fugue begins with the two earliest published German works in the genre for instrumental ensemble from the year 1602. The first of them has ethereal motifs which it rather cautiously explores, whereas the second is based on the folk song O Nachbar Roland, mein Herz ist voller Pein….

The fugue lost its aura and mystique once and for all three decades later in the hands of Beethoven, who treated it as the historical quote of what was already a historical quote. The result was difficult for listeners to grasp, as a review from the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung (1826) clearly shows:

"Perhaps, if the master could actually hear his own creations, some passages might have been written differently. We should not condemn this work too prematurely, however: a time may come when that which at first seemed murky and convoluted will be hailed as clear and pleasant in all of its forms.”
(Excerpt from the liner notes by Reinhard Goebel)

Release Date 26 May 2017   


KILIAN HEROLD, Clarinet & SARAH MARIA SUN, Soprano & Ensemble
MÁTYÁS SEIBER  ˇ MORE NONSENSE ˇ Clarinet Chamber music and Nonsense Songs

PLAYS ON WORDS, JAZZ and KODALY

Sources of inspiration in the chamber music

We already start to uncover a wide range of interpretations and perspectives when we attempt to summarize the life of composer Mátyás Seiber, for he is not easy to pin down. Was he a Hungarian composer of the early 20th-century Budapest school?

A music entertainer on an ocean liner in the 1920s? Was he the first jazz professor in music history, with a chair in Frankfurt? Or was he more of a British artist – since in London, during and after the war, he also worked as a highly respected choir director and composition professor with an international network of contacts?

Mátyás Seiber was all of those. His music, especially his chamber music, displays that same great variety, sometimes in crazy, witty mixtures. This CD features several works where Seiber shone the musical spotlight on the clarinet and/or on the human voice
 (Excerpt from the line notes by Lydia Jeschke)

Release Date 19 May 2017  


 
FEININGER TRIO   ˇ RAVEL & DEBUSSY
Piano Trios

Forging their own paths

Claude Debussy was ten years old when was subjected to regular schooling for the first time in his life – when he entered the Paris Conservatoire. He had never attended primary school; instead, his mother had taught him reading, writing and arithmetic as best she could.

At the piano, meanwhile, he had revealed his talent as a child prodigy, and his fate was sealed. The conservatory professors soon found, however, that this pupil was different, strong-willed, impetuous, and rebellious. ..

The resulting piano trio is so spirited and full of vigor that the shadows in which it emerged are simply not noticeable: instead, it testifies to Ravel’s overflowing creative drive. Here, his style is fine-honed to the extreme, pointed and succinct, almost Constructivist. Innovative rhythms and metric structures are the Trio’s most striking feature...
(Excerpt prom the liner notes by Susanne Ziese)

Release Date 19 May 2017  


ULF SCHNEIDER, violin & STEPHAN IMORDE, piano
Violin Sonatas ˇ Hélas j'ai perdu mon amant !

Hélas, I lost my lover

Stephan Imorde:  Our idea was to view Mozart from the perspective of his wife Constanze: in our attempt to picture how she must have perceived Wolfgang’s life, we embarked on an imaginary journey.

Ulf Schneider: Very few letters written by Constanze have been preserved. Nevertheless, from the great number of letters her husband sent her, we can surmise that the two were emotionally very close. On the basis of those letters, music journalist Jürgen Otten has drawn up a fictitious diary. . .

S. I.: And the title “Hélas, j’ai perdu mon amant” relates to the entire programme. Although taken from the Variations K360, it illustrates the biographical curve we want to trace. “Hélas, I have lost my beloved” is a situation we refer to repeatedly in the programme: not only the loss of four out of six children, but also Mozart’s untimely death. . .

Release Date 21 April 2017   

SEVERIN VON ECKARDSTEIN, piano  ˇ ROBERT SCHUMANN

SCHUMANN‘s FANTASIAS

“The term “fantasia”, in music, mainly refers to a free type of structure. Throughout history, the genre has allowed composers to jot down their musical ideas directly, like an improvisation, just as they first spring to mind.

The fantasia became a popular instrumental genre in the 1800’s, when it started to feature the dreamy, “phantastic” element even more prominently;
the piano and its universe of polyphony likewise played an essential role.

The fantasia was thus an ideal genre for Schumann, whose music I view as the quintessence of German High Romanticism. Schumann’s music is full of expression and driven by passion; at the same time it is disarmingly honest and private. Its textural sonority is full of variety, yet it always remains decent and straightforward, never attempting to posture with easy, flashy, superficial effects or by adding purely virtuosic embellishments.

In my imagination, this music often evokes placid romantic scenes imbued with good-naturedness and a certain vulnerability: people of the simple classes, courtly settings, flowery childish joys, or the secretly shared yearnings of two lovers..."
 (From Eckardstein’s Booklets „Remarks on Schumann‘s Phantasie-Pieces“)

Release Date 17 March 2017   


GÜLRU ENSARI, piano & HERBERT SCHUCH, piano
GO EAST ! STRAVINSKY ˇ BRAHMS ˇ HINDEMITH ˇ MANAV

First Recording of the Piano Duo Ensari & Schuch

„Everything began with Paul Hindemith’s Waltzes, op . 6. One morning, before practicing, Gülru Ensari and Herbert Schuch sight-read those eight miniatures for four hands, and were astounded to find that they featured a number of similarities with the Brahms Waltzes. Why not intermingle the two cycles?

The Turkish-German duo – who are partners in real life, not just at the piano – decided
to record the Brahms and Hindemith cycles for this  CD release, along with two Turkish dances by  Özkan Manav and the four-hand version of Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”.

Composing in Vienna and Frankfurt respectively, Brahms and Hindemith found their inspiration in Hungarian folk tunes. Özkan Manav arranged an Armenian folk dance; in Paris, Stravinsky revisited the folk music of his Russian homeland to write ‘Sacre’.

Release Date 17 February 2017



KARLROBERT KREITEN, piano ˇ HISTORICAL RECORDINGS

Kreiten was born on 26 June 1916 in Bonn and grew up in Düsseldorf, where he gave his first public performance at the age of ten in the auditorium that has now become the Tonhalle.

In 1933 he became immediately known to a wider audience: as one of the youngest participants in the Vienna International Piano Competition he was awarded the Silver Badge of Honour; soon thereafter he won the Mendelssohn Prize in Berlin. After having studied in Cologne and Vienna,

Karlrobert was admitted to the class of Claudio Arrau in Berlin, where he studied from 1937 to 1940. Soon he was invited to perform in major concert venues: for instance, he appeared twice with the Berlin Philharmonic. Kreiten’s repertoire extended from Classical and Romantic works to Prokofiev and Stravinsky; audiences and the press hailed him as a piano phenomenon.

This CD release contains the complete preserved recordings of Karlrobert Kreiten.

This explains the fact that certain pieces are presented in different versions, along with two further recordings whose quality might be deemed unacceptable, yet which we have nevertheless included as a sort of postscript at the end.

Release Date 17 February 2017



PAULINE SACHSE, viola & LAUMA SKRIDE, piano
SCHUBERT & SHOSTAKOVICH  ˇ Swan Songs

„According to a Greek myth, the voices of swans have an otherworldly beauty, and their song is a foreboding of death. Such ethereal beauty emerges in moments which are to be treasured and preserved with care. The two works on this release stem from two outstanding composers who, at the end of their lives and in thoroughly different contexts, produced creations of lasting value.

Schubert’s life came to an end at age 31, barely eighteen months after the death of Beethoven, whom he secretly revered as a model. He learned of Beethoven’s death when he had just finished composing Winterreise, a cycle of “chilling songs”, as he described them. Schubert’s friends later partially blamed the grim content of Winterreise for his early demise……..

Shostakovich wrote his Sonata for viola and piano within an extremely brief period of time.
On 25 June 1975, Fyodor Druzhinin – the violist of the Beethoven Quartet, who were the
composer’s friends – received a telephone call from the Shostakovich, informing him that he was working on a viola sonata and wanted to clear up initial technical matters with him. Shostakovich’s health had always been quite poor . . . "


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www.youtube.com  Das Staendchen  

www.youtube.com  Der Atlas 


Release Date  20 January 2017



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