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MARTIN KLETT, piano & ENSEMBLE  · BACH · SALGÁN  · PUGLIESE

LAMENTO – a personal affair

"You have referred to “Lamento” on the one hand as an “insane project”, on the other as a “matter of the heart”. How do insanity and the heart go together?

Insanity and the heart fortunately go very well together. The project of doing Bach concertos with a chamber ensemble of solo strings had been going around in my head for almost a decade. And Bach, in a way, is the core of the programme on this CD. ..

Then we have my personal journey with tango: my ensemble Cuarteto SolTango and my passion for dance. What grew out of all this? A rather large-scale project (for chamber music), with musicians from many different countries – and an intense week I will probably never forget.

Bach and tango: why, for your ears, do they fit so well together?

First and foremost, they obviously each stand for themselves. We play tango as tango, and Bach as Bach. The combination emerged from my personal connection with each of them. What is more, the Lamento runs like a red thread through the entire programme. I hear lamentation in each of these styles. The title Lamento is inspired by the tango song Mi lamento, and lamentation naturally plays an outstanding role in Bach’s music: not always, but quite often. . ." (Excerpt from the booklet)


Release Date 31 May 2019
     
   

STEPAN SIMONIAN, piano · BACH · Goldberg Variations

Why Bach? Why Goldberg?

"Johann Sebastian Bach was a true “essence” of music: a composer who brought literally everything together in his output, bridging all periods from Gregorian chant almost all the way to Viennese Classicism...

By the time he wrote the Goldberg Variations, everything was different: Bach had become a great master who, as his contemporaries saw it, wrote music that was somewhat outmoded (which, I assume, is the reason why he did not become as popular and well-known as, say, Telemann or Handel). ..

ce this variation cycle is written for a two-manual harpsichord, we can assume that Bach himself regarded it as an important milestone in his art as a performer on that instrument. Whether this supposition be true or not, there is no doubt that the Goldberg Variations represent one of the most outstanding works in the entire musical repertoire.

...As in every great work of art, the essence of the Goldberg Variations is so multifaceted, versatile, ineffable, and unspeakably sublime that the only way a musician can truly approach this extraordinary work is, fortunately, by performing it.

The “Aria” with different Veränderungen (changes or variations) is a journey that takes a lifetime. In my life, this recording is a personal part of the path I have chosen. If someone else would like to join me for a step of the way, I’ll be glad to welcome them."
© 2018 Stepan Simonian



Release Date 17 May 2019
     
   

BENJAMIN MOSER, piano · MUSSORGSKY  · GERSHWIN · WILD · Pictures & Songs

Benjamin Moser on his program:

"I have had the idea for this project since 2016. For the occasion of the 10th anniversary of my prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition and of my first CD with Russian music, I wanted to make another recording, a sort of “Volume 2” with Russian repertoire.

Within that framework I wanted to couple a well-known work with others that are more seldom performed: the Pictures at an Exhibition seemed like a good choice, since I had always wanted to play them – particularly in the original version, which I love. I wanted to couple them with Rachmaninoff’s 1st Piano Sonata, a seldom-performed work which, in my opinion, is both marvelous and underrated. But then I discovered Earl Wild’s arrangements of Rachmaninoff songs, and soon became thrilled with these technically demanding yet delightfully lyrical miniatures.

A further inspiration, particularly for Gershwin’s Preludes and Virtuoso Etudes, was provided by the focus on “America” chosen by the Ruhr Piano Festival, where, in the summer of 2017..

Now, in cooperation with Deutschlandradio Berlin and AvI (to both of whom I extend my heartfelt thanks!), this CD recording now finally sees the light of day. I hope that it will bring much pleasure to everyone who deigns to listen!


Release Date 31 May 2019
     
   
HERBERT SCHUCH, piano · BEETHOVEN · LIGETI · Bagatelles

BAGATELLES – DIVERGENT EQUIVALENTS

Ligeti and Beethoven „mixed“ as two masters of the miniature form

The gate opens. The music should sound solemn and magnificent, like an overture: majestic, like Beethoven’s Eroica. That is how Hungarian composer György Ligeti begins Musica ricercata, one of his early works from the early 1950s.

In exemplary fashion, the cycle blends minimalist structures with a sumptuous array of colors. Behind each note lurks the exigency that nothing should escape the pianist’s attention: he should be aware of all that takes place in the present, while remaining prepared for everything that can occur in the next moment. Such challenges await the performer in Ligeti as well as in Beethoven.

Long before he thought of coupling the works by Beethoven and Ligeti on CD, Herbert Schuch had tried out the combination in the concert hall. “I quickly get a feel whether a programme works well, or whether it’s just something I’ve conceived in my head. Of course I was aware that these cycles were never intended to be picked apart.

I find it important to feel assured that I’m not undermining their essence, and that the new order also makes sense. Such a coupling would certainly not work in the case of a sonata.” (excerpt from the Booklet notes/Interview)


Release Date 12 April 2019
     
   
ADAM FISCHER · ANNA LARSSON , Alto · STUART SKELTON, Tenor
DÜSSELDORFER SYMPHONIKER

ADAM FISCHER‘ s thoughts about MAHLER‘s LIED VON DER ERDE

"Das Lied von der Erde is shot through with a special atmosphere: a mood of farewell – mostly, of course, in the last movement, Der Abschied. When attempting to construct that last movement, every conductor and every orchestra are faced with a challenge that is as complicated as it is thrilling.
In my view, the last movement of Das Lied von der Erde is the most difficult one to conduct in the entire repertoire. Mahler even abandoned the sensation of regular metre. He had stated elsewhere that one should not conduct the metre but the rhythm, but here things are different. ...

I cannot disassociate this farewell from the last movement of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. Although the slow dissolving of life is even more apparent there, the tendency is already clear in Das Lied von der Erde – a continuous line can be drawn from here to the last page of the Ninth. From the onset, the music in Das Lied von der Erde is permeated by a special mood. Even the texts, based on Far Eastern poetry, are more mood than content. Mahler repeatedly abandons the words’ meaning, but the mood remains. The music implies so much more than the words!

 I think that even those concertgoers who have no command of the German language have no problem in gaining a quite precise grasp of what is going on… "
(from the preword of the booklet)

Release Date 15 March 2019
     
   
FLEX ENSEMBLE · AU SUIVANT

Ravel . Fauré und Chansons für Klavierquartett

Our second album (Au suivant! = Next!) highlights three different genres of French music: A youthful work by Fauré, written in the late romantic piano quartet tradition, character pieces by Ravel in a new arrangement for piano quartet and an eclectic mix of contemporary interpretations of French Chansons from Claude Le Jeune up to Georges Brassens.

It all began with Fauré… his C minor Piano Quartet is one of the earliest works that we learned as an ensemble. We immediately formed a personal connection to the quartet, perhaps one of Fauré's most popular chamber music works. With its emotional core, instrumental colour, flowing but clear form, and the fascinating story behind its creation, we embraced the challenge of exploring our sound and furthering our comprehension of French musical literature.

Some years later we received an unexpected gift: The first movement of Ravel's Ma Mère l´Oye arranged for piano quartet by our friend Shintaro Sakabe. “Try it,” he said, “I think it might work”. ..

But the idea that brought everything together for this recording was Project Chanson……….(Excerpt from the Booklet Notes of the ensemble)


Release Date 22 February  2019
     
   
ALESSANDRO FAGIUOLI, violin & ALESSIA TOFFANIN, piano 
GEORGE ANTHEIL

The bad boy of Music, The four Violin Sonatas

A double life. Like his friend and colleague Miklós Rózsa, George Antheil (1900-1959) had a double life. Not only because he – like Rózsa – scored dozen of films and at the same time strove to be recognized as a “classical” composer, but also because he led two different existences, before and after WWII.

The four sonatas in this first volume of his violin music exemplify the two periods of his creativity. They document Antheil's musical evolution from the percussive First, to the Dadaist-cubist Second and the more neoclassical Third.

 A hiatus of 25 years separate these early scores from the so-called Second Violin Sonata (i.e. his Fourth Sonata), composed in 1947-48, which is clearly a more classically structured composition.

While the three pieces composed between 1923 and 1924 (the Third) emerged from a pervasive influence of Stravinsky's early masterpieces, the Fourth Sonata is more under the spell of Prokofiev and Shostakovich.

To Antheil, the Russians served, paradoxically, as models for a possible American music, mostly because they did not give up tonality, they knew too well how to handle (and hide) folkloric material and they could at the same time counterbalance what Antheil considered the pernicious influence of Schoenberg's twelve-tone.
.."
(Excerpt of the Booklet Notes by Mauro Piccinini)



Release Date 22 February  2019
     
   
CUARTETO SOLTANGO  · SIN PALABRAS

After the great success of the first album CRISTAL

SIN PALARBRAS – Without Words

Cuarteto SolTango combines the luscious sound of traditional orquestas típicas with the verve of true chamber musicianship. While most traditional bands performed with a singer, Cuarteto SolTango almost exclusively plays instrumental arrangements, where the melodic line snakes in between parts in all instruments allowing each member of the quartet his moment in the spotlight. The title of this album and its opening number is, aptly, Sin Palabras (“without words”).

This album aims to transport the listener straight into the atmosphere of a traditional milonga ([note:] a musical evening with a special type of dance), and it is structured in tandas, all separated by cortinas. Each tango tanda is in the style of a famous band leader from the Golden Age……..

Today tango DJs play cortinas from a variety of different genres ranging from pop to jazz to classical music. In between each tanda, the members of Cuarteto SolTango present short solo or duo pieces that reflect their background as diverse and creative musicians. Collectively they bring their personal stories together to explore the rich heritage of tango.


Release Date 25 January  2019
     
   
EDITION KLAVIER-FESTIVAL RUHR Vol. 37 (4 CDs) · 
REDKIN ·  GERL · FUJITA · FIOLIA · FERNÁNDEZ-NIETO  ·
JOHNSON · MAFI · FOX  · LE ROUX
"VIVE LA FRANCE"  · DEBUSSY  & SAINT-SAËNS
Live Recordings 2018

30 Years of Ruhr Piano Festival

Vive la France!” – That is the motto which stood as an emblem for the Ruhr Piano Festival in 2018, its Anniversary Year.

Commemorating the end of the First World War in 1918 and paying homage to Debussy, who likewise passed away a century ago, we decided to place the Festival’s annual focus on German-French friendship, an important political and cultural axis that has played a significant role in the history of music.

 I am therefore particularly pleased that this year’s boxed set of 4 CDs highlights France as a great cultural nation by featuring the highly variegated, exhilarating repertoire of two composers who left an indelible mark on the late 19th century: Claude Debussy and Camille Saint-Saëns…….
"
(Franz Xaver Ohnesorg, Booklet Forword)


Release Date 25 January  2019
     
   
MARKUS BECKER, piano  · NDR Radiophilharmonie·  Joshua Weilerstein, conductor

MAX REGER  · Piano Concerto Live Recording·  Piano Pieces

A huge mass of different sounds

I’ve been playing and studying Reger’s piano music for a long time now. In the 1990s, not long after graduation, I recorded his complete works for solo piano. Ever since then, I’ve been featuring Reger frequently in my recitals: not only solo piano pieces, but chamber music including violin, clarinet and cello sonatas, the works for two pianos, piano trios, quartets, and Lieder. Reger composed an impressive quantity of music in almost all genres.

Of course I’ve been familiar with the Piano Concerto for a long time, but I only recorded it for the first time live in January 2017. That is the source for the recording on this CD. To be honest, at first I had my doubts about this piece. . .

 We already encounter that kind of superabundance elsewhere in Reger, but here he takes it to the extreme. The “full” piano is usually playing in tandem with the full orchestra. In our rehearsals, Joshua Weilerstein, the Radio Philharmonic and I were constantly working on trying to achieve the right balance between the orchestra and the piano.…….“
(Interview mit Markus Becker aus dem Booklet)


Release Date 25 January  2019
     
   
WAYNE MARSHALL, piano  ·  MARIA KLIEGEL, cello · BENYAMIN NUSS, piano
MAURICE STEGER, recorder and others

LEONARD BERNSTEIN ·  Piano & Chamber Music (3 CDs)

Anniversary Edition for his 100th Birthday

… That which comes closest to love

“Leonard Bernstein was certainly not surrounded by an aura of aloofness. He enjoyed his immense popularity, although he never consciously attempted to be “everybody’s darling” and to be hailed as “Lenny” by everyone on the street. His parents had officially named him Louis, but tended to call him Leonard.

Serge Koussevitzky, his teacher and elder friend – with whom he not only shared an outstanding musical talent but also an East European Jewish family background – called him “Lenyusha”. Bernstein himself preferred “Lenny” and thought up a pseudonym under which he wrote popular music during his youth to stay afloat: “Lenny Amber”, since “amber” is the English translation of the German word “Bernstein”.

Games with codes, cyphers, codenames and identities run through Bernstein’s entire output: references to himself, to people in his private circle, or to works by other composers from all periods and almost all genres from Baroque to jazz…...” (Excerpt from the Booklet Notes by Johannes Jansen)


Release Date 16 November  2018
     
   
PŘEMYSL VOJTA, french horn  ·  FABRICE MILLISCHER, trombone  ·
HAYDN ENSEMBLE PRAGUE · MARTIN PETRÁK
MICHAEL & JOSEPH HAYDN · Horn Concertos

"It is difficult to ascertain how many horn concertos Joseph Haydn and his younger brother Michael actually wrote. Certain works are lost; others are erroneously ascribed, or their authenticity is at least doubtful.

One of the concertos has even been ascribed by different musicologists to Joseph and to Michael Haydn, but it may have been written by another person entirely.

The two brothers wrote most of their concertos for the widest variety of solo instruments, but usually in the same type of situation: i.e. once they had assumed important posts at the head of renowned court orchestras. Joseph Haydn became Kapellmeister for the Ezterházy princes in 1761, and Michael became concertmaster of the Salzburg archdiocese court orchestra in 1763. . ."
(Excerpt from the liner notes by Dr. Arnim Raab, Haydn-Institut)

Release Date  12 October  2018
     
   
AVENHAUS · NEUDAUER  · ISHIZAKA · ZHENG ·  STOTIJN 
TROUTS

Schubert and the “Trout Pond“
Five contemporary Variatoions on Schubert’s TROUT QUINTET

A singular project

"Silke Avenhaus had wanted to record Schubert’s Trout Quintet for a long time. Now five European composers were additionally asked to quasi-casually prolong Schubert’s ambivalences into the present by supplying their own variations.

The commission called for works that were to be limited in length, and each composer was asked to focus his attention on a particular instrument. Although all of their pieces are based on the Trout theme, the resulting works vary utterly in terms of character and tempo. As Avenhaus puts it, this is a “godsend”.

The new compositions can be grasped as individual movements of a contemporary Trout quintet, but one can also combine them in several different ways. . . "
 (from the lines notes by Elgin Heuerding)

Release Date  12 October  2018
     
   
GÜLRU ENSARI & HERBERT SCHUCH, piano duo
DIALOGUES! MOZART · DEBUSSY ·  ZIMMERMANN


Debussy En blanc et noir   youtube       Mozart & Zimmermann   youtube

Second album of the newly formed Piano Duo Gülru Ensari & Herbert Schuch

Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970) is quoting Mozart and Debussy and others in his Monologues.

This project album is trying to follow the ruts of Zimmermann, celebrating his 100th birthday.

“As students we had already been allowed to take a peek inside the Monologues, but we only had access to a couple of photocopied pages.

When the 100-year-celebration of Zimmermann’s birth came around, we remembered the impression they had made upon us. When we finally got to see the entire score, however, we took a deep breath: it demands the most incredible acrobatic feats!

 From the very beginning, we were particularly charmed by the way Zimmermann cites other composers: the quoted passages rise up in the midst of an agitated storm, like islands of tranquility and beauty. The works quoted by Zimmermann are not for piano duo, but we find that they have certain parallels with the other pieces on this recording.

The cocky, unpredictable, whimsical aspect of Mozart’s C Major Sonata is also present in Zimmermann. (excerpt from an interview printed in the booklet)

Release Date  29 September 2018
     
BOULANGER TRIO
TCHAIKOVSKY · JUON · Piano Trios

The most profound recesses of the soul

…..What the members of the Boulanger Trio find particularly fascinating about Litaniae is “the way Juon employs a piano trio setting to create innovative timbres, treating the instruments quite differently than other composers: for instance, the passages in which the strings play double stops and sound like an orchestra, or when he just lets the piano “sound” in its upper register. …

In Juon’s piano trio”, as the members of the Boulanger Trio find, “we plunge into the most profound recesses of the soul. Everything acquires existential significance. This work truly captivates us: so much occurs within such brief moments”.

 This is where our performers find a bridge that connects Juon’s kaleidoscopic tone poem with Pjotr Tchaikovsky’s colossal Piano Trio, op. 50, a musical epitaph for pianist and conductor Nikolai Rubinstein, who had been Tchaikovsky’s friend and mentor.. . (Excerpt of the booklet)

Release Date  31 AUGUST 2018
     
   
ADAM FISCHER, conductor  · ANNA LARSSON ,mezzo  · Düsseldorf Symphonic
GUSTAV MAHLER · Symphony No. 3 in D Minor

Reflections on the 3rd Symphony
by Adam Fischer

"Mahler’s entire output seems like one long farewell to me: it is as if he was bidding farewell to the past and likewise to the future, since he had a great fear of death.

At the end of his symphonies we often encounter utopias, as here in the Adagio of the Third, and many years later, particularly, in the Ninth. Something new sets in, but the movement is still a closure. From it we learn that whatever is new will no longer occur in this world.

The Third Symphony, on the whole, is one of Mahler’s richest: the individual movements are so different from one another that they almost seem to stem from different periods of Mahler’s life. The Third contains its own world in itself – already in the first movement, longer than most Beethoven symphonies.

Then Mahler plunges into the Wunderhorn world: the world of simplicity, where his style seems inspired by Schubert. He quotes from his own works and creates his own mythology. . ." (Excerpt of the booklet of the Adam Fischer’s remarks )

RELEASE DATE 14 September 2018
     
   
CHRISTIAN IMMLER, Baritone, ANNA STEPHANY, Soprano 
CHRISTOPH BERNER, DANNY DRIVER , SILVIA FRASER, piano


SWAN SONGS

“What remains? And to what extent are composers, when they compose, aware of how urgent that question is? In my opinion, these are the main themes that confront us in a “swan song” (a composer’s last work – or, as in the case of our recording, the last opus in his vocal output).

In the second part of Schwanengesang – in the songs based on poems by Heine --- Schubert attains an unprecedented economy – or rather concentration – of means: the demands thereby made on the performer are literally “unheard of”. The text and the music express themselves so directly that the listener can find no refuge in musical solace.

Brahms’s Vier ernste Gesänge, written in 1896, one year prior to his death, paint an entirely different picture. I find that they reveal his inner struggle for personal truthfulness, his hope to attain an all-subliming love after so many years of painstaking sacrifice, while somehow managing to retain a certain kind of faith. .  .

Samuel Barber’s last vocal work, the Three Songs Op. 45, has fascinated me ever since my student years, because of the songs’ multi-facetted style, their refined text and the music’s melancholy, morbid beauty. . ."(Excerpt from the booklet preface by Christian Immler)

Release Date  31 AUGUST 2018
     
   
FATEYEVA · VOGT · MAHNI  · DÖRPINGHAUS · K. DÖRKEN  · WHITE  · DONDERER · RESZNIAK  · HUDSON · PLATH

CANTILÈNE · SPANNUNGEN FESTIVAL 2017

This compilation is a fairly typical reflexion on the  Programming of the SPANNUNGEN FESTIVAL.

Most of the programme pieces are suggested by the musicians themselves, as they just wanted to play those pieces simply with their colleagues in a way of try and presenting unknown music of  high calibre which is not played in the usual concert
programmes.

The Booklet contains special notes to every pieces taken from the Spannungen Festival 2017.

Release Date  10 AUGUST 2018
     
   
C. TETZLAFF  · HORNUNG  · K. DÖRKEN  · WEITHAAS  · POWELL  · HELMCHEN

DVOŘÁK & SUK  · TRIO  · QUARTET  · SPANNUNGEN FESTIVAL 2017

Rarely heard of

DVOŘÁK: „In 1876, Dvořák jotted down the Trio in G Minor, op. 26, in a mere 16 days. By that time, some of his masterpieces, including the Moravian Duets and the Stabat Mater, were starting to gain wider recognition – but the encounter with Brahms, which would stabilize him as an artist and clarify his musical tendencies, only took place the following year.

Thus, many passages in this trio seem to be groping for direction: as Dvořák specialist John Clapham once remarked, they are still musically “insecure”.

SUK: „…The composition Suk submitted for the final exam is none other than the Piano Quartet in A Minor, op. 1. The first movement’s disarming impetuousness engulfs the listener like a shock wave, betraying not only the influence of Brahms, the true doyen of Late Romantic chamber music, but also that of Dvořák, his own teacher.

More significantly, however, a personal style already becomes noticeable in this work. . . "
(Excerpts from the Booklet by Pedro Obiera)

Release Date  10 AUGUST 2018
     
   
TAMAR BEREIA, piano

MY FAVORITS - BEETHOVEN & LISZT

"It is an enormous pleasure for me to introduce my second solo CD album, featuring works by Beethoven and Liszt. These two composers have exerted a strong influence on me throughout my life and played a paramount role in forming me as a musician.

I could be wild and unlimited in expression in Liszt, sincere and firm when playing Beethoven. The two, in tandem, always helped me convey my complex individuality. . ."

Georgian/Swiss pianist Tamar Beraia was born in Tbilisi (Georgia) into a family of musicians. She received most of her training in Georgia: first piano lessons from her mother at the age of five, then continuing with Dodo Tsintsadze at the Z. Paliashvili Central Music School, and with Nana Khubutia at the Tbilisi State Conservatoire. She completed her studies with Ivan Klánský in Lucerne.

She is a prizewinner of many national and international competitions, including the Third Prize ex-aequo, the Bronze Medal, and the Sony Audience Prize at the Seventeenth Paloma O‘Shea Santander International Piano Competition.

Release Date  15 JUNE 2018 
     
ANDRÈ SCHUEN, baritone & DANIEL HEIDE, piano

SCHUBERT · WANDERER

ANDRÈ SCHUEN  „This time, as a point of departure, we chose the idea of “wandering”, of a “journey”, a “path”, and tried to come up with all possible variants.

Three major themes emerged. On the one hand, we have Romantic “wandering” per se, which plays an important role in Schubert (as in Der Wanderer on a poem by Schlegel).

Secondly, the path to the beloved as in Auf der Bruck as well as in Willkommen und Abschied. The third theme is the journey to the afterlife or to death, as in Totengräbers Heimweh and Im Abendrot. In my view, these three principle themes imbue our programme with a kind of ambivalence, reflecting a general ambivalence that is omnipresent in Schubert. . . „


DANIEL HEIDE " The overwhelming quantity of songs that are often slow and address themes of sadness and yearning is actually one of the core issues in Romantic Lied repertoire – indeed, why do they have to be so plodding, so sorrowful, so full of longing?

Where is the cheerfulness? Is there any life-affirming element to be found?

If you take stock of all the lieder composed by Schumann, Brahms, Wolf, Mahler, Strauss, Debussy, and, of course, Schubert, you will note that the majority are slow, meditative, contemplative . . ."

Release Date  15 JUNE 2018
     
HARTMUT ROHDE, viola and CHRISTIAN SEIBERT, piano

JOSEF TAL · CHAMBER MUSIC FOR VIOLA

„When the Berlin Academy of the Arts asked if I would agree to participate in a recital along with Josef Tal and learn his two works for viola and piano under his guidance, I was thrilled.

At the Berlin University of the Arts I knowingly and willingly place myself in the tradition of the most influential
musicians of the 1920s: for me as a violist, Paul Hindemith, Tal’s teacher, is always present as one of our greatest composition teachers. In 1995 we organized a large-scale international Hindemith Festival, during which almost all of Hindemith’s compositions featuring the viola were performed.

Tal was one of Hindemith’s most well-known students, and one of those who most consistently
took the master’s ideas a step further. He also became a committed, fascinating trailblazer in the field of electronic music (in which Hindemith had already started experimenting in the late 1920s at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, the forerunner of our University of the Arts).

Josef Tal initiated
the Centre for Electronic Music in Israel in 1961 at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; at that time, he was one of the country’s leading, most well-known composers. . .“
© 2018 Hartmut Rohde, exclusive booklet notes for this CD

Release Date  15 JUNE 2018
     
SHEILA ARNOLD, piano
ECOUTEZ ! DEBUSSY · CAGE · TAKEMITSU

DEBUSSY’S 100th ANNIVERSARY

Claude Debussy left a profound mark on music history when he dissolved functional harmony under the influence of the music of the Far East.

Tōru Takemitsu had to distance himself from his own culture in order to listen to Japanese music with the ears of a Western-trained musician – adopting, for instance, the approach of John Cage. He came to realize that Japan’s venerable musical tradition had long been highlighting individual notes as complex sonorities in their own right, instead of treating them as part of a series of several notes.

From the human need for sound as well as silence, John Cage drew the most extreme conclusions. The concept of a “beautiful” sound was never static in music history: it has changed over the centuries, and it differs from one culture to another. Western musical aesthetics tend to differentiate between “noises” and “notes”:the latter feature well-ordered harmonics. The concept of“dissonance” has also changed throughout different musical periods. . . "

(Excerpt from the liner notes by Sheila Arnold)


Release Date  18 MAY 2018
     
   
ELNARA ISMAILOVA, piano

KARA KARAYEV · PIANO WORKS

100th anniversary of his birth

Kara Karayev (in Azerbaijani: Qara Qaraev) is an outstanding composer of the 20th century whose legacy is acknowledged and acclaimed far beyond the borders of Azerbaijan, his native country.

With melodies that sing while telling a story, his music’s moving, unforgettable expression is colored by modern, extremely expressive harmonies. All of this makes Karayev’s art exceptionally complex: he succeeds in creating a universe of sound that captivates the audience.

The national music of Azerbaijan is firmly rooted in the traditional modal genre of mugham, which has its own special musical language. ….
(Excerpt from the liner notes by Elnara Ismailova)

VIDEO www.pianonews.de


Release Date  20 April 2018
     
   
SEBASTIAN NOACK, baritone &  MANUEL LANGE , piano

HANS SOMMER · BALLADS & ROMANCES

HANS SOMMER – His Lieder

Today it has mostly been forgotten that one of the founding fathers of German music copyright, Hans Sommer, whose real name was Hans Friedrich August Zincken (1837-1922), was also a prolific composer.

Sommer took his first composition lessons in the 1850s, while studying mathematics and physics with Prof. Julius Otto Grimm in Göttingen; and then with Adolf Bernhard Marx during an extended stay in Berlin. After returning to Braunschweig (Brunswick), his home town, in the 1860s, he pursued his studies with Wilhelm Meves (1808-1871).

Finally, in 1881, at the age of 47, Sommer withdrew into a more private existence to devote himself entirely to his musical inclinations – thereby abandoning his established scientific career (for instance, he had worked for the renowned Voigtländer camera firm). …..
(excerpt from the liner notes by Jürgen Schaarwächter)

"We are thrilled to note that the rediscovery of Hans Sommer is enhancing today’s Lied repertoire with a great treasure: many further exciting “stories” await us, and we are glad to help make this music better known with this recording.” (Sebastian Noack & Manuel Lange)



Release Date  20 April 2018
     
   
MARTIN KLETT, piano

GUASTAVINO · RACHMANINOFF                 youtube

So far and yet so near

The harmonies and the virtuosity: that is what the two composers Sergei Rachmaninoff and Carlos Guastavino have in common. “Even though at first glance the geographical distance between them was immense, their approach to the piano was strikingly similar”, remarks Martin Klett.

In both composers he loves the Romantic element – paired with attractive simplicity in one case, with ambitious piano artistry in the other.

“I don’t think one could even say if this music is by Guastavino or Rachmaninoff! It’s somewhere in between, and thus provides a smooth, perfect transition – the ideal piece to play before the Rachmaninoff sonata.[Las Niñas]” (Martin Klett)

Martin Klett has made a name for himself as a solo pianist and chamber musician. Ever since winning the International Johannes Brahms Competition and the German National Music Competition, he has become a welcome guest at the prestigious music festivals of Lucerne, Schleswig-Holstein, Heidelberg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schwetzingen to name just a few.
Further invitations have led to performances throughout Europe and Asia.  


Release Date 16 March 2018
     
   
     
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