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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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