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MINGUET QUARTETT & JENS PETER MAINTZ
WALTER BRAUNFELS ˇ String Quartets No. 1-3 & String Quintet (2 CDs)

Complete Recording of Braunfels’ String Chamber Music

Analysis obviously cannot seize the essence. […] If my music has meaning, it does not lie in the musical material itself, but beneath it: in the artistic approach and its relationship with my world view.” (Walter Braunfels).

With the complete recording of Walter Braunfels’s chamber music for strings, the Cologne-based Minguet Quartet has chosen to pay reverence to a figure who played a decisive role in the upbringing and artistic trajectory of a great number of musicians in Cologne during the period between the two world wars.

 Already widely respected and hailed as a composer and as a pianist, Braunfels responded to the Culture Ministry’s initiative in 1925 and founded the Second Prussian Conservatory.

He served in that institution as president and music professor until 1933, when he was dismissed from all posts, regardless of his merits, because he was half Jewish. Devastated by this unfair ostracism, Braunfels moved to the town of Überlingen on the Lake of Constance and went into what is now termed “inner emigration.
. .

Cologne is the city where the Minguet Quartet is based, along with the CAvi-music label and the Deutschlandfunk broadcasting headquarters: it seemed quite natural and timely to create a lasting document – a complete recording – as a homage to the legacy of a composer and teacher who meant so much for the city in the 1925-1933 period, but who had to face so much suffering and rejection thereafter….. (Excerpt from the booklet notes by Ute Jung-Kaiser)

Release date 05 August 2022






     
   

DIYANG MEI, viola & OLIVER TRIENDL, piano
VIOLA ŕ l’ÉCOLE de PARIS

In the wake of World War I and the October Revolution, countless artists emigrated from Eastern Europe to Paris – particularly a number of Russians. They were able to build a reputation by virtue of keen public interest in their art, and sometimes thanks to savvy networking and helpful contacts.

This was the case of Alexander Tcherepnin, whose father, a respected composer and conductor, had reaped great success in the first season of the legendary Ballets Russes in 1909.

Alexander Tcherepnin was soon welcomed and adopted by groups of artists such as the École de Paris, a loose gathering of emigrants from several countries that included Bohuslav Martinů and Romanian composer Marcel Mihalovici (see below). Alexander Tcherepnin’s two brief pieces featured here, Romance (1922) and Elegy (1929), can only offer a glimpse of this widely traveled composer’s cosmopolitan output: he was a man constantly in search of new ideas.

Tcherepnin could switch from one musical genre to another in an instant; he eventually even incorporated influences from the Far East. Although the Romance is still entirely under the spell of Late Romanticism, the Elegy is already quasi-Modernist in tone – a work revealing a heightened sensitivity for timbre, as we can hear, for instance, in its iridescent violin flageolets.

Approximately the same age as Tcherepnin and successful, like his colleague, as a pianist, Tibor Harsányi arrived in Paris via the Netherlands in 1923.….. (Excerpt from the liner notes by Johannes Jansen).

Release date 05 August 2022






     
   

ARMIDA QUARTETT
MOZART ˇ String Quartets Vol. 5 (2CDs)

In search of lost free time

Boredom (in German: “long whiling”) is apparently what drove Wolfgang to compose one of his string quartets at the inn at Bolzano. And yes, he was doing well, as father Leopold assured Mozart’s mother in a letter dated 28 October 1772.

How can we even imagine what boredom must have felt like for a 16-year-old genius? Was he sitting lackadaisically at the table with his father, scribbling counterpoint on paper and casually inventing the genre of Classical string quartet in passing? Or was Wolfgang just solving musical-logical Sudokus, as we all tend to do in such cases? . . .

If we remain open to this idea of “whiling away the hours,” we can perceive the result of Mozart’s boredom in the meter and rhythm proportions of the Italian quartets. The music tends to jump with incredible speed from one idea to the next. . .
(Excerpt of the booklet notes by Hansjörg Ewert)

Release date 10 June 2022






     
   

SOPHIE WANG, Violin & FLORIAN GLEMSER, Piano
CLARA & ROBERT SCHUMANN

SOPHIE WANG a name, which we should remember

SOPHIE WANG has been shining on international musical scenes since making her debut in Festspiel-haus Baden-Baden at the age of ten.

Born in 1999 in Taiwan, she received her first violin lesson at the age of five. She studied under Rainer Kussmaul, Igor Ozim, Boris Kuschnir, Nora Chastain and Pierre Amoyal. Currently, she studies in Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin with Ning Feng.

She has appeared in various concert halls such as Konzerthaus Berlin, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Kurhaus Baden-Baden, Festspielhaus Bregenz, Tonhalle Zurich, Stadthaus Winterthur, Shenzhen Concert Hall and National Concert Hall Taipei...

FLORIAN GLEMSER, piano
is becoming increasingly established as a widely respected concert pianist. Appearances have led him to perform in almost all major concert halls in Germany and in Europe.

Born into a musical family, he received his first piano lessons from his mother at the age of three.
Only seven years later, he was selected to continue his musical training through a scholarship system of Würzburg University of Music to support highly gifted pupils or students. ..
(texts from the booklet)

Release date 13 May 2022






     
   

ALEXANDER GADJIEV, Piano
A. & N. TCHEREPNIN ˇ PROKOFIEV

Exciting Journey

In the booklet interview the italian/slovenic pianist speaks about his program:

CdR: Now let’s talk about your CD. What is the idea behind it?

AG: This is a special CD that exclusively features brief pieces taken from short anthologies or collections. For me it’s like a journey without a chronology: I just wanted to choose an interesting itinerary. We start with a jolt: a brutal gesture in Prokofiev, almost entirely lacking a melody. From that point on, the moods in the pieces blend into one another. . .

CdR: What brought you to the following works by father and son Tcherepnin featured on this CD?

AG: On the Internet, I came across these pieces by chance.

Nikolai Tcherepnin, the father, was a widely respected composer, mainly known as a conductor. He was also Prokofiev’s conservatory professor in orchestral conducting (and in his diary Prokofiev wrote that he had learned more about the orchestra from Tcherepnin than from Rimsky-Korsakov, who was his actual orchestration professor and a legend in his own time).

And as far as the works of Nikolai Tcherepnin were concerned, Prokofiev was full of praise (a rare event). . .

Release date 20 May 2022






     
   

ELIAS DAVID MONCADO, Violin & HANSJACOB STAEMMLER, Piano
HINDEMITH  ˇ POULENC ˇ BARTOK ˇ Violin Sonatas

For your debut album, what motivated you to choose a rather difficult program with works by Hindemith, Bartók, and Poulenc? Are they currently your favorite composers? Have you performed these works often in recitals?

"As an artist, I find it fascinating to observe how composers reacted to current affairs: whenever they had to deal with a totalitarian regime, persecution, resistance, or exile.

Each of these three composers dealt in some special way with psychological stress and anxiety in their lives. In the Poulenc sonata I find a concealed passion, harsh brutality, and overwhelming pain.

The Hindemith sonata contrasts and juxtaposes sombre, dancelike, and heroic elements. The timbres in the Bartók are incredibly elaborate, and a general mood of suffering imbues the entire work. .."
(excerpt from the booklet interview)

Release date 22 April 2022






     
   

KONSTANTIN KRIMMEL, Baritone & DANIEL HEIDE, Piano
FRANZ LISZT  ˇ Der du von dem Himmel bist

Goethe and Heine settings; late songs VOL. II

Compared with the catalogues of, say, Schubert, Loewe, or Schumann, the song output of Franz Liszt seems quite modest in terms of sheer quantity. Unexpected obstacles make it difficult, however, to obtain an overview of all the Lieder the Weimar virtuoso ever wrote.

Not all of Liszt’s songs are published as sheet music, and this has always been the case; the only currently available collection is a meager anthology of ca. 40 Lieder.

According to my research in the past ten years, Franz Liszt had an output of ca. 85 Lieder, or, shall we say, “titles”. If we also count his revisions or completely new versions of songs, we can speak of a total of 135 to 140 songs.

Curiously enough, brief songs by Liszt continue to turn up in estates and auctions all over Europe. As a travelling virtuoso, Liszt occasionally wrote down entire songs in guest books when he was invited to the homes of nobility, or to perform in evening soirées.

One can also find a few songs he wrote as “arrangements” of melodies or poems of his patrons or benefactors. Several Lieder gems by Liszt are still slumbering in the Goethe-Schiller Archive in Weimar. for instance.
(Excerpt of the booklet notes by Daniel Heide)

Release date 22 April 2022






     
   
     
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