The selections on this album of music by Estonian "holy minimalist" Arvo Pärt come from different phases of his career. One, the Solfeggio, dates from 1963, before Pärt abandoned serialism for his minimalist experiments; it was revised and simplified a good deal in 2008, however. The centerpiece (and finale), the Stabat Mater, was composed in 1985, and several of the shorter pieces date from the 2000s. The repertoire is divided between sacred choral pieces and short secular pieces of various kinds, all culminating in the giant, hypnotic, and virtually symmetrical Stabat Mater.
"These performances are notable for the blending of piano and strings into impeccably balanced textures. It’s an approach that’s better suited to the subtle Piano Quartet, a masterwork that owes much to classical models, than to the Piano Quintet. (…) These highly recommendable performances (…) join many other polished, modern accounts such as Takács/Hamelin and Mandelring/Le Guay that have been praised in these pages…" ~Fanfare
Pour ce 9ème album, le saxophoniste français Sylvain Beuf réunit autour de onze nouveaux titres originaux, et pour la première fois dans une formation «électrique» : le guitariste Manu Codjia, le bassiste Philippe Bussonnet et le batteur Julien Charlet. Un quartet de choc auquel se sont adjoints pour l'occasion les trompettistes Nicolas Folmer et Alex Tassel ainsi que le percussionniste ivoirien Thomas Guei.
A judicious coupling of Shostakovich recordings by the Jerusalem Quartet who have won BBC Music Magazine Awards no less than three times. “Vivid, profoundly intelligent accounts of six of Shostakovich's Quartets. The Jerusalems prove eloquent exponents of these works' tragic intensity and bittersweet lyricism.” - BBC Music Magazine, February 2013.
A new release from the revered Netherlands Chamber Choir, featuring works by Arvo Pärt. This time the choir teams up with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra in a mixed program of chamber orchestra, choral, and choral a cappella works. The main course on this CD is the rarely recorded and monumental Te Deum. Young Estonian conductor Risto Joost delivers a reading that is rich and inspired.
Since 1996, during the height of the Provençal summer, the beautiful, historic city of Arles has hosted the Festival Les Suds - a joyous musical alchemy that combines singing, music and dance and both explores and redefines the cultural heart of southern Europe (and beyond). Over the course of a week, music from around the world resounds like a universal language. This deluxe, greatest hits package from World Village features highlights recorded over the festival's last decade.
Vivaldi's Dixit Dominus, RV 807, was added to the Vivaldi canon only in 2005; it was long attributed to Baldassare Galuppi. That shows you how minor composers don't get their due; it's a marvelous work, but it's only getting recordings now that Vivaldi's name is attached to it. At any rate, it's well worth hearing in this excellent performance by the rising British group La Nuova Musica, which has both vocal and instrumental components. They move like a well-oiled machine, making possible the clear communication of such vivid details as the musical depiction of a stream in the strings in the countertenor aria De torrente in via bibet (track 8) and the unusually elaborate fugue that concludes the work.
In January 2012, the nestor of early music in the Netherlands died: Gustav Leonhardt. Together with Harnoncourt he belonged to the pioneers of authentic performance practice. Leonhardt was a gentleman at the keyboard. His aristocratic mastery of the French harpsichordists alone, with all those complex decorations and declamations, was unrivaled. And yet he regarded Bach as the greatest composer ever. 'His music is incredibly versatile, interesting, intelligent. (…) What is the secret? If only we would know that! ', According to Gustav Leonhardt in an interview with the Reformatorisch Dagblad. This reissue, undoubtedly inspired by the publicity surrounding Leonhard's death, includes performances by Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, Die Kunst Der Fuge and the Goldberg Variationen. The settled execution of the Goldberg variations - in everything the opposite of Glenn Gould's electrifying approach - still sounds magical. Leonhardt's registration of Die Kunst Der Fuge had become the best ever, if he had taken the trouble to include the (unfinished) Fuga a 3 soggetti.
Hille Perl is widely regarded as one of the leading viola da gambists in the world. Because of the prominence of her instrument in the Baroque era, her repertory is rich in works from that period, with the names, J.S. Bach, Telemann, Marin Marais, Sainte-Colombe, and other 17th and 18th century composers headlining her concert programs and recordings. Perl also plays the treble viol, the seven-string bass viol, Baroque guitar, Lirone, and Xarana.
Sequentia’s Hildegard von Bingen Project: Initially in collaboration with the West German Radio Cologne (WDR Köln) Sequentia made a series of recordings of the complete works of Germany’s most important medieval composer, the abbess and visionary Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179). After recording the music drama, Ordo Virtutum, Sequentia went on to make a first recording of the abbess’s symphoniae, spiritual songs which were probably sung in the liturgy of her convent on the Rupertsberg in the late 12th century. A group of nine female vocalists under Barbara Thornton’s direction is complemented by five instrumentalists in this recording made over a period of a year, in two different medieval German churches.