Many works by the Argentinian composer Martín Palmeri are completely inspired by the style of ‘Tango Nuevo’ in terms of form and harmony, as is also the case with the tango mass Misa a Buenos Aires, composed in 1996. In his Misatango the composer combines the text of the Latin mass with the traditional music of his homeland, making the classical Roman Catholic mass, such as it has been set to music for centuries, appear in new apparel. Martin Palmeri was recently awarded First Prize in the Choral Arrangement Competition organized by AAMCANT, as well as First Prize in the National Choral Arrangement Competition by The National University of Rosario. Several of his works have been recorded, and he regularly takes part on the adjudication of choral festivals across Europe. It is fitting, considering Palmeri’s stylistic influences, that the ensemble led by Ulrich Stotzel has chosen to juxtapose works by Astor Piazzolla and Ismael Spitalnik with Palmeri’s mass.
The Ensemble Pygmalion directed by Raphaël Pichon commences its collaboration with Harmonia Mundi with this new recording of J.S. Bach’s lost music to the Köthener Trauermusik (Cöthen funeral music), BWV 244a. Founded in 2006 at the European Bach Festival, Ensemble Pygmalion is a combination of choir and orchestra - all young performers with experience of authentic instruments and period-informed performance. Its repertoire concentrates primarily on Johann Sebastian Bach and Jean-Philippe Rameau.
When he originally recorded this album in 2006, cellist Matt Haimovitz, a player with an insatiable musical curiosity, was already exploring more unusual repertoire. In this case, he tackles Mozart’s enchanting and strangely neglected Divertimento, K. 563, with its sublime, slow second movement, plus a trio of Mozart’s arrangements of preludes as well as ingenious and miraculously handled fugues by Bach. Haimovitz is joined by Jonathan Crow (violin) and Douglas McNabney (viola), who play as one yet also each bring an attractive personality to the music. This is wonderfully generous chamber music-making, and a joy to eavesdrop on.
Johann Sebastian Bach played the violin “cleanly and with a penetrating tone…” At the time his son CPE Bach wrote this phrase to a musicologist and Bach’s early biographer Johann Nikolaus Forkel in 1774, the Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin were known to a relatively small but steadily growing circle of enthusiasts. Although the demand problem was eventually solved by the appearance of the first printed editions around the turn of the century, it took another five decades before Bach’s sonatas and partitas came to the attention of a broader public. Arrangements of the violin solos for other instruments offer new expressive opportunities. For this album, Florian Klaus Rumpf has transcribed and recorded the first three of the six violin solos for the mandolin. Florian Klaus Rumpf decided to begin studying mandolin at the age of seven. In 2006 Florian entered the University of Music and Dance in Wuppertal, where he studied the modern mandolin and a wide range of historical instruments, including the six-course Baroque mandolin and the 8-course mandolone. He is in high demand as a soloist, tutor, and conductor of mandolin orchestras.
I've been listening to Brandenburgs non-stop for the past three weeks, for some reason. I love the Ristenpart recording, and I like the Britten version even better in some ways. This Baumgartner recording has a certain elegance. The pace is a tad slower and the ambience a bit thicker. The second movement of the first Brandenburg hits that emotional place a bit better than in the Britten version. I would be hard pressed to say which I prefer overall, but on first listening I sure loved this recording.
After a Mozart release with the Quatuor Voce, Juliette Hurel has devised a programme focusing on Bach, featuring two staples of the flute repertoire: the Suite for Orchestra No.2 with its famous Badinerie and the Partita for Solo Flute, his only work for the unaccompanied instrument. To complement this, she has chosen to assemble the most celebrated arias with a prominent part for solo flute, very rarely played outside the works for which they were written: the Easter Oratorio (‘Seele, deine Spezereien’), the St Matthew Passion (‘Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben’), the Coffee Cantata (‘Ei wie schmeckt’) and the Cantata ‘Ich habe genug’. For this recording, she plays a modern wooden flute and was keen to work with a Baroque ensemble performing on period instruments and a soprano well versed in this music, Maïlys de Villoutreys, a rising vocal star of French scene. The magnificent Trio Sonata BWV 1038 completes the programme in the spirit of chamber music.
Nonesuch releases Brad Mehldau’s After Bach on March 9, 2018. The album comprises the pianist/composer’s recordings of four preludes and one fugue from J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, each followed by an “After Bach” piece written by Mehldau and inspired by its WTC mate. The album begins with Mehldau’s own “Before Bach: Benediction” and ends with his “Prayer for Healing.” Pre-orders of After Bach are available now at iTunes and nonesuch.com and include an instant download of the album track “After Bach: Rondo.”