As the mysterious opening bars of the Kyrie gradually emerge into the light, we know that this recording of Mozart’s glorious Great Mass in C minor is a special one: the tempi perfect, the unfolding drama of the choral writing so carefully judged, and, above it all, the crystalline beauty of soloist Carolyn Sampson’s soprano, floating like a ministering angel. Masaaki Suzuki’s meticulous attention to detail, so rewarding in his remarkable Bach recordings, shines throughout this disc, the playing alert, the choir responsive, the soloists thrilling. And there is the bonus of an exhilarating Exsultate, Jubilate with Sampson on top form.
Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia should have recorded all of Mozart's piano music for four hands, which includes several neglected masterpieces. This disc reflects their ideal partnership, two artists of great sensitivity collaborating in performances that feature constant interplay of parts, alertness to each other's work, and superb playing as individuals. The Concerto for Two Pianos ripples along without a care in the world, just as it should, and the English Chamber Orchestra doesn't seem to care that nobody is conducting it. The pieces without orchestra are a bit less significant (as is the Concerto for Three Pianos), but the playing is so beautiful you won't care.
Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2014 Choral category winner! Purely on grounds of performance alone, this is one of the finest Mozart Requiems of recent years. John Butt brings to Mozart the microscopic care and musicological acumen that have made his Bach and Handel recordings so thought-provoking and satisfying.
Mozart's Requiem is one of the truly iconic works in the history of music. A prime reason for this is of course its musical qualities; but even before that, legends had begun to form around the work - that it was written to fulfill an anonymous commission received through 'an unknown, grey stranger' - is the stuff of mystery novels, while the fact that Mozart fell ill and died while composing it has been exploited to great melodramatic effect. One thing that we know for certain is that its first performance took place at a memorial service for Mozart only days after his death. The performers used the composer's incomplete autograph, but very soon attempts to complete the work were set in motion by Mozart's widow. In 1800 the Requiem, in Franz Xaver Süssmayr's completion, appeared in print; it is this version that is still by far the most widely performed. Many have tried to improve on it, however, or make their own versions based on the autograph. For this recording, Masaaki Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan commissioned a new performing edition.
As is well known, the Third Reich drove many of its gifted composers into exile, to early deaths or to the concentration camps. But a significant responsibility devolved on another group, who became ‘internal exiles’, remaining in Germany, but refusing to become cultural ornaments of the Nazi regime. Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1905–1963), in Bavaria, consistently kept the spirit of modernism and human commitment alive in his own work.
(1 November 1920, Jägersdorf, Broumov, Czechoslovakia - 15 May 2005, Dresden) was a German pianist and organist. He studied from 1938 to 1940 at the Institut für Kirchenmusik in Leipzig with Karl Straube, Johann Nepomuk David, and Otto Weinreich. He was a lecturer from 1946 and a professor from 1953 for piano at the Felix Mendelssohn College of Music and Theatre. Until 1953 he worked mainly as an organist, and then after only as a pianist. Amadeus Webersinke was particularly devoted to Bach's organ and piano works and also gave concerts on the clavichord. He recorded Max Reger's Piano Concerto. 1966, he assumed a professorship at the Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber Dresden. His grave is located in the Maria am Wasser cemetery in Dresden-Hosterwitz.from Wikipedia