Daniel Barenboim is considered one of the greatest pianists and conductors of our time and may well be called a living legend. For his efforts towards reconciliation in the Middle East as well as his musical achievements, Barenboim has been the recipient of many prizes and honours. 2014 marks a very special anniversary for this extraordinary musician: 60 years as recording artist. To celebrate this occasion, Deutsche Grammophon and Daniel Barenboim will release a new recording of Franz Schubert’s Piano Sonatas. The sonatas are wonderful romantic music, and after recording them, Barenboim summarizes: “Schubert’s sonatas are a revelation. The music laughs and cries, it is at the same time sad and cheerful.”
Franz-Josef Degenhardt is a German poet, satirist, novelist, and – first and foremost – folksinger/songwriter (Liedermacher) with decidedly left-wing politics. He is also a lawyer, bearing the academic degree of Doctor of Law. From the early 1960s onward, in addition to practicing law, Degenhardt was also performing and releasing recordings. He is perhaps most famous for his song (and the album of the same name) Spiel nicht mit den Schmuddelkindern ("Don't Play With the Grubby Children," 1965), but has released close to 50 albums, starting with Zwischen Null Uhr Null und Mitternacht…
On their second album, Third World was still in the roots-reggae camp, but they had already laid claim to a singular sound: dreamy, free-flowing, and full of sweetly soulful vocals. The harmonic shadings on the opening cut, "Jah Glory," border on jazz, while the cover of Bunny Wailer's rocksteady nugget "Dreamland" is as ethereal as its title. Lyrically, they shift from the feel-good vibe of "Feel a Little Better" to the title track's social statement without breaking a sweat.
Franz Ignaz Beck is increasingly acknowledged as one of the most forward-looking and inventive of mid-eighteenth-century symphonists. A student of the celebrated Johann Stamitz, Beck was trained in Mannheim, a focal point of new approaches to orchestral writing. Although small in scale, his Op. 2 set includes some of the most striking and harmonically daring works of their kind from the period.