Starting in 2003, Jonathan Nott and the Bamberg Symphony pursued the ambitious project of recording Franz Schubert's symphonies Nos. 1-8, and the SACDs were individually released later that decade to considerable critical praise. This 2011 set of six SACDs brings together the four albums with the symphonies, plus two collections of modern compositions inspired by Schubert's music. Nott's conducting tends to be on the fast side in Schubert, and the Bamberg Symphony is sometimes a little uneven in sound quality. But by and large, they demonstrate a great understanding of Schubert's styles, both in his Classical and Romantic veins, and acquit themselves with enthusiasm and brilliance.
More than most composers currently active, Brett Dean uses music to tackle political and social themes of our times. A common factor in the works on this recording is the sometimes problematic aspects of human communication and the erosion and misuse of language. In his violin concerto The Lost Art of Letter Writing, which was awarded the renowned Grawemeyer Award in 2009, Dean strikes a blow for written correspondence, demonstrating how, even today, the art of letter writing, the conveyance of wholly individual mood pictures, is possible.
This 17CD Limited Edition Set encompasses the 70-year history of one of Germany’s leading orchestras. Includes no fewer than 5 CDs of world premiere recordings by luminaries such as Kertész, Sinopoli, Blomstedt as well as definitive recordings by all the famous conductors who shaped the orchestra’s distinctive style.
Combining two of Michael Gordons most daring large-scale orchestral works, Dystopia documents the composers dream of not only stretching the capabilities of the modern symphony, but in his words, of exploring the gray areas between harmony and dissonance. On its own, the music of Dystopia paints a picture of one citys future in this case, the city of Los Angeles that is frenzied, chaotic, dazzling, electric, and ultimately…loud. Gordon had discovered similar sensibilities in composing Rewriting Beethovens Seventh Symphony. Using one element from each of the original movements as a starting point, Gordon crafts a post-modern take on the masters classical forms that managed both to mesmerize and scandalize the audience at Beethovenfest Bonn, who commissioned the work for its 2006 premiere. Taken together, both works re-imagine the 21st c. symphony as equally reverent of the past (if not also a bit irreverent), while envisioning, as an L.A. Times review of the Dystopia premiere put it, a drunken fugue of the future.