The present collection of Augusta Read Thomas's works spans 18 years, from 1999 to 2017. It juxtaposes the two sides of Thomas that we've already encountered in previous volumes, the large-scale thinker in the cello concerto Ritual Incantations, the piano trio Klee Musings and the recent string quartet Chi, and the miniaturist in the six other works which on this disc act as satellites to the above-mentioned three larger works. Two sides that, paradoxically, seem to share more similarities than differences. Common to all the works collected here are the sunny, free-wheeling lyricism, luminosity, sense of colour, spontaneity, caprice, playfulness and spirituality which have long been ineradicable characteristics of her nuanced music, all tied up with an irrepressible energy and a sense of irreducible concision no matter how expansive the time frame, of taking all the time in the world to say everything that needs to be said in any given piece, but not a second more than that!
Official Release #39. Having recorded some works with a large orchestra in January 1983, in January 1984, Frank Zappa arranged for some of his chamber works to be performed by Pierre Boulez's Ensemble InterContemporain, a 16-piece group. "The Perfect Stranger," "Naval Aviation In Art?," and "Dupree's Paradise" were given this treatment, and the four remaining tracks are the product of Zappa's music synthesizer, the Synclavier. As usual, Zappa's "serious" works are rhythmically interesting and make for challenging listening.
Our collection is called “Caprice” in honor of Thierry Lancino’s Cinq Caprices, adapted for flute and piano especially for this recording. The collection is an homage to Pierre Boulez and his life-changing, challenging, ironic, and capricious "Sonatine pour flute et piano", written in 1946. Both Paavali Jumppanen and I had the great good luck to work with Pierre Boulez in our formative years, so when we started to perform together it was obvious that the Sonatine would be a central part of our repertoire and that a recording would follow.
In 1976 French director Patrice Chéreau's cenentenary staging of Wagner's "Ring"-Cycle unleashed the greatest scandal in Bayreuth Festival history but, by the end of its last performance in 1980, this epoch-making production was acclaimed with an hour and a half of thunderous applause. "Götterdämmerung presents a world in which no values exist any more. The only refuge is in the past" (Chateau). "The videotaped Bayreuth Ring succeed triumphantly."
"The central part of the "Ring" tetralogy is precisely this: a hero has been created who would actually have had all the attributes of freedom, but nobody remembered to tell him…" (Patrice Chéreau). "One can only marvel at how enthrallingly Chéreau has made visible every ramification of this malignant idyll and bitter comedy. In its faithful service to this fabulously polished staging Brian Large's video direction is a model" (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung).
The second part of Patrice Chéreau's epoch-making Bayreuth "Ring" is a radical re-imaging of "Die Walküre", unprecedented in its psychological penetration. "This Wagnerian drama", says Chéreau, "which is at once classical theatre and domestic comedy, enables us to interpret the myths in terms that are both anecdotical and sublime … With Wagner one is dealing with a drama tuned virtually white-hot by the music." "Nothing ever seen before on television has given a better insight into Wagner's genius." (The New York Times)
In Patrice Chéreau's illuminating, violent Bayreuth production of Das Rheingold, Wotan wears the brocade coat of feudal times while the Rhine seems to be a reservoir with a modern power station - but, as Chéreau states, it "could also be many other things… a menacing construction, a theatrical machine to produce a river, an allegorical shape that today generates energy: perhaps a mythological presence, the mythology of our time… The gods' ascent to Valhalla (is) a defiant flight into the future."
A host of accomplished conductors including Daniel Harding, Daniele Gatti, Bernard Haitink and Eliahu Inbal lead the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in these performances of Mahler's Symphonies Nos. 1-10. Recorded in Amsterdam over two seasons in 2010/11, the collection also includes 'Das Lied von der Erde'.