Following their exceptional Winterreise and now this equally fine Die schone Mullerin, tenor Mark Padmore and pianist Paul Lewis may be on their way to cornering the Schubert Lieder franchise for the foreseeable future. Besides being the most lyrically beautiful modern rendition of this oft-recorded cycle, the recording is a model of clear, natural presentation of voice and piano in a very complementary acoustic.
With its majestic themes soaring upwards like gothic pillars and its brilliant chorales and fanfares glowing like stained – glass windows, Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 is the most monumental of his orchestral works, a cathedral in sound that grows out of pianissimo murmurs. Coming after the triumphs celebrated by the composer’s Seventh Symphony and Te Deum, the Eight was considered by Bruckner as the artistic climax of his career. Cleveland‘s Severance Hall is the venue for this performance. This hall, an eclectic yet elegant mix of Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Classicism, Egyptian Revival and Modernism was inaugurated in 1931 and is still hailed today as one of the world‘s most beautiful concert halls. The Cleveland Orchestra, founded in 1918, began its ascent to the upper ranks of the world‘s ensembles after it moved to Severance Hall in 1931.
Bruckner‘s Seventh – The master‘s homage to Richard Wagner With the mighty build-ups and monumental fortissimi of Bruckner’s Seventh, Welser-Möst and his Clevelanders have their work cut out for them. And they do not disappoint. The most popular, and perhaps most easily accessible, of Bruckner‘s symphonies, the Seventh casts its spell on the audience with its clear-cut architecture and the wealth and fullness of its melodies. From the sweeping opening theme of the first movement to the victorious chords of the finale, the Cleveland Orchestra and its conductor deliver a magisterial reading of Bruckner‘s masterpiece. Cleveland‘s Severance Hall is the venue for this performance. This hall, an eclectic yet elegant mix of Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Classicism, Egyptian Revival and Modernism was inaugurated in 1931 and is still hailed today as one of the world‘s most beautiful concert halls. The Cleveland Orchestra, founded in 1918, began its ascent to the upper ranks of the world‘s ensembles after it moved to Severance Hall in 1931.
The unique all-star group featured on this live set from 1994 had not only never performed together before as a band, but most of the musicians had never been on the same stage with each other before. Miles Davis had passed away three years earlier, so the two Marcus Miller pieces, "Tutu" (which sounds surprisingly similar to "So What" during the solos even if the chords are different) and "The King Is Gone" are in tribute to the late trumpeter. "The King Is Gone" is a straight-ahead extended blues, while "Looking Up" has heated solos over a simple vamp. Overall, Kenny Garrett and Michel Petrucciani generally take solo honors (Biréli Lagrène is a bit overshadowed), while Miller and Lenny White keep the rhythms stimulating. Although the three selections are each quite extended, they hold one's interest throughout.
The works of Franz Danzi did not achieve especially widespread appeal during his lifetime, nor have they been particularly popular in modern times despite the trend of resurrecting lost or unknown compositions. In addition to being a prolific composer, Danzi was quite active as an educator, though his pedagogical achievements are equally unrecognized. While not all of his compositions are necessarily worthy of a second look, his chamber works are of interest. In particular, his wind chamber music finds the composer hard at work advancing his ideals of wind performance and the advocacy of the "new," modernized versions of wind instruments. This set of three piano quintets (for fortepiano plus winds) is an ideal setting. The fortepiano, played by Christine Schornsheim, is clearly the dominant force throughout the three quintets, the winds are given several opportunities to stand alone. Danzi sought a more equal treatment of the wind instruments, even bringing the bassoon out of its more traditional role as a mere bass accompaniment instrument.