Finnish composer Aulis Sallinen's reputation rests on his operas, particularly the first two (The Red Line and The Horseman) which, together with Kokkonen's The Last Temptations, at one stroke put the Finnish National Opera on the world musical map and also offered composers a fruitful territory to explore–one that had not already been covered by Sibelius. Sallinen's orchestral music, on the other hand, is something of a mixed bag. The notes to this excellent new release point out that his embrace of tonality in the 1970s was a radical step for a composer in his position, but it's not surprising given that his music largely disdains traditional counterpoint and lives on coloristic and (above all) harmonic effects.
The outstanding young German pianist Joseph Moog makes his debut on ONYX with a superb disc of two great Russian piano concertos that have had very different fates.
The outstanding young German pianist Joseph Moog makes his debut on ONYX with a superb disc of two great Russian piano concertos that have had very different fates. Anton Rubinstein s 4th was once one of the most famous and popular concertos in the repertoire, and many of the major virtuosos performed this work into the early years of the 20th century when the composer s other works vanished from the concert hall.
Siegfried Wagner had the best musical pedigree that a composer could conceivably have: the son of Richard Wagner and the grandson of Franz Liszt (through Liszt's daughter Cosima). His ancestry proved to be a decidedly mixed blessing, however, as the younger Wagner – despite working in a different musical era – was never fully able to step outside of the long shadow cast by his father, even as he engendered the jealousy of musical rivals. (…) Following Siegfried Wagner's death, the family did its best to suppress performances of his music, casting its lot with the more popular and profitable works of Richard Wagner, and it was only with lapsing of various copyrights, and the formation of the Siegfried Wagner Society in 1972, that his music was made available again, first in concert editions and more recently in full performances.