If you want a good sampling of Copland's orchestral works, then this 2-CD compilation comes highly recommended, with excellent performances of works such as Appalachian Spring, Quiet City, El Salón México and others. (Presto Classical)
Carl Maria von Weber wrote music that has been admired by composers as diverse as Schumann, Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Ravel and Stravinsky. But in his lifetime he was also recognised as one of the finest pianists of the period, with an exceptional technique and a brilliant gift for improvisation. Especially during the 1810s he toured extensively, and like other composer-pianists he wrote works to use as his personal calling cards, among them the two piano concertos recorded here. They were both composed in 1811-12, but while the First Concerto takes Mozart's concertos as its model, Piano Concerto No. 2 looks towards Beethoven.
The music of Carl Nielsen holds a very special place for Danes, defining the nation’s musical voice for over a century and reflecting the soul of Denmark. Nielsen was a violinist from childhood, his early Sonata in G major having ‘a scent of Mozartian youth’, while the newly published Romance in G major was dedicated to his first teacher. Mature works include the Second Violin Sonata, ‘a work unparalleled in the sonata literature’, and the Prelude, Theme and Variations inspired by Bach’s Chaconne for solo violin. This collection represents the first ever recording of Nielsen’s complete music for violin solo or with piano.
Graun was in his mid-twenties when he composed this Grand Passion . It is a surprisingly mature work, full of subtle gems. When first listening to this two-CD album, I wrote: “The music is very pleasant. Although it is quite tuneful, little of it is memorable and at two hours tends to wear out its welcome. There is almost a monotonous similarity of one number to the next. It needs something rousing like the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus.” Repeated hearings of this album have increased my appreciation considerably. Even Handel liked this Passion , and quoted some of its music in his own works.
Karl Fasch, the son of the famous Kapellmeister of the court of Zerbst, Johann Friedrich Fasch, was harpsichordist at the Prussian court from 1756 until his death. Underemployed by Friedrich II and underestimated by musicologists, he has been forgotten for a long time. Philippe Grisvard is preparing to rectify this injustice with a program consisting of world-premiere recordings that will make it possible to discover an original and visionary composer. The Arts Desk said of Grisvard's previous release on Audax of Handel's keyboard works: 'And what Grisvard does so well is recreate what a contemporary observer described as Handel's uncommon brilliance and command of finger that amazing force and energy.
For the 300th anniversary of C. P. E. Bach’s birth, Alpha proposes discovering the work of one of the Cantor’s sons from an original angle: that of the Alexis Kossenko’s flute.
In this boxed set, Alpha has brought together the complete Flute Concertos as well as the marvellous Trio Sonatas, masterpieces that allow for discovering Carl Philipp Emanuel’s close connection with the traverso, and also perceiving Alexis Kossenko’s strong ties with this brilliant composer.
Apart from Grieg, no Scandinavian composer has written for the piano with more individuality and insight than Nielsen. Right from the very outset of his Five Piano Pieces, Op. 3, there is no doubt that his is an individual voice. The first emerges from a Schumannesque innocence to speak with personal accents, but all five are strong on humour and character. Nielsen’s greatest piano music is clustered into a period of four years (1916-20) with his final thoughts in the medium, the Three Pieces, Op. 59 of 1928 being composed in the immediate proximity of his Clarinet Concerto, music that already breathes the air of other planets. With the exception of Leif Ove Andsnes, no pianist of international standing has championed it on record, and apart from John Ogdon and John McCabe it has been the almost exclusive preserve of Nordic artists. True, the American scholar Mina Miller, who edited the autographs for the Hansen edition, recorded a complete survey in 1995 – also for Hyperion. But although Schnabel was the dedicatee of the Suite, Op. 45, he never broke a lance for it on the international scene. The Suite is not only Nielsen’s greatest keyboard work but arguably the mightiest ever written in Scandinavia. Martin Roscoe is right inside this music and guides us through its marvels with great subtlety and authority.
A l'occasion du tricentenaire de la naissance de C.P.E. Bach, Olivier Vernet a enregistré l'intégrale de son oeuvre pour orgue qui est complétée par la réédition des deux Concertos pour orgue et orchestre qu'il avait gravé en 1998 avec l'Orchestre d'Auvergne placé sous la direction d'Arie Van Beck et salués alors par 5 Diapasons. La plus jeune soeur de Frédéric II, la princesse Anna Amalia de Prusse (1723-1787) possédait une vaste collection de compositions de C.P.E. Bach suggérant ainsi que ces oeuvres étaient régulièrement jouées à la cour d'Anna Amalia.