With “Il trionfo della morte” by Bonaventuro Aliotti from 1677, the French ensemble Les Travers es Baroque presents an important example of an early oratorio. The form of the oratorio developed after the Catholic Church in the Council of Trent (1545-1563) severely restricted the use of music in church services. Some religious congregations then began to perform new forms of music in their prayer and assembly rooms, the “oratorios”.
Being that Schubert was suffering great mental and physical anguish at the time of his Octet’s completion in 1824, it’s surprising that the work is so sunny and optimistic. At a little over an hour, it’s the Austrian composer’s longest chamber work—and his most inspired. With just eight instruments, Schubert crafts an opening movement on the scale of a Beethoven symphony, ideas ricocheting between strings and woodwind, bass and treble. The “Adagio” is a sublime song for clarinet that rivals Mozart for its understated beauty while an ebullient central scherzo, stately variations, and suave minuetto culminate in a finale of intense drama that seems to glance toward Wagner. It’s all stunningly recorded and performed, too—a benchmark performance full of wit, passion, and charm.
Following the success of the Grammy award-winning album ‘The Goat Rodeo Sessions’, Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile return with their sensational new album ‘Not Our First Goat Rodeo’. ‘Not Our First Goat Rodeo’ combines the talents of the four solo artists, each a Grammy Award- winning talent in his own right, to create a singular sound that’s part composed, part improvised, and uniquely American. The music featured in this stunning album is so complex to pull off that the group likens it to a goat rodeo — an aviation term for a situation in which 100 things need to go right to avoid disaster. Both the first album and the new recording also feature the voice and artistry of singer-songwriter and fellow Grammy Award-winner Aoife O’Donovan, who joins the group as a guest on ‘Not Our First Goat Rodeo’.
Brigitte Meyer was born in Biel, Switzerland, where she experienced a happy childhood that, as far back as she can remember, was shaped by music. She gave her debut with orchestra at age eleven and went on to study at the conservatories in Biel and Lausanne, where she graduated at the age of nineteen with a degree in performance. She had already begun an active concert career but wished to continue her studies in Vienna – a decision that was rewarded by a personal invitation to the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna from Bruno Seidlhofer, who later spoke of three outstanding pupils: Friedrich Gulda (the genius), Martha Argerich (the great virtuoso), and Brigitte Meyer (the great musician). Meyer received the Bösendorfer Prize in Vienna and was a finalist at the Clara Haskil Piano Competition in Vevey.