On the album "Bach Mirror" the French pianist Thomas Enhco and marimba player Vassilena Serafimova give well-known and less well-known works by Johann Sebastian Bach an innovative sound. Pieces such as the Prelude No. 2 from the Well-Tempered Clavier or the Air from the orchestral suite No. 3 sound new and fresh in the unusual instrumentation of piano and marimba. With their sound painting arrangements, Thomas Enhco and Vassilena Serafimova expose Bach's harmonic-melodic work structures and enable the audience to gain new perspectives on the architecture of his unique compositions.
Press play and enter the world of Loreena McKennitt, where walls dissolve into thick, billowing mists as the ground beneath your feet turns to compacted earth and the sky above opens up to reveal a black cloak dotted with shimmering stars draped beneath silk-like clouds. Were McKennitt's composing and songwriting abilities lacking of any luster (as they most certainly are not), her voice would still possess the strength to hold her fifth album, The Mask and Mirror, up on its own. But the combination of this talented woman's vocal prowess and songwriting ability makes her all the more similar to her work – ethereal and almost unbelievable in its level of quality.
This six-disc boxed set offers a broad survey of a hundred years of Finnish chamber music, featuring more than sixty performers and twenty composers – between the late Romanticism of Toivo Kuula’s Piano Trio (1908) and the postmodernism of Veli-Matti Puumala’s String Quartet (1994). Highlights include songs by Aare Merikanto sung by Soile Isokoski, Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Rilke song cycle, sung by Marcus Ullman, and Joonas Kokkonen’s third string quartet, performed by the Sibelius Quartet.
Mediterranean and Nordic Christmas music with Arianna Savall and her Baroque ensemble Hirundo Maris. Since the founding of their ensemble in 2009, Hirundo Maris, the Catalan harpist and singer Arianna Savall, and the Norwegian tenor and violist Petter Udland Johansen have committed themselves to music from the Middle Ages up to the Baroque period. And a special emphasis has been Mediterranean and Nordic music. For their current album, 'Silent Night Early Christmas Music and Carols' both musicians and ensemble conductors have chosen traditional Christmas songs from the north and south. And in doing so, invite you along on a journey of sound into the magical world of centuries-old winter, Advent, and Christmas music.
In Denmark, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, there was a decline in musical activity. Certainly, the social and economic changes of the end of the previous century had given rise to new sectors (domestic music for amateurs, recitals in the salons of the rich bourgeoisie and aristocracy, public concerts with Beethoven’s symphonies). However, the Napoleonic wars and the ensuing State bankruptcy in 1813 dealt a severe blow to the progress of the concert world; only towards the middle of the century was there a revival of both symphonic music (which developed elements of nationalism) and chamber music, now practiced in concert halls. Furthermore, cantatas and secular oratorios became a feature of Danish musical life, and romanticism manifested itself in compositions similar to the Lieder from other parts of Europe. Music education expanded during the century: singing and music lessons became compulsory subjects in schools after 1814; the Copenhagen Conservatory (later Kongelige Danske Musikkonservatorium) opened in 1867 and musicology established itself as an academic discipline at the University.