On February 17, 1962, the public came to hear, at Carnegie Hall, the third of four concerts conducted by Nadia Boulanger - the first woman to take the pulpit of the New York Philharmonic: Three Psalms of his sister Lili and the Solemn Music of Virgil Thomson (orchestrated for the occasion) will be preceded in the program by Faurй's Requiem (1887-1901). Leonard Bernstein, mounted on stage, specifies that it will be given in memory of Bruno Walter, who died the same morning. “A man who was all kindness, warmth, kindness and devotion. We can only mourn him and pay homage to him."
Based only on these 2 quartets, I would have to rank Joseph-Ermend Bonnal as one of the best composers I have never heard of.
Entre le quintette et le quatuor de Saint-Saëns, il y a toute une vie de compositeur, des joies, des douleurs, des idées, des motifs, la construction d'une existence et d'une esthétique. C'est cette substance éminemment sensible que le Quatuor Girard, une des formations françaises les plus prometteuses du moment, accompagné du jeune pianiste Guillaume Bellom, a voulu saisir dans ce nouveau disque B Records, enregistré dans l'atmosphère douce et feutrée de la Fondation Singer-Polignac.
Un portrait de Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) sans concerto pour violoncelle, sans le menuet fameux du quintette en mi majeur ? Mais non moins fidèle au caractère du compositeur toscan émigré en Espagne : fantasque et passionné.
Andrea Gabrieli (c. 1510-1586) was one of the first native Venetians to hold the positions of Second and then First Organist in the basilica of San Marco. These were the highest musical appointments in the city, and their holders was expected to compose much of the music they played. In the event, like his predecessor Merulo and his successor (his nephew Giovanni Gabrieli), Andrea was adept at all musical forms, especially the new and up-to-date (very secular) madrigal, a sort of vocal chamber music. A splendid selection of these, interspersed with instrumental canzoni (in which one can see the influence he had on his more-famous nephew) that offer welcome contrast to the vocal music. Manfred Cordes leads Weser-Renaissance Bremen in pungent period-instrument performances.
Lovers of high-Renaissance polyphony will find much to enjoy with this new CPO release of works by the German composer Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612). Like his contemporary and friend Giovanni Gabrieli, Hassler’s advanced use of polychoral techniques (which would acheive ultimate fruition in the settings of Heinrich Schütz) earned him great fame and recognition in his day. While it’s unlikely that Hassler ever heard his music performed in a program like this, one that intersperses various combinations of solo, instrumental, and choral works, the performances nevertheless provide a fascinating musical glimpse into the work of this rarely recorded master.
Bremen-based Weser-Renaissance is one of the European historical-performance ensembles that has signed on to the American-spawned one-voice-per-part movement in the performance of German Baroque choral music. Its smooth, almost silky sound is attractive, and in smaller works of the seventeenth century, such as those of Schein, results in powerful, rather inward-looking performances. Here the group sets out, quoting annotator Franz Korndle, "to convey an impression of festive liturgical music such as it was performed in the Munich court chapel under Orlando di Lasso." The degree of musicological investigation involved is impressive.
Comparable to Heinrich Schütz as a composer but not as well known, Grabbe is regarded as an important mediator of Italian vocal artistry in the north-western region of Germany. Since he was influenced by Franco-Flemish polyphony and the English compositional style, he embodied the leading musical trends of his time. This release continues CPO's new series in musicians and music of the Weser-Rennaisance in northern Germany.