The present recording of Christoph Graupner’s Passion Cycle of 1741 concludes on Vol. 4 with the highly expressive cantata for Laetare Sunday GWV 1123-41. Laetare Sunday (‘Joy’ or ‘Refreshment’ Sunday), the fourth Lenten Sunday, actually assumes a certain special positive status with its central focus on God’s action, which alone can rid human beings of their failings. However, Johann Conrad Lichtenberg, the author of the text, had a different view: here the dominant theme is the inequity of the rulers and judges who pronounce on Jesus while he bears everything with patience.
Alba is the premiere recording of trumpeter Markus Stockhausen’s duo with pianist Florian Weber, a formation in existence for some six years now. Though very different in their connections to the language of jazz, both musicians share a deep interest in the process of creative expression: of looking inwards and outwards with intensity at things, for echoes, resonances, insights. Initially, the duo experimented with electronic sounds, also to create the “opening sounds” that have attracted Stockhausen since he first played with Rainer Brüninghaus’s trio in the early 1980s.
French saxophonist Matthieu Bordenave’s first leader date for ECM introduces a new project with German pianist Florian Weber and Swiss bassist Patrice Moret. On La traversée - The Crossing - Bordenave explores musical ground between contemporary composition and jazz, subtly influenced by the innovations of the Jimmy Giuffre 3 with Paul Bley and Steve Swallow, who “opened new territory that remains relevant for improvisers today.” The recording of La traversée, he explains, was guided by an approach to trio playing, “in which melodic lines interweave and blossom in the nuances of tones, as each musician follows his intuition."
Music is an amplifier for emotions, no matter whether joy, grief, happiness or enthusiasm. Music has a kind of magical power, which can lift all these feelings to an “divine” level. For a moment it feels as if we were more than ‘just’ human. This special power of music hides in every single moment and every little episode of our lives. By definition an episode is an event within a larger event, and that is exactly what this album is about. These small, perhaps irrelevant episodes are what ultimately shape us the most. It‘s time to leave life behind, to sink in thoughts to feel alive.
Schnittke completed this symphony in 1980. Complexity can't be the delaying factor; his Fourth Symphony also requires soloists and a choir. The Second is not as forbidding as some of the composer's other symphonies, and it strikes me one of his best, so approachability and quality don't seem to be factors, either. The work's subtitle refers to the composer's visit in 1977 to the burial place of Anton Bruckner. Schnittke was moved by the setting sun, the mysterious feel of the Baroque Church of St. Florian, and the choir singing an evening mass somewhere out of his sight. When Gennady Rozhdestvensky requested a new work from Schnittke for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, he reminded the composer about his St. Florian experience, and the Second Symphony took off from there.
François-Joseph Gossec was doubtless one of the most prominent French composers of the eighteenth century and wrote works representing almost all the musical forms and genres. Our recording of his symphonic music has just been awarded an Opus Klassik 2020, and now we would like to share some of his magnificent vocal works with you - since his oratorios and truly amazing Messe des Morts also made him a trailblazing figure. La Nativite to a text by Gossec’s contemporary Michel Paul Guy de Chabanon is his most famous oratorio. It was premiered on Christmas Eve in 1774 and went on to be performed no fewer than nine times in the Concert Spirituel.
The Scarlatti family is one of many musical dynasties in music history. Only two of its number are still well-known today: Alessandro and his son Domenico. Alessandro was born in Palermo as the second son of Pietro Scarlata - the family name in its original form - who was active as a tenor. During his career Alessandro lived and worked in several cities: Rome, Naples and Venice. At a young age he was already a famous and much sought-after composer. His younger brother Francesco – almost forgotten today - was less lucky. He was appointed as violinist at the royal court in Naples in 1684, but returned to Palermo in 1691, and stayed there for about 24 years. He tried to find appointments at the courts of Vienna and Naples, but failed. In 1719 he travelled to London, where he participated in public concerts.
German act Florian Geyer, named after a knight who lived in the time of Martin Luther, was formed in Rheinland in 1971 by Jürgen Glüge (drums), K. Dieter Stieg (bass, vocals) and Manfred Wolf (vocals, guitar). It took the band five years to produce their one and only album, "Beggar's Pride", a curious collection of glam-inspired songs heavily spiced with psychedelic musical elements. In 1982 they changed their name to Hurrican, and issued one single under that name before dissolving.